Interested in Biodiesel?

Is there more interest in using biodiesel than we suspect?


A few months ago I blogged about a conversation I had had with a fleet manager about his experiences with biodiesel in a cold climate. He had never had a bad experience with biodiesel, even though he operated his vehicles in the harsh winters of the Grand Teton Mountain range, at an elevation of over 6,000 feet. His advice: You have to be smart about, and vary your biodiesel blend season by season. Interestingly, readers continue to comment on that blog entry over two months after I wrote it, and I wonder why people keep asking questions about biodiesel. Could it be that there's more interest out there than anyone suspects? Is it possible that there are many, many fleets out there that are ready and willing to switch to a biodiesel blend, but have held back because of some nagging doubts? Earlier this week, as part of a biofuels advisory panel, I found myself fielding questions from the city managers and employees, and it gave me some insights into this invisible interest in biodiesel. Here at the table were four or five public works guys who were interested in trying biodiesel but were concerned that they would experience a severe lack of horsepower in their city trucks, that they would be plagued by no-starts in the winter, and that they would have to somehow "convert" their trucks to biodiesel use. I advised them that they would not experience any power loss, and they would not have to modify any post-1978 engines in any way, but that they would have to manage the process carefully to avoid cold weather problems, and I think I made serious progress with them, but the experience reminded me once again that there's a lot of misinformation out there, and that if we could just get GOOD information to more fleets, they might be willing to make a positive change for our energy security.