How biodiesel can solve fleets’ lubricity problems

How biodiesel can solve fleets’ lubricity problems

REG-Cali

The move to ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) has been a good thing for the environment, but it has not come without some undesirable side effects for diesel engines. Chief among them is the loss of lubricity. Sulfur is what gives diesel fuel its lubricating properties. By shifting to ULSD, diesel fuel significantly reduced the component that helped with lubricity. As a result, many fleets are spending money on lubricity additives. But there is another answer.

Biodiesel has great lubricity characteristics, and can be easily blended with petroleum diesel. Adding as little as 2% biodiesel (a B2 blend) provides the necessary lubricity required in the fuel—and higher blends help add even more lubrication.

Why lubricity matters

Lubricity is critical to fleet performance because it helps protect the engine from damage. There are a lot of moving parts in an engine, including pumps and injectors that need a lubricating agent in order to prevent wear and damage. And many of the parts are lubricated by the fuel used in the vehicle—so a fuel that lacks lubricity does not provide the necessary protection. Proper lubricity management can also help an engine run smoother, more quietly and cooler.

How biodiesel helps

Unlike diesel fuel, biodiesel does not rely on sulfur for lubrication. Instead, it’s the oxygen in biodiesel that gives the fuel its lubricity characteristics. (It also gives biodiesel a higher Cetane number and aids in more complete combustion compared with petroleum diesel.) And biodiesel doesn’t just do an adequate job at lubricating engines; it excels. A 2007 study found that a B2 blend outperformed 18 other products on the market when it came to lubricity.

The use of biodiesel can eliminate the need for lubricity additives. In fact, a B2 blend supplies the amount of lubricity needed to meet the ASTM D975 spec. Using higher blends of biodiesel—as many fleets are increasingly doing, including up to B20—aids in the lubrication process even more.

Also, let’s consider the primary reason ULSD exists: to reduce harmful emissions. Biodiesel outperforms it here too. Biodiesel offers significant reductions in particulate matter, carbon monoxide and unburned hydrocarbons.

So, not only does biodiesel do a better job at lubricating engines, it’s also better for the environment than ULSD.

This article was contributed by Troy Shoen, senior manager of marketing at Renewable Energy Group, Inc. Troy can be contacted at [email protected].

You May Also Like

Sleeper supremacy: A focus on the customer has led to more fleets spec’ing large, decked-out sleepers

Across the business world, companies are becoming more and more interested in emulating the success of Amazon. It’s a model that many truck OEMs are now following as they sharpen their focus on fleet customers, learn what equipment will meet the customers’ needs and deliver the products that they want.

Peterbilt-sleeper-800x400

Across the business world, companies are becoming more and more interested in emulating the success of Amazon. And who can blame them? Amazon is, after all, one of the biggest business success stories of the 21st century, leading to its owner becoming the richest person in the world. If that’s not a model to follow, I don’t know what is.

Inside Mack’s plan to make waves in the on-highway market

When you think of Mack Trucks, you probably think of construction or vocational trucks first and foremost. And while that’s likely fine with Mack (those applications are still the brand’s bread and butter) the OEM is hoping people will add a third segment to that list: on-highway.

Mack-800x400
Addressing uptime and driver retention with the proper equipment

Two things that are on fleet managers’ minds pretty much every day: uptime and driver retention. Both are a real struggle for any fleet manager, and many (if not most) equipment decisions are made with these two struggles in mind.

truckdriver-800x400
How to start talking about electric truck charging infrastructure

Before you approach a utility partner to establish your own electric truck charging infrastructure, you have to know your power needs. How do you do that without running trucks?

Penske_Truck_Leasing_heavy_duty_electric_vehicle_charging_station-800x400
The four pillars of your true tire costs

Typically there are four pillars to determine your true cost: Initial tire cost, mileage to removal, fuel efficiency and retreadability (or casing value).

AC_tires

Other Posts

From the Show Floor: Combustion engines in the future, funding sustainable trucks

A new HD brand, an autonomous truck, a timeline for ICE technology, resources to help fleets decarbonize and more from ACT Expo.

EP-3-2024-ACT-Expo-From-the-Show-Floor-Volvo-autonomous-truck-hino-hexagon-purus-turn-rce-ev-truck
Hexagon Agility, Brudeli announce CNG/RNG system integration with PowerHybrid technology

The setup enables the powertrain to switch between hybrid modes, providing flexibility for fleets to operate with different energy options.

From the Show Floor: Electric truck technology, enforcing CARB regulations

How will CARB regulations be enforced? What is the state of current and future EV trucking technology? We ask experts to get answers for you.

ACT-Expo-From-the-Show-Floow-Supertruck-2-Kenworth-International-truck-emv
From the Show Floor: Timely decisions on trucking decarbonization

ACT Expo is back, and we’re covering it for you. Let’s kick things off with new technologies and new regulations.

Cummins-EP-1-2024-ACT-Expo-From-the-Show-Floor-truck-hydrogen-natural-gas-engine-x15n