COLUMBUS – Now that winter has arrived, it’s time to take extra care with the soy biodiesel fuel that powers many of the state’s trucks, tractors and farm equipment.
All diesel fuel – petrodiesel and biodiesel- can gel in very cold temperatures, without proper handling. That’s why diesel fuels call for certain precautions when it comes to storing, blending, and distributing in cold weather.
Common sense. A good way to approach winterizing with soy biodiesel is by following some of the commonly known fuel-management techniques typically associated with petroleum diesel, for example blending with kerosene, using block and filter heaters and storing vehicles indoors.
Quality matters. “Soy biodiesel has been proven to be a great fuel in any weather, but it’s important to remember that quality counts,” said Tom Fontana of the Ohio Soybean Council.
Fontana said one of the most important steps to ensuring the quality of soy biodiesel this winter, and any time of year, is to work only with a reputable producer or marketer of soy biodiesel who is BQ-9000 certified.
Soy biodiesel can be used in any diesel engine with no modifications.
It’s also important to be aware of how the cold temperatures affect fuel and fuel system components, such as filters, by knowing the “cold flow characteristics” of the particular diesel fuel you are using.
Detailed information on these types of issues can be found at the Ohio Soybean Council Web site at www.soybiodiesel.org. A cold weather guidelines tech-sheet is also available for download from the site.
Ohio currently produces 45 million gallons of soy biodiesel each year. It is available from 150 soy biodiesel distributors and consumers can fill up at more than 50 retail locations across the state.
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