Saturday, November 15, 2008

What is Sacramento Biofuels Network? (Update)

Here is an update describing what SBN is all about these days.

Sacramento Biofuels Network, SBN, was formed to assist people in implementing energy options beyond dependency on nonrenewable petroleum starting with establishing local access to commercial quality biodiesel in the Sacramento area.

SBN services include biodiesel consumer education, organizing Buyers Groups and coordinating bulk biodiesel delivery for a variety of network members. The network is currently made up of biodiesel bulk purchasers, called Supply Sites, who purchase pure commercial quality biodiesel (B100) in bulk through SBN utilizing suitable above ground bulk containers, usually 250 to 2000 gallon, to store and dispense the fuel.

The two basic types of SBN Supply Sites are:

Independent Supply Sites, who purchase biodiesel in bulk for their own in-house or personal needs including agricultural, commercial and institutional organizations and fleets.

Buyers Group Supply Sites, where a Site Host provides space for storing and dispensing a bulk quantity of biodiesel to share with friends or other individual buyers who become members of that Supply Site. All Buyers Group members must read and sign a site specific version of a Biodiesel Buyers Agreement (sample provided by SBN) to be a member and purchase the biodiesel from that site cooperatively.

The Buyers Group Supply Sites are organized like the Community Supported Agriculture model which we call Community Supported Energy, CSE. This CSE distribution model is an effective way to bring individual consumers together to exchange information, develop mutual interests and to utilize their collective purchasing power for choices in fuel access, bulk pricing and related cooperative consumer benefits.

SBN assists members in gaining access to biodiesel, setting up Supply Sites, meeting legal requirements and understanding basic biodiesel use and handling guidelines. Once set up, a Supply Site can make a bulk biodiesel purchase through the SBN coordinator who aggregates the order quantities and organizes them for efficient delivery, to make minimum delivery requirements and to achieve collective bulk quantity price breaks. The biodiesel is delivered to each Supply Site by refilling their containers from the selected distributor’s commercial tanker truck. The manufacturers and distributors who supply SBN Supply Sites are selected by a list of buying priorities starting with their ability to verify fuel quality according to national standards as the number one priority.

SBN Coordinator: Steve Bash, 916-966-2375,

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Thursday, November 13, 2008


Biodiesel and straight vegetable oil (SVO) are not the same thing. They are two different substances that will both serve as a fuel in a diesel engine. When you are shopping for your diesel vehicle, please be aware that you do NOT have to “convert” or modify a diesel car to run on BIODIESEL. SVO, however, does require modifications or "conversion kits", usually involving heaters, to run safely in a diesel engine.

Biodiesel is made from vegetable oil to be thinner than vegetable oil so it will flow in the fuel lines more easily than SVO and can run in any stock diesel engine without any modifications or “conversions” to the vehicle. Biodiesel is made from vegetable oil by chemically "thinning" the vegetable oil into a new substance which has similar flow characteristics to conventional petroleum diesel.

If you want to run your diesel vehicle on SVO, that DOES require modifications or converting the vehicle to deal with the flow and combustion problems caused from the thickness of vegetable oil, especially in cooler temperatures. The conversion usually involves adding heating devises at locations along the fuel system to heat the oil to thin it so it will flow smoothly and ignite properly in the engine.

Biodiesel is already thinned enough to run in any diesel vehicle without any conversions or heaters added to the vehicle.

Contact the blog host, Steve Bash, for info on SVO and conversions.

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