Attribute-based biodiesel marketing Part II

Does a 10-degree difference in cloud point justify a dollar a gallon difference in price?
By Ron Kotrba | January 21, 2009
Some people tell me it's not good idea to price and market fuel based on its attributes. If a product with a cloud point of 10 C is selling for a dollar less than a SME with a 0 C cloud point, it can make it very hard to make money selling the former but it moves because of the lower price.

Irrespective of a 10 degree difference in cloud point, when the product is blended down to a B5, how big of a difference is there? At that blend, is it worth the dollar per gallon difference in price? "It's not a fuel quality issue it's a handling and use issue," one producer told me.

Another point of interest this individual brought up is what about the plus or minus two degree C margin of error in the test method? With a dollar a gallon difference in product with 10 C cloud point and 0 C and with a potential for up to four degrees margin of error it is possible that a blender might pay up to a half a dollar or more for a gallon of B100 with nearly the same cloud point.

To me, I think marketing B100 based on its attributes makes sense. However, I do see where others would disagree. What are your thoughts on this?