Biodiesel advocates have worked towards allowing biodiesel shipments in pipelines, which they hoped would boost the fuel's acceptance in the marketplace. Biodiesel producer World Energy Alternatives has successfully shipped 75,000 barrels of B5 biodiesel through a common carrier pipeline.
The segregated batch was sent in August from Houston to Linden, NJ, but an announcement waited until the results of extensive testing became available, say World Energy executives.
“We are very pleased the B5 batch traveled the distance without any downgrading,” World Energy CEO and Founder Gene Gebolys says. “We set out to demonstrate that it's time to include biodiesel in the family of fuels that can travel safely on our nation's pipelines, and we succeeded.”
The biodiesel was supplied via barge to a pipeline shipper's tank, where it was blended to a B5 level with a No. 2 low-sulfur diesel fuel.
Most common carrier pipelines, such as those operated by Colonial Pipeline and Kinder Morgan, ship jet fuel. Refiners are proprietary about what goes into their jet fuel, and because biodiesel has a potential to corrupt those properties, there is a reticence to ship the two fuels in the same pipeline.