Thursday, November 15, 2007

SBN Biodiesel Buying Priorities

When SBN orders biodiesel for the supply sites, the following are the priorities used.

SBN Biodiesel Buying Priorities (in order of priority)

1. Quality verification- All suppliers must show astm certification or better to verify fuel quality from the manufacturer.

2. Locally produced and/or grown- Form relationships with growers, manufacturers, and distributors as local as possible.

3. Support practices of sustainability - Form relationships with growers, manufacturers, and distributors that support practices of ecological sustainability such as: utilizing waste oil feedstock before virgin oil, sustainably grown feedstock that is non GMO, no pesticides, no chemical fertilizers, organically grown whenever possible and deliver the biodiesel in trucks that run on biodiesel.

4. Support cooperative business models- Form relationships with growers, manufacturers, and distributors that support models of business that are equitable, transparent and cooperative and encourage consumer empowerment.

5. Price/value considerations- Price is always an important consideration but only after the previous priorities have been considered.

6. Consistency of supply- Although biodiesel is a renewable fuel, the capacity of supply is limited by the biological nature of its source. Adapting our energy use and expectations in balance with ecological systems and natural resource interdependency is essential for healthy coexistence and sustenance of life. Consistency of supply is only relevant in SBN buying practices as the ecological sustainability of the sources indicate. As the global petroleum reserves reach peak of production, a new awareness regarding consistency of supply will be upon us, if it isn't already.

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Considerations for Using Biodiesel Wisely

Here are the 4 primary considerations SBN advises all new users for using biodiesel safely and responsibly (taken from the generic membership agreement):

1. Material Compatibility - I understand that biodiesel can accelerate the break down of rubber fuel hoses and gaskets causing them to leak. Vehicles made before 1994 probably have rubber fuel hoses and gaskets and will need to be replaced either before or upon failure with biodiesel compatible hoses and gaskets such as Viton. Check with the vehicle manufacturer.

2. Cold Flow - I understand that biodiesel may need to be “winterized” in colder temperatures by mixing a sufficient percentage of petro diesel (5% or more), kerosene and/or anti gel additives with the biodiesel, depending on the temperatures the car is in, to keep the fuel flowing properly. Depending on the source and quality, biodiesel can begin to first cloud, and then gel between 25F- 45F. It is advisable to test your current fuel to know the temperature it begins to cloud.

3. Cleaning Effect - I understand that the solvent characteristics of biodiesel will loosen and “clean out” the petroleum based diesel sediments that stick and accumulate in the fuel system over time. This dislodged diesel sediment can clog the fuel filter and require monitoring and possibly changing the fuel filter within the first few tankfuls of biodiesel. A clogged filter may cause the car to stall and fail to start. It is advisable to have a new fuel filter on hand and be ready to replace it if the symptoms arise.

4. Warranty - I understand that the use of pure biodiesel (B100) or blends above B20 may void my vehicle warranty. Check with vehicle manufacturer about what percentage of biodiesel is currently accepted by them.

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