Tailpipe emissions have come under the microscope as drivers worldwide seek to reduce their carbon footprint. This goal is even more critical for long-haul truckers transporting supplies worldwide. These large vehicles require a lot of fuel to make their daily trips, so many logistics companies have turned to renewable diesel. What is this fuel source, and how will it benefit the planet?
Here’s what you need to know about renewable diesel.
Renewable Diesel Facts
Renewable diesel is a fuel with the same chemical composition as standard diesel. However, it’s produced with fats and oils to make it environmentally friendly and reduce emissions. Regular diesel comes from crude oil, which experts predict will run out in the next 30 years. Thus, renewable diesel gives the auto industry a more sustainable path forward.
Renewable diesel producers have numerous methods for creating this fuel. One of the most common approaches is pyrolysis, which includes decomposing organic materials at high temperatures without oxygen. Thus, you get oil that transforms into a hydrocarbon fuel or renewable diesel.
Hydrotreating is another widespread method for renewable diesel production. This process includes putting oils and fats under high pressures and temperatures with a catalyst. Hydrotreating is most likely what you’ll see at a renewable diesel production facility. A 2022 Cleaner Chemical Engineering study demonstrates the benefits of hydrotreating and how it makes Brazilian soybean oil a viable option for renewable diesel in the future.
This renewable fuel source is growing in the U.S. and worldwide. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) says American renewable diesel production should eclipse 350,000 barrels daily and reach nearly 400,000 by 2025.
What Are The Benefits Of Renewable Diesel?
Renewable diesel is becoming more popular for trucking companies due to its sustainability. What benefits do you get when filling a vehicle with this fuel source? Here are five advantages for drivers worldwide.
1. Increased Safety
Long-haul truck drivers can travel around 600 miles daily, so safety is a chief concern for logistics companies. Fortunately, renewable diesel makes vehicles safer because it’s less combustible and less toxic than regular diesel.
If you accidentally get some on your skin, it will be less of a big deal than if you came into contact with standard diesel. Plus, the absence of oxygen makes renewable diesel less likely to freeze or see algae growth in storage.
2. Fewer Emissions
Renewable diesel is also safer for the environment because it produces fewer emissions than most fuel sources. For example, it has reduced carbon and nitrogen oxide emissions compared to petroleum diesel.
Minimizing these harmful emissions is critical for drivers with strict standards to meet. Various cities and states nationwide require an emissions test and smog checks, so renewable diesel could be what you need to pass these inspections.
3. Easy Compatibility
Introducing a new fuel can be challenging when many vehicles rely on a specific source. However, renewable diesel makes the transition easy because it meets the D975 specifications from ASTM International.
Therefore, you can use renewable diesel in current engines without issues. The ease of use is one reason this fuel source has been utilized more in the last few years.
4. Enhanced Energy Dependence
Making renewable diesel widespread would significantly reduce dependence on fossil fuels and increase energy independence. This fuel source is easier to produce domestically and reduces reliance on imported oil for energy. For instance, Louisiana and Texas can make over 1.5 billion gallons of renewable diesel annually.
Additionally, consumers will have an easier time accessing renewable diesel because it’s less subject to price volatility. Regular diesel significantly fluctuates based on supply and demand, supply chain disruptions and international conflict, so a renewable source will better protect customers.
5. Less Odor
Gasoline and diesel have distinct smells, leading employees in numerous industries to wear the scent as they leave work. On the other hand, renewable diesel has reduced odor because it doesn’t have impurities like traditional diesel.
Additionally, it contains much less or no sulfur, making the smell less of a liability. Eliminating odors enhances safety by preventing drivers from inhaling toxic fumes.
Driving Forward With Renewable Diesel
Sustainability is a priority for the automotive industry, considering the daily tailpipe emissions from gas and diesel-powered vehicles. The transportation sector is moving forward with sustainable practices, and renewable diesel is one of the chief options.
This fuel source has a lower carbon footprint and is safer for drivers due to its low combustibility. Eco-conscious drivers worldwide should expect renewable diesel to grow significantly in the next decade.