Sacramento motorists today will be among the first in California to be offered a new “high-performance renewable” diesel fuel – produced largely from recycled plant and animal oils.
This new generation of diesel biofuel, by Redwood City-based Propel Fuels Inc., is manufactured almost entirely from various plant- and animal-based waste, including vegetable oils, animal fats, industrial tallow and restaurant byproducts.
Rob Elam, co-founder and CEO of Propel, said Tuesday that “California carbon market regulation has created a market to attract these renewable fuels.”
According to Propel, renewable diesel fuel can produce up to 70 percent less carbon emissions than petroleum-based diesel.
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The formal launch of the company’s “Diesel HPR” – short for High Performance Renewable – will be at 10:15 a.m. with ribbon-cutting ceremonies at the Propel fueling site at 1101 Broadway in Sacramento. Among those scheduled to speak is Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the California Air Resources Board.
“This renewable diesel joins a growing suite of new, cleaner transportation fuels in California, thanks to our low carbon fuel standard and forward-thinking companies like Propel,” said Nichols in a statement ahead of the official launch.
The new fuel, which is selling for $2.89 a gallon at the Broadway station, can be used in any diesel vehicle.
Propel’s renewable diesel is made overseas in Singapore by Neste Oil Corp., a Finland-based refining and marketing company. According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center, the combustion quality of renewable or “green diesel” results in similar or better vehicle performance compared with conventional diesel fuel.
Propel has 45 fueling stations in California and Washington state, most of which are stand-alone pumps at regular gas stations, such as Chevron, Shell or Valero.
Initially, its Diesel HPR will only be available at 18 fueling sites throughout Sacramento, the Bay Area and Fresno.
In addition to the Broadway station, the new fuel is selling at nine other local locations: 8062 Florin Road and 8090 Folsom Blvd. in Sacramento; 705 Harbor Pointe Place in West Sacramento; 7741 Auburn Blvd. and 7901 Madison Ave. in Citrus Heights; 9190 E. Stockton Blvd. in Elk Grove; 6700 Five Star Blvd. in Rocklin; 999 Sunrise Ave. in Roseville; and 151 Main St. in Placerville.
Propel chief executive officer Elam said similar diesel fuel has been offered in “very low blend rates” in other parts of the nation, “but we think we make the highest-tech diesel in the market.” Diesel HPR is made from 98 percent renewable content, while biodiesel is 20 percent renewable and 80 percent petroleum.