Renewable Diesel vs Biodiesel: Knowing the Difference Matters

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Renewable diesel is not biodiesel. 

Lately, we’ve noticed a growing misunderstanding around diesel fuel options in the current market.  One of the biggest points of confusion today is the difference between renewable diesel (otherwise known as R99) and biodiesel.  While renewable diesel and biodiesel can be made from the same organic waste streams – including animal and seed fats – there are significant differences between the two products you need to know to make an educated decision.

Biodiesel is a blend

For starters, biodiesel is closer to a blend than a traditional fuel. In the same sense that ethanol is blended with gasoline, biodiesel is a blend of diesel and biofuel.  It’s there to help reduce fossil fuel content therefore reducing your carbon emission.

Matt Benz, the Director of Sales at Carson had this to say, “Vehicle manufacturers have been trying to do their part in reducing emissions by fitting engines with DPF and DEF systems. With more stringent EPA emission requirements forthcoming, manufacturers are looking to recapture horsepower losses with new compliant fuels. Unfortunately, the majority of these compliant fuels increase maintenance costs associated with filter plugging and regen cycling.”

Renewable diesel is a pure fuel

As mentioned, renewable diesel also takes feedstocks and refines them through a process that produces a fuel product which is for, all intents and purposes, a pure diesel fuel. Renewable diesel can be dropped directly into your engine. It functions identically to fossil fuel, with the beneficial lower carbon emissions and environmental impacts of biodiesel, yet without any performance or maintenance impact.

Since the chemical composition is cleaner than both petroleum and biodiesels, it works in all existing systems reducing filter-build up and in turn reducing parts and maintenance costs along with downtime.

What’s even more impressive is that customers are reporting a significant long-term savings in terms of equipment lifecycles and reduced maintenance over both traditional diesel and bio.

“After we switched to renewable diesel, our trucks don’t require regeneration as often as when they were using regular diesel… Now, our trucks are staying in service longer with less down time.”
~ Gary Lentsch, EWEB Fleet Manager

Renewable diesel is the environment’s choice

Renewable diesel profoundly improves greenhouse gas emissions by up to 75 percent while providing all the power of standard diesel. The carbon intensity (LCA) of renewable diesel is approximately 60 percent less than petroleum diesel, so your fleet can meet and exceed increasingly stringent environmental emissions standards. In fact, renewable diesel can be an important part of a company’s carbon emissions reduction strategy, especially in states like Oregon where the Clean Fuels Program will be driving an increase in the cost of fossil-based fuels.

Renewable diesel is produced from a broad range of renewable raw materials, including residues and vegetable oils, absorbing waste and repurposing it into clean energy. Carson’s suppliers are committed to refining their product from certified 100 percent renewable and sustainable feedstock free from deforestation and conflict-free zones.

Renewable diesel is business’ choice

Renewable diesel can be used as a direct drop-in replacement for fossil fuels and outperforms everything else. Fully compatible with all existing equipment, renewable diesel is suitable for cold weather conditions, can be stored at length without deterioration, and is gentler on engines and diesel particulate systems, reducing fleet costs in repairs and replacements. Smart businesses know that renewable diesel is an affordable way to meet carbon caps equivalent to electric vehicles while maintaining their current infrastructure.

With Carson recently signing a long-term agreement with Neste, a consistent, reliable supply of renewable diesel is available to Oregon businesses across the state.  When you consider the maintenance, performance and environmental advantages of R99, there is a very compelling reason to make the switch.

Contact Carson today to find out how you can make the simple switch to renewable diesel for your company, or call our MyRenewable Diesel expert at 541.688.8211.

Published 2/2/2021

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