Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Letter to Coop Members - gelling issues

Dear Members,

As you may know, a number of Members have had trouble with biodiesel over the past few weeks. We believe these problems are caused by the high temperature gel point of the current batch of biodiesel. It is important to note that the biodiesel is good quality - it will not damage your engine - but is vulnerable to cold weather. We are working to correct this problem by "winterizing" the fuel.

If you recently purchased biodiesel from the coop and still have a significant amount in your tank, we strongly recommend taking the following actions:

1. Top off your tank with regular #2 diesel fuel or #1 diesel fuel (kerosene) if available.

2. Get some Arctic Express (by Power Systems) fuel additive and double the recommended treatment.

We are working with our supplier to replace our current fuel and to get our winter mix of soy oil and kerosene. This worked well all last winter and should allow us to resume our normal operations. We plan to institute a more vigerous testing and monitoring regimine to ensure that Members always get the highest quality fuel that is properly mixed during the winter months.

We apologize to our members who had problems with gelling fuel, and we are discussing ways in which we can use a small allocation of coop funding to help defray a portion of the costs incurred . For all members who did have troubles, please send a note to me directly (

While the problems with gelling fuel were not realted to the quality of the fuel (it is good quality), we've decided this is a good opportunity to take additional steps to ensure that the fuel quality remains high. In the next week or so, we will be installing a new filtration system that will clean and "polish" the fuel daily.

We hope to have the winterized fuel and the new filtration system in place as soon as possible. Until then, we appreciate your patience and look forward to filling your cars up again real soon.

Warmest regards,

Davis Bookhart
President, Baltimore Biodiesel Coop


Well Left said...

John Shepley has volunteered to remove the current biodiesel from the coop tank.
McComas Fuel company will provide our winter blend (50% kerosene, 50% biodiesel) tomorrow.
We will be able to set the winter price based on this delivery- unfortunately kerosene is much more expensive than biodiesel, so our price may be near to $4.00 per gallon.

Well Left said...

Our winter blend is genius- kerosene has virtually no wax content. Wax is what gums up filters in trucks up north when temps drop well below zero (F, -18C).

Biodiesel provides the lubricity that kerosene lacks.
Kudos to the technical committee for basicly inventing this mixture. Very few people are running B50 blends in the winter, yet we had few problems last year.

Well Left said...