|Welcome To August
As summer starts to cool down and we head toward the fall, it's time again for another issue of Biodiesel Review! As with all our past issues, we've loaded this one up with lots of tips & tricks. We also have some exciting information coming out of General Motors, a detailed article on ASTM Testing, and information on some great Biodiesel tax incentives that can help save you money!
We also highlight some of the exciting new products we've added since our last round of fun and also have added a section on new video's we've published on our YouTube channel as well. Thanks for taking the time to read through our newsletter and we hope you'll come away with some tips & tricks to help your Biodiesel adventure be even more of a success!
Collecting Oil - Tips & Tricks
One of the most basic things we do when we make Biodiesel is obtain the oil to make it with. Whether it's new oil from the store for a demo batch or collecting waste oil from several restaurants, it's something that just has to be done. Unfortunately, it can also be one of the messier parts of making Biodiesel. With that said, below are a few tips that might make it a little easier and hopefully cleaner.Many times in our rush to find oil, we end up committing to start hauling away oil from restaurants that isn't really all that great for Biodiesel. It either ends up being sky high in fatty acid (titrates through the roof), is full of fat and garbage, or has lots of contaminants in it like water and soap from the grill.
Seven Oil Collection Tips & Tricks
1. Always Test The Oil Before Committing To It
With that, Tip #1 is to always test a sample of the oil you want to start collecting BEFORE you commit to a restaurant that you'll take it. Just grab a sample of some of it and either test it on site or haul it home & do the testing there. Things to test for include titration of the oil, identifying water content, and possibly even trying to make a sample batch of Biodiesel.
We carry some really handy sampling vials for grabbing samples of oil with on the go as well as oil go/no go test kits that can make this task much easier.
Sampling & testing the oil will help you make better informed decisions on which oil you keep.
2. Never Steal Oil From A Barrel Behind A Restaurant
This one goes without saying, but it's an important reminder. If the barrel sitting behind a restaurant with oil in it doesn't belong to the restaurant, chances are it's owned by either a rendering company or by someone else collecting the oil for other purposes. Once the oil hits the barrel it becomes the property of the barrel owner. If you take oil from a barrel belonging to someone else, it's considered theft in many areas. In many states, including Utah, the rendering companies are willing to press charges against anyone caught removing the oil.
3. Label Your Oil Containers Appropriately
If you collect oil from a restaurant, many will want you to provide them with a collection drum. It's important that your drums be properly labeled so that when they get full or if there's a problem, the restaurant will know who to call. In many areas, this is actually part of the law.
This can be as simple as stenciling your name & phone number on the drum or you can even get professional labels that allow your drums to stand out.
We recently partnered with Arbor Biofuels to have some custom drum labels made out of heavy duty vinyl that can be placed on a drum to properly identify the oil.
Your name, phone number, and a container ID can be added to the label to ensure everyone that see's the drum understands that the drum is privately owned and that it should only contain used cooking oil.
4. Identify An Easy Way To Transport The Oil
Once you have your drums in place, it will be important to identify an easy method for getting the oil from the back of the restaurant to your production area. This could be as simple as using a pump to pump the oil into another drum or as sophisticated as purchasing a couple drum dollies and a lift-gate for your vehicle and swapping out full drums with fresh empty ones.
One extremely popular method is to construct a device called a super sucker to transfer the oil with. It can be built from an old propane or air compressor tank and works extremely well. Another method is to get the restaurant to simply place their used oil back in the same containers that they bought it in. This makes for a much cleaner transferring process and takes up much less space.
5. Keep Your Drums & Containers At Restaurants CLEAN!!!
If you're in an area where you're competing with others for oil, it's going to be extremely important that you keep your drums and containers as clean as possible. This not only will help show that you're serious about what you're doing, but it also lets the restaurant know that you care about their restaurant and want to help them keep the area as clean as possible.
We've had several customers tell us that this one tip has helped them to keep their oil accounts with restaurants because the restaurants were so tired of the other oil collection companies leaving a mess. Who knows, it could just win you a major account! Remember, lots of restaurant owners know each other and word spreads fast when they learn about something new that they like.
6. Never Let Your Oil Collection Drums Get All The Way Full
We learned this tip from a Biodiesel producer in Utah. He said that he never lets his drums get past 3/4 of the way full at the restaurants. His reasons behind this tip are that:
A) It makes the drums easier to transfer (ie. they don't leak all over the back of his truck because they're not full),
B) A full drum at a restaurant is an accident waiting to happen, and
C) It gives you some wiggle room in case you can't make it to a restaurant on your days you pick up.
Also, if you don't let them get full, it'll help with keeping the area clean too! We think it's a great tip and one to follow whenever possible.
7. Be Courteous & Professional With Restaurants
The last thing a restaurant needs is a guy collecting oil that's not being responsible with them. Remember, we're all in this together. If your unprofessional with a restaurant, or leave a bad impression, they may tell others out there. When you want to get additional accounts, word may have traveled fast & you may find yourself out of oil. The happier you can make a restaurant and their staff, the better your chance of keeping an oil account.
For several other tips on collecting oil, visit these great resources:
Our "We Collect Oil" page on our website - We print this page out & take it with us when we're looking for new oil accounts. Because it details what we do and how we do it and also discusses the benefits of allowing us to use their oil, we've found it to be an extremely helpful thing to have.
Murphys Machines How To Collect Oil article - This article is jam packed with incredibly useful tips on how to find new oil accounts and keep them. It even includes details on how to work with restaurants to allow them to let you take their oil. We highly recommend it.
New Products & Videos
|We've created somewhat of a tradition of adding new products to our website at Utah Biodiesel Supply on a regular basis. As with previous issues, below we highlight some of these exciting new products that make the process of making Biodiesel even easier! We also will be highlighting some of the cool, new videos we've released on our new YouTube Channel.
BioLyles Biodiesel Workshop DVD Series
Our first new product is one that I'm incredibly excited about! If you've been around Biodiesel for a while, you may have heard of Lyle Rudensey from Seattle. He goes by BioLyle and regularly teaches top notch Biodiesel training courses in the Seattle area at local colleges. He's taught literally hundreds of people how to make Biodiesel (including even the Mayor of Seattle), many of which have gone on to create successful businesses around Biodiesel. He has a Masters degree in Education, has been into Biodiesel since 2003, and is an absolutely incredible teacher!
So, it's with great pleasure and honor that I introduce Lyle's new Biodiesel workshop DVD tutorial called BioLyle's Biodiesel Workshop. This 2 DVD set contains over 3 hours of hands-on Biodiesel tutorial material.
It's broken into 3 sections. One in his garage where he details how to make a 50 gallon batch of Biodiesel in an Appleseed style processor. The next section is in a classroom setting where he talks about how Biodiesel is produced in easy to understand terms (it's amazing how simple he makes the chemistry!), He also covers titrating oil and making a small mini batch of Biodiesel as well as producing a larger batch of Biodiesel in an Appleseed style processor right there in the classroom. Everything is shown step by step and Lyle talks about exactly what he's doing, why he's doing it, and what the outcome should be.
The final section is set at his local Biodiesel coop called The Dirty Hands Coop that he helped found. He walks through how he got started in Biodiesel and then talks about how he and a few friends created this highly successful Biodiesel coop. He then walks through every step of making Biodiesel in the coop including how the oil comes in and is logged to how the fuel is made using their BioPro 190 Biodiesel processor to how fuel is dispersed to coop members.
In all my years being in Biodiesel, I have always wanted to have something like this to offer. With his casual but professional teaching style and his easy to understand terminology I found myself just flat out amazed at how simple he makes it to understand! If you've ever wanted to learn about the in's & out's of how to make Biodiesel or just want a better understanding of the chemistry or even want to see how to form a successful Biodiesel coop, then this DVD set is for you! Feel free to stop by our site to learn more about this exciting new Biodiesel tutorial DVD!
Here's the link: http://www.utahbiodieselsupply.com/biodieseldvd.php
Drum Funnel/Bucket Strainer
We've teamed up with Yellow Heat to bring you a really cool new bucket strainer & drum funnel combo. Both are made from recycled materials and allow you to strain oil, glycerin, biodiesel, or any other liquid through a 5 gallon bucket with a 400 micron strainer attached to the bottom and then funnel the liquid through a heavy duty metal drum funnel that's made from a recycled propane tank. See the new drum/strainer combo here:
1 mL Glass Pipettes
We started carrying poly pipettes a few months ago and they immediately became an extremely popular item. We had some requests for glass pipettes from customers so we went on the hunt and now have a nice set of extremely accurate 1 mL glass pipettes are excited to make them available. They're perfect for doing soap tests, oil titrations, or any other test where accuracy and chemical resistance are of utmost importance.
Check out the new pipettes here:
Turnkey Dry Wash Column Kits
Our dry wash towers have been extremely popular with our customers. To make them even easier to dry wash with, Arbor Biofuels Company recently released a whole series of turnkey dry wash tower systems.
Avalailable in sizes from 6" 9 Gallon Per Hoursystems clear up to 22" 300 Gallon Per Hour systems, we now have a size to fit just about every dry washing need imaginable! They come with all the plumbing, fittings, pump, and filters to get you going fast!
Check out the whole selection of turnkey dry wash towers here:
Dry Wash Tower Pump
Ever since we came out with our line of Dry Wash Towers from Arbor Biofuels, we've had requests for a high quality, inexpensive, easy to use pump that would work with dry wash columns on the market.
We're pleased to announce that Arbor Biofuels has found a pump that perfectly fits this need! It's sized perfectly for 6" dry wash columns and has an adjustable flow rate. The pump delivers extremely accurate flow rates without varying pressure volumes. Watch for additional pumps soon as well. Check out this exciting new pump here:
We have several new products currently being evaluated that we
hope to have ready soon. These include a new centrifuge, two great new
books on Biodiesel, several varieties of bag filters, a soap making kit, soap making supplies, some BioPro Factory accessories, and several other
cool products we have kicking around in the lab. Keep an eye on the Utah Biodiesel Supply website for these exciting new products and more!
Have an idea for a product we should carry? Send it in! Many of the products we carry came about as a result of customer suggestions. We keep a running list of suggestions and always love to hear about things you'd like to see us carry.
|Biodiesel ASTM Testing
Have you ever wondered how good your fuel really is? Do you wonder if it's good enough to sell? Well, there is a way to find out. It's called ASTM Testing and it's the gold standard that is used by the IRS and by the EPA in the United States to determine if Biodiesel really is up to the commercial standard.
To have your fuel ASTM Tested is extremely easy! Several labs across the United States are set up to perform these tests according to the EPA and IRS requirements. To have your fuel tested, you simply send in a specified amount of fuel to the lab you choose, they run a series of tests, and then they typically email, mail, or fax you back the results.
To make it easy for our customers to have their fuel tested, we partnered with a lab out of Vancouver, Washington called Fuel Only
. They offer a wide variety of tests and usually have results ready within 72 hours.
There are 15 unique tests that make up the Biodiesel ASTM Standard and most labs will allow you to perform all of these tests at the same time or just a few of them depending on your preference. The tests performed on Biodiesel are laid out in the ASTM D 6751-08
standard. We have summarized each one of these tests below.ASTM D6584-Total & Free Glycerin Total 0.24% Free 0.02%
This test is by far the most important one. It's a measurement of how much glycerin is left in the finished product. Too much glycerin indicates the reaction didn't go well or that the fuel wasn't properly washed.ASTM D445-Viscosity @ 40 deg. C Limit 1.9-6.0 cst
This is an indicator of how viscous the Biodiesel is. If it's too thick it won't flow right in the fuel system. It's very rare that Biodiesel ever fails this test. If it does, it's usually an indication that there's still a lot of oil in the fuel or some other contaminant.ASDM D664-Acid Number Limit 0.50 mg KOH/gm
This indicates how acidic the fuel is (similar to what a titration
measures, only much more accurate). If fuel is acidic it's an indication of high free fatty acid levels or other acidic contaminants still present in the fuel. Highly acidic fuel can corrode fuel injection components.ASTM D1160-Distillation Temperature Limit 360 Deg F Max
This is a test that measures what components "boil off" as a sample is heated. Biodiesel has a known boiling point. If during distillation the sample exceeds that point excessively, it's a good indication that there may still be oil in the sample. If it all distills off too low, then other contaminants may also be present. ASTM D613 Cetane Number - 47 Minimum
This test relates to how well the sample will ignite. Biodiesel purposely put this number higher than diesel in the specification to brag about how good Biodiesel is. It's extremely rare that this test fails, if it does, it means your sample probably isn't Biodiesel or has high levels of contaminants in it.ASTM D2500 - Report To Customer - No Limit
This indicates at what temperature a sample of Biodiesel clouds up. It gives an indication of when Biodiesel will begin to gel. Granted, clouding & gelling are two different things, but this test will give you a good ball park figure.ASTM D93 - Flash Point Limit 93 Deg C Minimum
This test indicates at what point a sample of Biodiesel will ignite in the presence of a flame as the temperature of the sample is raised. If it ignites before 93 Degrees Celcius (approx. 200 Deg. F), it indicates the presence of a highly combustible material in the fuel (usually methanol). This also impacts how the Biodiesel may be shipped. If its flash point is too low, the transport vehicle must be marked as flammable and hazardous. If this test is failed, it usually means you haven't removed all the methanol from the Biodiesel (ie. The Biodiesel wasn't properly washed all the way).ASTM D5453 - Sulfur Content - S15 - <=15PPM, S500 - <=500 PPM
This test is looking for the presence of sulfur in Biodiesel. Onroad Biodiesel can only have 15 parts per million (0.0015%) of sulfur. Biodiesel for off-road use can only have up to 500 parts per million (0.05%). This is a mandate by the EPA. Fail this test and you can't sell the Biodiesel in the US. This also applies to diesel fuel too. It's rare for Biodiesel to fail this test unless there are contaminants in the fuel. ASTM D4951 - Phosphorus <= 0.001% , Sodium & Potassium <=0.005%, Calcium & Magnesium <=0.005%
This one is actually 3 tests combined and is done by spectrochemical analysis. The limits for Calcium & Magnesium combined are a max of 5 ppm, Sodium & Potassium have a max of 5 ppm. Phosphorus is 1 ppm. If you fail this test it's an indication that the fuel wasn't properly washed. It's also a good indication that there's still soap in the fuel too. I've seen some customers fail this simply because the water they were using to wash with had some of these components in it. This is also the test that is extrapolated out to identify the 41 PPM limit of soap in NaOH reacted Biodiesel and 66 PPM limit of soap in KOH reacted Biodiesel when testing fuel for soap content
.ASTM D2709 - Sediment & Water - Max 500 PPM (0.05%)
This indicates the presence of free water and sediment in Biodiesel. The test is performed by spinning a sample of Biodiesel in a centrifuge at high speed. Water obviously will cause problems in fuel systems and sediment can plug filters and leave deposits. There some speculation that this test may be removed in the near future for ASTM D6304
, which is Water Testing by Karl Fisher because the Karl Fisher is a more accurate representation of all water in the fuel. If you fail this test, you most likely haven't dried or filtered your fuel enough.ASTM D874 - Sulfated Ash - Max of 200 PPM (0.02%)
In this test a sample of fuel is burned and the ash residue is measured. If the ash levels are too high (ie. sulfated ash) then the sample fails. It's usually an indication that there are contaminants in the fuel since Biodiesel will burn completely. ASTM D4530 - Carbon Residue - Max 500 PPM (0.05%)
Carbon residue in fuel can lead to carbon deposits in the engine. Too much can cause engine problems down the road.ASTM D130 - Copper Strip Corrosion Rating - #3 Maximum
This tests the corrosive nature of the Biodiesel sample. If it's too high, then it can corrode internal engine components. It usually indicates contaminants in the fuel.EN14112 - Oxidation Stability - 3 Hours Minimum
The fuel is tested to see how quickly it oxidizes. If it oxidizes too quickly this means the fuel can go bad too fast while in storage. Several variables will impact this measure such as the type of oil that's used, however there are several additives on the market that can help improve oxidative stability. Even adding Vitamin E to Biodiesel in small amounts can help.ASTM D6217 - Cold Soak Filter Ability Max 360 or 200 seconds
The fuel sample is chilled to a certain temperature, then brought back up to ambient room temperature. The fuel is then passed through a small micron screen. The time the fuel takes to pass through the screen is then measured. This measurement indicates how well the fuel will do in cold weather at gelling up. The standard is 360 seconds for fuel used in temperatures -12 Deg Celcius (about 10 Deg. F) and above. It should take less than 200 seconds for fuel that will be used in temperatures below -12 Deg C. There's an excellent description of how this test is performed here: http://dexterbiodiesel.com/ASTMColdSoakInformation/tabid/57/Default.aspx
And there you have it! All the tests they perform in the full ASTM D6751-08 Biodiesel test panel! If your Biodiesel can pass all of these tests, then you've conquered the first step it takes to sell Biodiesel commercially in the United States. Europe and other countries have their own quality specifications, but for the most part they're very similar to the US standard.
Bently Biofuels also has an excellent write-up of the different tests performed and what they may indicate. We highly recommend it.
That page can be found here: http://www.biodieseltesting.com/tests.php
If you'd like to learn more about the ASTM test packages we offer for testing your fuel, visit our ASTM Testing page at: http://www.utahbiodieselsupply.com/biodieseltesting.php
Biodiesel Tax Incentives
Biodiesel has long been lauded for it's environmental friendliness. Because it's so good for the environment and because it helps to reduce dependence on foreign oil, the United States Federal Government has created several tax incentives for producing, selling, and using Biodiesel.
Many of these incentives are available to small scale producers and can be obtained fairly easily. Others require quite a bit of paperwork and some even require registering your fuel production with the Environmental Protection Agency and joining the National Biodiesel Board before the tax incentives can be utilized.
Here's a brief summary of some of the incentives we're aware of. At the end of this article we also provide a link to a page on our website where we've started to collect information about the different incentives.
Before starting, it's important to remember that a good tax professional should always be consulted before attempting to take advantage of any tax incentives. The information we provide below is for informational use only and does not constitute legal advice for tax purposes.
So, now that the Legal stuff is out of the way...here's a summary of what we've learned.
Alternative Fuel Refueling Infrastructure Tax Credit
This credit gives those that qualify up to 50% of the cost of the price of equipment back as a tax credit. For example, if you're a business and you purchased a BioPro 380
which retails for $12,995, you could possibly receive a tax credit of nearly $6500.00! Restrictions include that the equipment must have the ability to "refuel a vehicle" as part of it (the BioPro's have a fuel filler pump integrated into them; which is why they can qualify). For personal use, you can get up to $2,000 back in the form of a tax credit for similar equipment. The tax form to use is Tax Form 8911Biodiesel Income Tax Credit
"A taxpayer that delivers pure, unblended biodiesel (B100) into the tank
of a vehicle or uses B100 as an on-road fuel in their trade or business
may be eligible for an incentive in the amount of $1.00 per gallon of
biodiesel, agri-biodiesel, or renewable diesel.
" - US DOT Alternative Fuels Website
The fuel must be purchased from a Biodiesel producer that's registered with the EPA and a certificate that the fuel meets the ASTM standard for Biodiesel may also be required to claim this tax credit.Biodiesel Mixture Excise Tax Credit
"A biodiesel blender that is registered with the Internal Revenue
Service (IRS) may be eligible for a tax incentive in the amount of
$1.00 per gallon of pure biodiesel, agri-biodiesel, or renewable diesel
blended with petroleum diesel to produce a mixture containing at least
0.1% diesel fuel. Only blenders that have produced and sold or used the
qualified biodiesel mixture as a fuel in their trade or business are
eligible for the tax credit.
- US DOT Alternative Fuels Website
There are also several states that provide tax incentives for Biodiesel as well. Details on specific incentives for each state can be found here:http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/incentives_laws.html
There also are additional tax credits available through something called RIN's. We're still learning about these and don't have full details yet.
We'd like to express special thanks to Jason Burroughs of DieselGreen Fuels
in Texas. His incredible knowledge of the Biodiesel tax credits and how they can be applied is incredible! You can read more about his company here: http://dieselgreenfuels.com/
Jason also writes for the Biodiesel Smarter
blog and frequently shares updates on legislative issues surrounding Biodiesel. Check out the latest fun at the blog here: http://biodieselsmarter.com/blog/
If you'd like to see more information about tax incentives for
Biodiesel, be sure to visit our Biodiesel Tax Incentives
New Duramax Engine Will Handle Biodiesel
GM has announced that their new Duramax 6.6 liter diesel engine will be capable of handling up to 20% blends of Biodiesel (B20) in the fuel.Read more about this exciting announcement here.
According to the article..."Along with the upgrades to the lines, seals, and fittings required for the B20 fuel
comes a switch away from post-injection of diesel fuel in the cylinder,
in favor of injecting diesel fuel directly into the exhaust in order to
purge the soot that collects in the diesel-particulate filter. This
eliminates the problem of cylinder-wall wetting that can lead to oil
dilution, which is exacerbated by biodiesel's higher boiling point.
This approach also works better with the selective catalytic reduction
(SCR, urea-injection) NOx catalyst system that will come standard with
In English, this means that the DPF issue that we detailed a few issues ago and that has been causing so many Biodieselers to have nightmares is now a thing of the past with this engine.
This is a HUGE win for Biodiesel after the 2007 DPF Emissions fiasco! What it means is that the auto makers are starting to realize that Biodiesel will play a role in the United States and that consumers are demanding that the engines be capable of handling Biodiesel.
Granted, GM is claiming that the engines are only going to be warranted to handle up to 20% Biodiesel (B20), but I fully expect that the engines will be capable of handling much higher Biodiesel blends without any problems. The Duramax engines prior to the 2007 mandated DPF could handle Biodiesel just fine (as long as it was clean), so with the DPF mess out of the way, these engines should be able to burn the good stuff (Biodiesel in high blends) without any problem.
With GM's announcement of this exciting news, we fully expect other diesel engine manufacturers to follow suit; especially Ford and Chrysler. Hopefully we'll see a time in the not-to-distant future when all new vehicles sold with diesel engines in the United States will be warranted for use with high blends of Biodiesel.
We're thrilled to see GM moving in the right direction toward full Biodiesel compatibility and look forward to seeing similar announcements from additional diesel engine manufacturers in the near future.
To keep updated on the DPF emission issues, be sure to visit the following link on a regular basis. Click here to see the link
Corrections From Past Newsletters
|In the Feb. & June newsletter, the acceptable limit for water content in dewatered oil in a BioPro was specified at 0.5% or less. This is incorrect.
Properly dried oil should yield a water content of no more than 0.1% - 0.2%. Using feedstock with a water content of 0.5% may result in failed or poor reactions, as well as complications with washing.
Further information on feedstock water content may be found in the BioPro Owner's Manual under the heading "Feedstock". We apologize for any confusion this error may have caused.
for spending a few minutes reading through our latest issue of
Biodiesel Review. We hope you've found a few new tips and ideas for
your Biodiesel adventures! If you have suggestions for future articles,
by all means, sent them in
. We keep a running list and refer to it
every time we publish a new issue.