Biodiesel article - Business & Technology | A boom in...

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The Seattle Times Company NWjobs | NWautos | NWhomes | NWsource | Free Classifieds | seattletimes.com Business / Technology 69°F Our network sites seattletimes.com | Advanced Quick links: Traffic | Movies | Restaurants | Today's events | Video | Photos | Blogs | Forums | Newspaper delivery Contact us Related Where to find biodiesel (PDF) Standing in for diesel A petroleum diesel equivalent Biodiesel resembles petroleum diesel, without the smell. It's extracted from vegetable oil or fat instead of crude oil. Biodiesel can be used in a standard diesel engine, either in pure form (B100) or blended with petroleum diesel (the most common blend is B20, or 20 percent biodiesel). Still small Biodiesel represented 0.21 percent of total diesel used in 2005 (the most recent statistic available), according to the Energy Information Administration. With some quirks Some users report problems when using biodiesel, such as clogged filters and "gooey" fuel hoses. This occurs because biodiesel is a very strong solvent, dissolving rubber materials and helping clean petroleum residue from the tank. Biodiesel from some sources — such as palm oil — can become cloudy at low temperatures. Environmental impact The National Biodiesel Board says pure biodiesel has 48 percent lower carbon-monoxide emissions than petroleum diesel. Opponents say that environmental benefit is offset by the energy spent to grow common oil-producing crops, as well as the slash-and-burn agriculture used in cultivating some oil sources, such as palm Originally published October 1, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified October 1, 2007 at 2:02 AM E-mail article Print view A boom in biodiesel? Propel Biofuels executives think they can overcome the retail-distribution obstacles that so far have kept it an alternative fuel for a small circle of green devotees. By Ángel González Seattle Times business reporter The makeshift headquarters of Propel Biofuels looks a bit like an Allied war room before D-Day. A map of Seattle and its environs teems with pins — potential sites for the company's green-and-white biodiesel pumps. Most of the pins mark well-established gasoline stations that sell traditional petroleum-based fuels. By striking deals to sell biodiesel there, Propel executives think they can overcome the retail-distribution obstacles that so far have kept it an alternative fuel for a small circle of green devotees. The invasion is about to begin, with the company's first two pumps opening in mid-October. "We're not asking customers to radically change their behavior" in order to buy biodiesel, Propel founder Rob Elam said. Biodiesel, which can be used in any diesel engine, has a following among environmentalists and well-informed car buffs. But it represents less than 1 percent of diesel consumption in the U.S., according to the latest Energy Information Administration (EIA) numbers, and is used mostly by government fleets such as King County Metro. The Seattle area has about a dozen distributors,
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This note was uploaded on 04/12/2010 for the course CS 1371 taught by Professor Stallworth during the Spring '08 term at Georgia Institute of Technology.

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Biodiesel article - Business & Technology | A boom in...

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