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Home » Biofuels Engine Design, Infrastructure, Performance, R & D Focus, Sustainability, Vehicle/Engine

A Winning Combination: Renewable Hydrocarbon Diesel and Biodiesel Blend

Submitted by on November 16, 2017 – 1:49 pmNo Comment

(OPIS)  Written by REG, this free white paper takes a look at the benefits of the latest innovation in renewable fuel – the blending together of two leading diesel replacements: biodiesel and renewable hydrocarbon diesel. Read this informative white paper to see why this blending is getting rave reviews from early users.

The latest innovation in renewable fuel is the blending together of two leading diesel replacements: biodiesel and renewable hydrocarbon diesel. …

Biodiesel is a competitively priced product with a proven track record of providing fleets and individual drivers with strong performance while reducing emissions and petroleum consumption.

Renewable hydrocarbon diesel (RHD) is a newer alternative fuel that also has excellent environmental and performance benefits while being a drop-in replacement for petroleum diesel.

Blending biodiesel and RHD with each other — instead of only with petroleum diesel — results in a product that features the best characteristics of the two fuels.

 What is Biodiesel?
To understand an RHD and biodiesel blend, one needs to understand RHD and biodiesel individually. Biodiesel is an advanced biofuel that is renewable and has been used for decades as a cleaner-burning alternative to petroleum diesel.
How is it made?
The most common biodiesel feedstocks are recycled cooking oil, waste animal fats and vegetable oils. In the production process, the feedstock is reacted with methanol to produce fatty acid methyl esters (FAME). This process is called transesterification.

What is Renewable Hydrocarbon Diesel?
RHD is made from the same feedstocks as biodiesel, but it has a different production process and is a distinct fuel. With RHD, the feedstock is reacted with hydrogen during what is known as the hydrotreating process. The hydrotreated paraffins are isomerized, which lowers the Cloud Point. Another difference is RHD has no oxygen, whereas biodiesel does.

Why the “hydrocarbon”?
RHD meets ASTM D975, the diesel spec, and is a drop-in replacement for petroleum diesel. To be considered a diesel fuel, a product must be comprised of hydrocarbon molecules. That’s why REG makes a point of including “hydrocarbon” in the name — it distinguishes its RHD from products that some producers claim to be diesel but do not meet the definition found in ASTM D975.

The benefits of RHD and biodiesel really come together — and in some ways are enhanced — when they are blended because, in many cases, they have different strengths.

Let’s look at performance first.

Being a hydrocarbon, RHD has great Cetane for better engine performance. It also has a low Cloud Point. On the other hand, the presence of oxygen gives biodiesel a more complete combustion and added lubricity, as well as making it more biodegradable. Both fuels are low in aromatics, which are compounds that are unhealthy for people and the environment.

In general, the specs on an RHD and biodiesel blend are treated like a biodiesel blend because RHD meets the diesel spec. For instance, a blend of 80 percent RHD and 20 percent biodiesel, which REG calls RD B20, would be similar to a B20 blend. The key difference is that RHD outperforms petroleum diesel in some categories.

Fontana Truck Stop Center started selling an RHD and biodiesel blend (RD B20) after hearing about the product from REG.

“We realize a greater margin on the fuel than petroleum diesel” says General Manager Abdul Mardini. “It also helps us extend our RHD supply.”

Up in Northern California, travel company Incredible Adventures has been using biodiesel in its bus fleet since 2002. Co-owner Brian Deninger notes that while there’s been a lot of buzz surrounding RHD in recent years, biodiesel actually does a superior job of reducing most tailpipe emissions. Where RHD has an advantage is with NOx. So in 2016, his fleet started running on RD B20.   READ MORE

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