Renewable Hydrocarbon Diesel from Neste, REG and Solazyme
UPS has publicized agreements with Neste, Renewable Energy Group and Solazyme for as much as 46 million gallons of renewable fuels over the next three years, “constituting a 15-fold increase over prior contracts and making UPS one of the largest users of renewable diesel in the world.”
The purchases will help UPS shift more than 12% of its purchased ground fuel from conventional diesel and gasoline fuel to alternative fuels by the end of 2017,” UPS says. The company had previously announced a goal of driving one billion miles with alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles by the end of 2017.
“Advanced alternative fuels like renewable diesel are an important part of our strategy to reduce the carbon emissions impact of our fleet,” UPS senior VP for global engineering and sustainability Mark Wallace said in the announcement.
Agreements Expected to Help Bring Prices Down
“We have used more than three million gallons of renewable diesel to date with positive results,” Wallace said. “Renewable diesel has a huge impact significantly reducing lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90% less versus conventional petroleum diesel.
“Renewable diesel also performs well in cold weather, does not have any blending limitations and can be easily ‘dropped in’ to our fuel supply chain without modifications to our existing diesel trucks and equipment.”
“UPS believes these agreements are especially important because they will help stimulate demand for investment in refinery technologies and sustainable feedstocks needed to produce renewable fuels at a total cost that is comparable to more carbon-intensive petroleum fuels,” Wallace said.
It’s Not FAME Biodiesel
UPS notes that renewable diesel – sometimes referred to as renewable hydrocarbon diesel – is “fully interchangeable with petroleum diesel.” It is different from the better known FAME (fatty acid methyl ether) biodiesel general used in blends.
UPS notes that it has been using renewable fuels for more than a year in trucks operating in Texas and Louisiana. “The new agreements pave the way for expanded use across the U.S. and potentially in parts of Europe,” the company says.
Of the three suppliers, UPS notes,
- Neste, headquartered in Espoo, Finland, is the world’s largest producer of renewable diesel. Neste produces NEXBTL renewable diesel from a variety of feedstocks including more than half from waste and residues.
- REG, headquartered in Ames, Iowa, produces renewable hydrocarbon diesel fuel from waste vegetable oils and animal fats at its Geismar, Louisiana, bio-refinery as well as biodiesel at nine bio refining locations in the U.S.
- Solazyme, headquartered in San Francisco, produces a blended fuel made from microalgae and other renewable feedstocks. Solazyme promotes Soladiesel RD is a drop-in alternative to standard diesel fuels, “chemically indistinguishable from petroleum-based diesel.”
REG produces both renewable hydrocarbon diesel and FAME biodiesel, and in separate news this week reported an asset purchase agreement for substantially all the assets of Imperium, including a 100-million gallon nameplate capacity biomass-based diesel refinery and deepwater port terminal at the Port of Grays Harbor, Washington. Imperium produces FAME biodiesel.
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Source: UPS with Fleets & Fuels follow-up