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elkhartjim

Renewable Diesel Fuel Plant in Planning Stages

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Do not think it will fly in our lifetime!  Been all kinds of inventions over the past 50 years, most of them work, then you got to go thru the test process...Exxon, Shell & BP worked on BIO diesel at U of H for 7 years, gave it up as to costly in 2015.  I wish them luck..

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Processing used cooking oil has been ongoing for at least 10 years. One man/full-timer on escapees hauls his own processing equipment along; collects used cooking oil from restaurants in a special tank on his class 8 truck, then processes it at a campsite. This became so popular restaurants began charging for their used oil instead of paying to have it hauled away.

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Let the "Refiner" in the group opine.   Manufacturing Renewable Diesel from new / used vegetable oils or animal fats has been in place for over a decade at refineries owned by most major oil companies.  This 2007 presentation from ConocoPhillips describes how vegetable oils and/or animal fats are "co-processed" with conventional diesel from crude oil to produce an outstanding quality, non-Biodiesel, product -->  https://www.energy.gov/sites/prod/files/2014/03/f9/deer07_cornforth.pdf  

This co-processing is done in a refinery process unit know as a Hydrotreater which is decades old technology.    Advancements in Hydrotreater catalyst technology now allows vegetable oils / animal fats to be process "neat" in a Hydrotreater type unit which is the business venture in the Valero press release. 

Most major oil companies are partnering with Renewable Diesel companies to build new renewable diesel "refineries" across the U.S. to meet EPA regulations for renewable fuels use.   Those renewable diesel "refineries" will start operation during the next couple of years. 

The good news about Renewable Diesel is it is very similar to conventional diesel from crude oil with the exception that Renewable Diesel is more paraffinic (higher Cetane Rating , somewhat waxier) which is why major oil companies are investing in Renewable Diesel manufacturing. 

Biodiesel is an "ester" product which contains oxygen.   Esters are good solvents which causes a lot of concern for pipelines and storage tanks (loosen metal scale).   Because of the oxygen content in esters, they degrade, turn black, etc.   Due to these reasons, major oil companies shy away from Biodiesel. 

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