Industry news

| December 12, 2008

TexCom plans to build and operate a 30-million-gallon-capacity biodiesel plant at LBC Houston’s bulk liquid storage terminal. Plans call for the plant to be fully operational by October 2006.

The American Biofuels plant in Bakersfield, Calif., will expand to produce as much as 10 million gallons of biodiesel annually by the end of the year, according to published reports.

Further plans will boost production to 35 million gallons anually.

Biodiesel is a clean-burning alternative diesel fuel made from soybeans, agricultural oils and fats or recycled restaurant grease. It can be blended with petroleum diesel to be used in diesel engines with little or no modification.

Minnesota’s 2-percent law was passed in 2002 but did not go into effect until the state could produce the necessary amounts of biodiesel.

The state now has three working biodiesel plants that can produce a combined 63 million gallons per year, says Ralph Groschen of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

Pumping nothing but biodiesel is Carl’s Corner truck stop on I-35 south of Dallas.

Owner Carl Cornelius and country music legend Willie Nelson are backing BioWillie, a 20 percent biodiesel blend made from vegetable oils. “Trucks get more pulling power with it,” Cornelius says.

Cornelius says the French-German inventor Rudolf Diesel always intended his invention to run on vegetable oil as well as petroleum.

“We’re going back to doing what the engine was designed for,” he says.

Volvo Trucks North America will meet 2007 emissions standards with a complete family of diesel engines that includes new 11- and 13-liter models, in addition to the 16-liter Volvo D16 introduced earlier this year.

“These new engines are designed to surpass the excellent record of the Volvo D12, while also giving our customers the ability to fine-tune their engine choice, based on their application and other requirements,” says Peter Karlsten, president and CEO of Volvo Trucks North America.

The engines will be available for inspection by customers during the first quarter of 2006.

Volvo also will continue to offer customers the option of Cummins ISX engines, Karlsten says. Currently, about 60 percent of Volvo’s truck customers spec Volvo engines, 40 percent Cummins engines.

The new Volvo engines are designed with both 2007 and 2010 emissions standards in mind, Karlsten says. As previously announced, Volvo will meet federal emissions standards for 2007 with high-performance exhaust gas recirculation and a diesel particulate filter.

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