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Thursday, January 19, 2023
How More Renewable Diesel Fits into the Cleaner Trucks Equation
Renewable diesel consumption is booming. So much in fact, that it was expected to overtake biodiesel in the U.S. for the first time in 2022, according to Reuters.
Environmental pressure to go carbon neutral, financial incentives for producers and the need to offset declining U.S. oil refining capacity following the COVID-19 pandemic are among the reasons for the spike in renewable diesel production.
U.S. renewable diesel capacity grew by 90% to 2.1 billion gallons in 2022, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Additional increases are expected with the EIA projecting capacity to climb to 5.1 billion gallons a year by 2024.
What is Renewable Diesel?
Renewable diesel is made from animal fats, food wastes and plant oils but is chemically similar to petroleum-based diesel. In fact, it meets ASTM D975, the specification for petroleum diesel.
People often confuse the terms renewable diesel and biodiesel, but they are not the same. (To learn more, see our previous article: Defining Diesel.)
What Makes Renewable Diesel Attractive?
Renewable diesel is a low-cost way to reduce carbon emissions. Compared to petroleum diesel, renewable diesel offers a 60% emissions reduction on a gallon-to-gallon ratio, according to truckinginfo.com.
Aside from buying newer vehicles specifically designed for alternative fuels, such as EV trucks, using renewable diesel is one of the best ways fleets can significantly reduce greenhouse gas and other emissions. In fact, using renewable fuels like biodiesel and renewable diesel eliminated 15 million tons of CO2 in 2020 – the equivalent of taking more than 3 million passenger cars off the road, according to the nonprofit Diesel Technology Forum.
Other Renewable Diesel Benefits
- • Can be used as a “drop-in” fuel in all diesel engines and uses the same infrastructure as diesel
- • Produces 30% less soot and black carbon, which reduces or eliminates regeneration issues
- • Reduces or eliminates the need to winterize fleets to handle sub-zero temperatures and cold flow plugging issues
Luber-finer Has Renewable Diesel Filtration Covered
Whether traditional diesel or renewable diesel, Luber-finer filters are designed to remove contaminants, microbes and excess water in both types of fuel with up to 99% filtering efficiency to help maintain engine performance*. High performance media includes hydroponic meshes and technology for advanced water separation and filtration capability. Visit our fuel filters page to learn more about how you can protect your fuel system with our line of premium fuel filtration.
EPA Announces Final Rules to Slash Emissions Beginning with 2027 Model Trucks
While using renewable diesel is one way to curb emissions, heavy-duty operators and manufacturers will likely have to take even more drastic steps to comply with the EPA’s most recent emissions standards.
The new standards are part of the EPA’s Clean Trucks Plan. Some of the more noteworthy requirements include:
- • Extending OEM warranties from 100,000 to 450,000 miles and useful life limits from 435,000 to 650,000 miles
- • Reducing NOx limits 80% below the current standard and reducing particulate matter by 50%
- • Ensuring vehicle engines and emission control systems work properly and limit tampering of electronic pollution controls
While many trucking groups realize zero-emissions to be the future of the industry, most agree the new standards will be difficult to implement and challenging to achieve, according to Overdrive Magazine.
*Based on ISO 19438