What You Need To Know About Renewable Diesel

As we continue to see the effects of climate change, consumers are calling for alternative clean energy sources. Seeking to reduce carbon emissions and help the environment, some businesses switched to solar or wind energy. However, many companies rely on fuel or petroleum diesel to sustain their operations, especially in a power outage.

Renewable diesel is one of the many solutions to help reduce your carbon emissions. Learn more about renewable diesel below and how your business can benefit from making the switch.

What Is Renewable Diesel?

Renewable diesel, also known as hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO), has a near identical chemical structure as petroleum diesel but doesn’t rely on fossil fuels. Instead, renewable diesel is a renewable and sustainable fuel. Like biodiesel, renewable diesel repurposes animal fat and oils from plants like soybeans and canola to make fuel.

Though new on the market compared to other alternative fuel types, renewable diesel is gaining popularity thanks to its lower emissions and strong performance. The U.S. Energy Information Administration expects the renewable diesel market to triple by the end of 2023.

How Is Renewable Diesel Made?

The production of renewable diesel is similar to the process for petroleum diesel. Once a refinery receives the vegetable oil or feedstock, it treats them to remove impurities.

High-pressure hydrogen (hydrocracking) reduces molecule size and introduces hydrogen. The refining process further separates water and removes oxygen particles. The refinery then measures the product’s compatibility with existing engines and infrastructure to ensure it performs as expected.

The final step of the process separates the materials into a finished product. Once the fuel is complete, the refineries distribute it among their consumers.

How Does Renewable Diesel Differ From Other Fuels?

Renewable diesel has unique differences from other fuels, particularly petroleum diesel and biodiesel:

  • Petroleum diesel: While petroleum and renewable diesel share the same chemical structures, renewable diesel is a cleaner form of fuel that releases less carbon when burned. Biodiesel also doesn’t require crude oil mining, providing another environmental benefit. Since the chemical makeup of renewable and petroleum diesel is the same, you can use renewable diesel in engines that run on traditional diesel blending.
  • Biodiesel: The presence of oxygen in biodiesel can attract hydrogen atoms and creates water, which can freeze in colder climates. The renewable diesel production process removes oxygen, making it suitable for environments where biofuel would freeze.


The Benefits of Renewable Diesel

Renewable diesel’s main advantage is that it drastically reduces carbon emissions compared to petroleum diesel. Fewer carbon emissions help keep the atmosphere intact and limit the effects of climate change. Reducing your emissions also helps improve the air quality in your area.

In addition to lower emissions, renewable diesel offers several benefits:

  • Interchangeable with petroleum diesel
  • Enhances performance
  • Compatible with traditional diesel engines
  • Longer life spans and improved storage potential
  • Burns cleaner than petroleum diesel and biodiesel

Switching to renewable diesel can also qualify businesses for the federal biodiesel tax credit (BTC). The BTC applies to biodiesel as renewable identification numbers (RINs) do to renewable diesel, offsetting those fuels’ higher costs to encourage greener energy consumption. All biodiesel and renewable diesel products that meet ASTM standards qualify for the $1.00 BTC tax credit per gallon and businesses can deduct the tax credit from their overall tax liability.

Some states also have incentives for businesses that switch to renewable diesel.

How Much Does Renewable Diesel Cost?

The price of renewable diesel varies by location due to availability and distribution costs. However, federal incentives like the BTC and RINs help offset the costs and make the switch to renewable diesel a worthwhile investment. Renewable diesel requires less maintenance than other types of fuel, which can help reduce costs for business owners.

Renewable diesel is relatively new in the market and starting to emerge as a popular form of renewable fuel. As renewable diesel grows in popularity, states are more likely to adopt incentives to help reduce renewable fuel costs for businesses. Several states, including California, offer additional savings through low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) credits.

More and more states are looking to offer tax incentives to businesses that switch to clean energy like renewable diesel. The potential for these incentives and the existing federal tax credits make switching to renewable diesel an attractive option for many companies.

Where to Buy Renewable Diesel

As the market for renewable diesel grows, its availability is growing as well. Many fuel suppliers are starting to offer renewable diesel as part of their services in response to businesses looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint.

If you’re looking to switch to renewable diesel, consider your local supplier. Foster Fuels is one of Virginia’s leading wholesale fuel distributors, with a national fueling network and strategic operations in North Carolina, Arizona, Texas and Florida. As a wholesale fuel supplier, we let you buy your renewable diesel in bulk at a lower price per gallon than the market price.

The Uses of Renewable Diesel

Since renewable diesel works similarly to petroleum diesel, you can use renewable diesel with any traditional diesel engine. Diesel engines are popular in various industries, such as the military sector, agriculture, construction, healthcare and telecommunication. Many of these industries use diesel engines as part of a generator system to help sustain power during an outage.

Is Renewable Diesel Right for You?

Renewable diesel is a reliable alternative if you’re looking for a clean energy source to power the diesel engines for your heavy machinery, generators and more. Federal incentives including BTCs and RINs make switching competitive when upgrading to a greener fuel. If you live in a state with LCFS incentives for renewable diesel, it’s even more beneficial to make the switch.

If you’re looking for a cleaner fuel with virtually the same performance quality as petroleum diesel reduced emissions, consider switching to renewable diesel. You’ll be helping the environment on top of the many other benefits renewable diesel offers.

Renewable Diesel from Foster Fuels

Foster Fuels is a family-owned business dedicated to ensuring you have the fuel you need to continue your daily operations. We can help you switch out your diesel tank or install a new one, and we provide tank monitoring to ensure your tank is performing as it should. We also offer autofill services, so you don’t have to worry about calling when your tank runs low.

Our drivers will check your tank when they’re in the area and bill you as they fill, so you can rest assured that you have the fuel you need to run your business. Set up a fuel delivery today, or contact us to learn more about our services and how we can help you make the switch with bulk renewable diesel.