Pearson Fuels lands grant for in-line blending

By Bryan Sims | September 20, 2010
Posted Oct. 20, 2010

With an already venerable track record for setting up E85 blender pumps across the country, San Diego, Calif.-based Pearson Fuels landed a $1.8 million grant from the California Energy Commission to install in-line biodiesel blending at two fuel terminal locations: one in Sacramento owned by InterState Oil and another in El Cajon owned by SoCo Group.

According to Mike Lewis, general manager of Pearson Fuels, installing in-line biodiesel blending capabilities would be a boon for the two companies, as it would reduce cost and allow for tighter quality control. For example, Lewis said, having in-line biodiesel blending at InterState Oil's 600,000-gallon fuel terminal would also eliminate the need for splash blending, a process where a fuel tanker truck goes to a biodiesel facility, fills up on biodiesel, then goes to a fuel terminal and fills up the rest of the tanker with regular diesel.

"Splash blending takes time and money," Lewis said. "When we're done, a fuel truck driver will be able to pull up and punch in, for example, B20 red dye soy-based biodiesel. He'll get 20 percent biodiesel mixed with 80 percent diesel."

Lewis added that when the in-line blending units are installed at the fuel terminals, fuel truck drivers will be able to choose biodiesel made from different feedstock such as soybean oil or used cooking oil.

According to Lewis, the company will provide biodiesel and installation services. He added that the two projects will cost a combined $3 million, with the grant expected to pay for about 60 percent of the project cost. Pearson Fuels is matching approximately $1.1 million for contributed equipment, Lewis said.
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