In recent years the biodiesel industry has seen an increased use of biodiesel in the marketplace. With new specifications promoting biodiesel use - including B5 in D975 and D396; and B6-20 in D7467 – fuel quality becomes the utmost importance in the marketplace.
Federal and state legislation also poises the biodiesel industry to increase production and expand the breadth of the industry. States such as Minnesota and Oregon have already adopted policies to increase the use of biodiesel while states such as Pennsylvania and Massachusetts are not far behind. The US EPA will be enacting the Renewable Fuel Standard 2, mandating at least one billion gallons of renewable diesel fuel (e.g. biodiesel) per year by 2012.
With the increased use of biodiesel there has been an increased need for users to understand the importance of fuel quality. While ASTM D6751 ensures biodiesel quality, many distributors and fuel suppliers are unfamiliar with biodiesel handling practices. The fuel supplier or distributor is the number one source for addressing fuel quality issues and should be the first point of contact for users with fuel complaints.
The National Biodiesel Board provides biodiesel users with a toll free 1-800 number to troubleshoot fuel issues should the fuel distributor lack the knowledge necessary to resolve the problem.
How it Works/Before You Call
A biodiesel user who is experiencing fuel issues is encouraged to work with their fuel distributor to address the issue. However, if the distributor or fuel supplier does not have the resources or knowledge to resolve the issue then the user may call the hotline.
To expedite the call users should have the following readily available:
- Distributor contact information
- Blend level of biodiesel purchased
- Evidence of purchasing biodiesel meeting ASTM D6751
- Evidence of purchasing from a BQ-9000 entity (if applicable)
The user may then dial 1-800-929-3437.
This number will route the caller to the central calling center located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The central calling center is also known as the Midwest regional center and is run by MEG Corp. Depending on location and severity of the issue, the caller may be forwarded to a regional center that is closer in proximity to the caller. This will make sample collection and testing easier.
The caller may also choose to dial the regional centers directly. The numbers for the regional centers are found below:
|West Coast: |
Gorge Analytical (541) 980-7168
1107 13th Street
Hood River, OR 97031
MEG Corp 1-800-929-3437
1710 Douglas Drive N #210
Golden Valley, MN 55422
|East Coast: |
Advanced Fuel Solutions (978) 664-5923
162 Park Street, Suite 301
North Reading, MA 01864
If the caller resides in the green states they will be routed to the West Coast regional center. If the caller resides in the white states they will be handled by the Midwest regional center. If the caller resides in the grey states they will be routed to the East Coast regional center.
How to Troubleshoot Yourself
The fuel professionals at the regional centers will take the caller through a series of questions to determine the root cause of the issue. Most of this time this also involves tracking the fuel back to the distributor to learn where the fuel may have been mishandled.
However, the National Biodiesel Board also encourages users to learn more about biodiesel and fuel quality. The following documents represent industry publications that review fuel quality and troubleshooting:
The National Biodiesel Board Troubleshooting Decision Tree
The National Biodiesel Board Troubleshooting Decision Tree was created to give users an overview of the process used by the regional centers. The Decision Tree can be printed along with the above documents to serve as an on-hand resource or users can access the document digitally and use theembedded links in the Decision Tree to pinpoint the troubleshooting guidelines in the above publications.