Straight Talk on Biodiesel

A cold climate is no excuse for not going green


I just got back from the National Biodiesel Conference in San Francisco, and I have some good news for fleet managers who have held back on using biodiesel because they're afraid of cold-weather performance and clogged fuel filters. While at the meeting, I met a guy named Joe Montesano who works for Greeneck, an excavating company in Driggs, Idaho, population 1,100, elevation 6,109 ft. Driggs is in the shadow of the Grand Teton mountains, and lies just outside of Yellowstone National Park. They are no strangers to cold weather. So it surprised me when Joe said his company has had no cold weather performance problems with biodiesel. "You just have to be smart about it," he said, meaning that you need to be flexible: maybe you use a B5 blend in the winter and a B20 blend in the summer. Doesn't sound too hard to me. I think more fleet managers could stand to think like Joe. More fleets could be benefitting--and benefitting our country--by running on biodiesel. They just need to be smart about it.