Biodiesel and SVO Forums Home
Are there any advantages of using biodiesel over CNG in trucks

This topic can be found at:

September 08, 2015, 04:27 PM
Are there any advantages of using biodiesel over CNG in trucks
Are there any advantages of using biodiesel over CNG in trucks & Buses?
September 08, 2015, 06:56 PM
john galt
any advantages? yes.

September 08, 2015, 09:44 PM
CNG is not widely available enough to be a viable fuel around here. In my small city -- 100,000 full-time residential population, over 250,000 counting commuters during working hours -- there is one CNG station that exists pretty much solely to service a fleet of twenty or thirty butt-ugly VPG MV-1 van taxis, which only have a 290-mile range on a full tank. I think the company has a few CNG-converted Crown Vics in the fleet as well.

Best I can tell, the cab company only stays in business through federal grants for acquiring those vans and the associated CNG station, plus transporting people subsidized by various other programs.

On the biodiesel side, B100 or B99 is commercially unavailable where I live. Back when I was in Houston, there were two stations selling it -- one in the central part of town, and one south. I think only the central station is still operating. Many standard D2 pumps have notices that the diesel "may contain up to xx% biodiesel" -- usually B5 around here, though once in a while you'll see a B10 or B20 notice. It is my strong suspicion that in reality, it's almost always straight D2 from the nozzle.

Cheers, John

This message has been edited. Last edited by: dukegrad98,
September 09, 2015, 03:33 AM
Thanks John for your reply. But I wanted to know if there are any technical advantages, and not from convenience or availability point of view, of using bio-diesel as compared to using CNG in commercial vehicles like Trucks, Buses, Taxis etc. The technical advantages may be in terms of Pollutants, GHG, better efficiency/ more mileage etc. as compared to CNG.

CNG is being used as green fuel in commercial fleet at many places and if we want to convince using bio-diesel as the green fuel in place of CNG, we have to prove it in technical terms.

September 09, 2015, 09:32 AM
SKR -- understand where you're coming from. Where I sit, there is zero point in studying the inapplicable and impractical. I don't care if biodiesel gets widespread adoption or not -- the commercial side of the industry essentially would not exist without tax credits, and even then most producers are struggling. One that used to participate here on the forum is now belly-up and closed; we read regularly about RIN fraud from others. I have no vested interest in supporting an industry that cannot economically self-sustain and which is propped up by government money.

As John Galt will be glad to tell you, burning high biodiesel blends is not the answer to any problem -- it would be far better to mandate that the entire biodiesel production capacity be blended with petro diesel to reduce emissions and so forth. And then there's the whole food-vs-fuel argument when it comes to feedstock. It's all been beaten to death, here and elsewhere.

Why would I want biodiesel to replace CNG? I don't think that supposedly green fuels have to be mutually exclusive in use or application. Plus, you may not want to discuss practical issues, but the global supply of biodiesel is miniscule in comparison to total fuel consumption. CNG does not suffer that drawback, particularly where I live.

Cheers, John
September 09, 2015, 01:20 PM
Thanks, dukegrad98, for your valuable feedback.
Cheers, SKR
September 10, 2015, 01:46 AM
john galt
it would be far better to mandate that the entire biodiesel production capacity be blended with petro diesel to reduce emissions

That's essentially what Canada did. The govt mandated a minimum 5% BD in all motor diesel fuel and let the fuel producers and distributors find the best way to meet the demand. This utilizes all domestic biodiesel production from non-food-grade oilseed and other food production 'waste', as well as UVO from restaurants in the cities. It's become a value-added by-product for the companies that process oilseed and produce animal feed. These companies can apply for government loans and tax deductions just like any other company. The minimum percent is set to increase when more domestic production is established.

This avoids the over regulation that leads to corruption and gaming the government for subsidies. The USA has demonstrated how to kill a biodiesel industry while appearing to do something 'green'.

To achieve the least pollution and greatest sustainability for the transportation sector, then electrify as much as possible, power it with hydro and thorium fuel nuclear, and stop burning coal. Thorium is the most viable energy source for the future, given current population trends, and we've had the technology available to do it since the 60s. 'Unfortunately', thorium fuel reactors don't produce weapons grade plutonium as a useful by-product, and therefor thorium fuel has never been as popular as uranium.

We have the technology to solve our energy problems, however we don't have the political will in a popularity-contest government to do what's best for the future.

CNG/LNG offer the best short term reduction in transportation sector pollution where they can be used. Mandating CNG/LNG fueled transportation for urban regions would significantly reduce air pollution.

No biofuel could meet the current and projected demand for transportation fuel.

Making biodiesel is a nice hobby for those few who can find a good source of UVO. However it's impractical at a scale larger than fueling a small business or farmstead.

September 13, 2015, 10:22 AM
Compressed natural gas is NOT a green fuel.. It is a clean burning fuel but at the end of any evaluation, burning CNG means you are bringing up carbon from petroleum sources and releasing it into the atmosphere.

Biodiesel is not as "clean" as CNG, but it is greener as the only carbon it releases into the atmosphere is that which the plant used from the atmosphere.

The best Do-it-Yourself Construction Plans on the Internet!
Waste Oil Heating - Biodiesel Systems
Biodiesel Pumps Made In The USA
October 11, 2015, 08:18 AM
Legal Eagle
However it's impractical at a scale larger than fueling a small business or farmstead.

Which was Rudolf Diesel's original vision.It was to empower the little guy, not open up a new wide ranging commercial venue.

** Biodiesel Glycerine Soap - The Guide
- on 5 continents helping people make & sell soap from the Biodiesel Glycerine.