Renewable Diesel

Renewable diesel is a broad class of fuels derived from biomass feed stocks including oils or animal fats that are processed in the same fashion as traditional petroleum based diesel. Renewable diesel offers several benefits over biodiesel including reduced waste and by-products, higher energy density and improved cold flow properties. Renewable diesel can be used exactly like petroleum diesel with no special logistics or blending limitations. Renewable diesel has major benefits over petroleum and biodiesel in areas of greenhouse gas emission and air pollution reductions as well as reduced equipment maintenance.

CWCCC Work in this area:

The CWCCC was instrumental in providing information and contacts to several member government agencies that have begun a trial program of renewable diesel use. The pilot program in Portland, Eugene, Lane County and the Eugene Water and Electric Board has, thus far, been a complete success with no negative impacts noted due to use of renewable diesel. CWCCC is aiding in efforts to expand the pilot program to Deschutes County and other member agencies.

Obstacles:

The technical results of renewable diesel use have been outstanding with no known negative impacts. The major obstacles in widespread adoption of the fuel are supply chain and economic issues. Currently, the renewable diesel used in Oregon is shipped from Southeast Asia to California (where the fuel is widely used) and then barged to Portland and trucked to end-users. As demand for renewable diesel increases this supply chain will be severely limiting. Current prices for renewable diesel is on-par with B20 biodiesel and if this pricing parity is maintained then renewable diesel will be economically feasible for widespread adoption.

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