Renewable vs Biodiesel
Renewable Diesel and traditional biodiesel are distinctly different even though they are both are made from organic renewable biomasses. Renewable Diesel is a premium product, as it provides lower emissions, is cleaner, higher mileage per gallon (higher energy density), burns more efficiently, and has better cold flow & storage properties as compared to traditional biodiesel.
Renewable and biodiesel are each produced from renewable feedstocks: vegetable oils (soy, corn, palm, etc.) and/or animal fats (tallow, yellow grease, poultry, etc.). The fundamental difference between them is in the refining process and the resulting product characteristics and quality. Renewable Diesel refining utilizes hydrogen whereby the feedstock is refined into Renewable Diesel utilizing a hydro treater generating a drop-in fuel meeting the D-975 ASTM specification. By comparison, biodiesel refining utilizes the esterification process and the product can only be used as blend stock and not as a drop-in transportation fuel.
Refined Renewable Diesel is a superior product, resulting in almost no Sulfur, a higher burn rating (80 cetane) and possessing pipeline quality “drop in” stand-alone fuel characteristics. Renewable Diesel’s chemical properties are identical to the highest-quality fossil diesel fuel. Traditional biodiesel is an esther, which causes problems in some motor engines and must be blended with petroleum diesel at a concentration ranging from 7% to 20%. Biodiesel also absorbs water, which results in microbial growth in the fuel tank during storage, whereas Renewable Diesel does not. Further, Renewable Diesel is a “drop in” fuel and does not require any modifications to the fuel systems of existing diesel engines and is not affected by cold temperatures.
The greenhouse gas emissions of Renewable Diesel and traditional biodiesel are both smaller than those from fossil diesel, but Renewable Diesel is better option also in this respect as it contains almost no Sulfur and a lesser amount of other impurities, as compared to Biodiesel.