The Benefits of Biodiesel for the long-haul trucking and logistics industry

lorry driving on road at sunset

Biodiesel has been around for a while, but little has been talked about the huge benefits high-blend biodiesel can bring to the transportation industry, as an immediate solution to lowering emissions. Yes, we all hear about electrification and hydrogen as the future. But what about right now? In the immediate term, high-blend biodiesel, such as B20 (20% biodiesel blended with standard diesel) can be used as a cost-effective solution to your sustainability goals. We’re here to summarise all about biodiesel, and to tell you why high-blend biodiesel is the ideal immediate solution for long-haul trucking and the hard-to-decarbonise sector of Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs).

What is Biodiesel?

Biodiesel is a renewable fuel made from vegetable oils, animal fats, or recycled cooking oils and greases. It is a cleaner burning alternative to conventional diesel fuel and is produced by a chemical process called transesterification. This process involves combining the feedstock used with an alcohol (usually methanol) and a catalyst (such as sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide). For plants like Argent’s that can deal with all sorts of degraded wastes, the distillation of all the biodiesel results in a very pure and clean fuel. Biodiesel is biodegradable, non-toxic and reduces greenhouse gas emissions, making it an environmentally friendly fuel option.

Argent is one of the leading European producers of waste-based biodiesel, this means we avoid the use of crops but instead use designated waste raw materials for all production of biodiesel which have few or no alternative applications and which do not use food or feed resources. Argent biodiesel achieves around a 90% reduction in CO₂ emissions compared to its fossil fuel counterpart, making it an attractive option to businesses wanting to lower their carbon footprint.

The Benefits of Argent Biodiesel for long-haul trucking and the logistics industry

Diesel fuel can be blended with biodiesel. In fact, all diesel currently available on the road is legally required to be what we call a B7, which means up to 7% biodiesel, and 93% diesel.

The key thing is, existing diesel vehicles in the transportation industry can use a range of blended fuel higher than a B7 in their existing engines, without any modifications. This means businesses can use a higher blend, such as a B20 (20 percent biodiesel blend) and therefore immediately reduce their CO₂ emissions by around 27%. We call this high blend fuel and as it’s a ‘drop-in replacement’, it can be used straight away, requiring no changes to existing infrastructure and with little to no cost increase. If your trucks refuel on the road, you can carry on your operations as normal. That’s the great thing about using high-blend fuel as a drop-in replacement.

High-blend fuels can be used to achieve significant greenhouse gas reductions. Overall, biodiesel is a much cleaner burning fuel compared to traditional diesel fuel. It produces significantly fewer emissions of harmful pollutants such as carbon monoxide and particulate matter.

Biodiesel has a higher cetane rating than conventional diesel, which means it ignites more easily and burns more efficiently. This is because the structure of biodiesel contains oxygen which increases the cetane number, resulting in fewer particulates being released and cleaner burning in the engine.

Argent biodiesel is made from natural fatty acids and has inherent detergent properties. As it is a naturally lubricious material, it reduces friction without the use of friction modifiers that are used in fossil fuel-derived diesel. When biodiesel comes into contact with metal surfaces, its structure means it is more surface active than regular diesel fuel, which helps reduce friction.

The environmental benefits of using Argent biodiesel

Biodiesel produces significantly lower emissions of carbon monoxide, particulate matter, and other pollutants compared to conventional diesel. This makes it a more environmentally friendly option for heavy-duty vehicles and the long-haul trucking industry, known to be major contributors to GHG emissions.

Argent Fuels has been supplying high-blend fuel to the long-haul trucking industry since 2008, and was the very first business to start doing this across the UK. Haulage company, Alfred Hymas saved 1,106 tonnes of CO₂ by using Argent’s B20 high-blend fuel. Blended Argent biodiesel can also be used across a range of applications within the transportation industry, such as to bus and coach fleets. Metroline, one of the largest public transport providers in London, for example, have been using a range of Argent’s B20 and B30 and in one year alone, reduced CO₂ emissions by 18,302 tonnes through the use of high blend fuel. To learn more about Metroline’s mission to decarbonise, click here.

Overall, high-blend biodiesel is a favourable alternative to conventional diesel fuel for the long-haul trucking industry. A cost effective and drop-in replacement, high-blend biodiesel allows operators to significantly reduce their carbon footprint, with little to no disruption; all whilst benefiting the environment.

Whilst the electrification of vehicles is now underway, high-blend biodiesel serves as an immediate solution for existing hard-to-decarbonise vehicles that are still on the road and will be for years to come.

If you would like to learn more about Argent blended fuel and see the options available, the Argent Fuels team are on hand to answer any questions you may have. Argent can offer blends from B7 to B30, and everything else in between. The fuels team of experts can work closely with you to create a sustainable and cost-effective fuel strategy to meet your own business requirements.

If you think Argent Fuels can help you decarbonise your fleet helping you get closer towards Net-Zero emissions, request a callback using the short form below.

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