Government Fleet Top News

Study Indicates Biodiesel Standards Needed

November 28, 2006

JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Two important transport studies have been released in the United States recently — the first gives reasons for introducing and enforcing biodiesel fuel standards, and the other shows massive fuel savings regarding aerodynamic improvements, according to the magazine ATN. The first study, released earlier this month and conducted for the U.Sl National Biodiesel Board (NBB), found that one-third of the biodiesel sampled in the United States between Nov. 2005 and Nov. 2006 was out of spec because of incomplete processing.

The NBB said this is unacceptable and underscores the need for enforcement agencies to take action against those who aren’t producing biodiesel that meets existing standards.

Globally, figures indicate large variances between the quality of biodiesel production. In Australia, an Albury-based Biodiesel Producers Limited (BPL) representative said there is no Australian Standard (AS) for biodiesel at the moment. However, there is now a proposal for a biodiesel, mineral diesel blending standard.

The second study, a two-year collaborative effort of the Truck Manufacturers Association and the U.S. Department of Energy, concludes that if the entire U.S. fleet of Class 8 trucks were equipped with aerodynamic improvements, such as gap enclosure, side skirts, boat tails, and new side mirror designs, fuel efficiency would improve by 10 percent, translating into yearly diesel fuel savings of 1 billion gallons (3.7 billion liters). The study determined that for every two percent reduction in aerodynamic drag, there is a one percent improvement in fuel efficiency.

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