Truck stop technology to offer biodiesel blends

By Sarah Smith | March 17, 2008
Kings of the road can now be green giants.

Iowa-based Renewable Energy Group Inc., a major biodiesel producer and marketer, has unveiled a Retail Blending Biodiesel Program that will make biodiesel more accessible to truckers fueling up across the country. REG will provide subscribing fuel retailers with a dependable supply of biodiesel, an injection system that will blend biodiesel with regular diesel at the pump, automated reordering capabilities and a remote monitoring system to ensure a steady flow of vegetable-based fuel. "We did this to give retailers and truckers an incentive to use biodiesel," said Gary Haer, vice president of sales and marketing for REG. "It provides a way for retailers to offer biodiesel blends without having a terminal nearby. It gives the retailer the capability of putting in his own biodiesel-distribution system."

Haer said demand has been brisk since the program was presented at the National Association of Truck Stop Operators Show in January. Haer said truck-stop operators are simply responding to demand from customers who want to be environmentally responsible but can't find biodiesel blends along their travels.

The blending system, integrated into a truck stop's fuel injection pump, will be managed by the retailer and will offer the flexibility of changing blend levels according to customers' general desires. Haer said blend levels could be changed daily, or retailers could employ two separate systems with two steady blend levels.

Haer admitted that REG may be bucking a "gloom and doom" trend in the industry. "There's no question it's a challenging market right now, but I think we're optimistic about the future of the business," he said. "It's a great product supported by public policy, as well as consumers, and it's a domestically produced renewable fuel made right here in the United States."
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