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Biodiesel for Retailers

Table of Contents

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Who must sell biodiesel?

If you are a retail dealer, non-retail dealer (e.g., cardlock operator) or wholesale purchaser/ consumer (e.g., fleet fueling facility), located in the City of Portland and selling or dispensing fuel to an end user, then you are required by the Portland Renewable Fuel Standard to sell diesel that contains a minimum of five percent biodiesel (known as B5).
If you are a retail dealer selling diesel that contains 20 percent biodiesel or higher, then you can also sell regular petroleum diesel on the same site.

Does dispensing equipment or the storage tank need to be modified when using B5?

No modifications are needed for a B5 blend. B5 should be handled as regular diesel with an additive.
 

What steps should I take to ensure my storage tanks are in good working condition?

While you are not required to take any steps to prepare your tanks for B5, the following preventive measures are recommended:
  • Prior to receiving B5, consume the existing product in the tank down as low as possible.
  • Before adding B5 to your system, check and remove water or sediment from the bottom of the tank.
  • Monitor your tank and product lines and conduct periodic testing to ensure the system is in good working order.
  • Replace any clogged fuel filters in the system from the tank to the dispenser.

Should I be concerned about my fuel filters?

No. Unlike higher blends of biodiesel (higher than B20) which can have solvent-like properties and can cause fuel filter issues, B5 is too diluted to have that effect.
However, ultra low sulfur diesel has been found to cause sediment to accumulate in the storage tank, which can break loose and enter the supply line. Therefore it is always good practice to filter your diesel.
 

Can any diesel engine use B5?

Yes. B5 can be used in any diesel engine without modification. In fact, biodiesel improves the lubricity of diesel fuel (especially ultra low sulfur diesel) which enhances engine performance and can prolong engine life. All engine manufacturers accept B5 as a standard fuel.
 

How should I handle B5?

Since B5 is considered to be regular diesel with an additive, follow the normal handling guidelines for petroleum diesel.
 

Do I have to change the labels on my pumps?

Yes. Biodiesel blends like B5 must be identified by the capital letter B followed by the numerical value representing the volume percentage of biodiesel fuel, ending with "Biodiesel Blend". For example, "B5 Biodiesel Blend".

For more information on labeling requirements, check the Renewable Fuel Standard Administrative Rules.
 

Does it matter what kind of B5 I use?

Yes. All of the biodiesel sold in the City of Portland must meet ASTM quality standards (D 6751). Additionally, biodiesel produced from palm oil may not be used to comply with the requirements of the Renewable Fuel Standard. If you have any questions, check with your distributor about quality testing and biodiesel feedstock sources.
 

Am I required to keep any documentation?

Yes. As a fuel vendor or Marketer you are required to keep the last three invoices, bills of lading, shipping paper or other documentation for each product being sold to comply with the Renewable Fuel Standard. This documentation must state the number of gallons and biodiesel blend you received. In addition, for the biodiesel blended products you sell, you are required to keep the last three Certificates of Analysis stating the biodiesel product meets ASTM quality standards (D 6751).

Your fuel distributor should provide you with all of this documentation upon delivery of the product. For more information on documentation requirements, see the Renewable Fuel Standard Administrative Rules.

What should I tell my customers?

You have an important role in educating your customers. Feel free to provide them with the B5 Biodiesel Basics handout. Assure them that B5 performs well, is cleaner burning and actually benefits their engines by reducing wear and tear. You can tell your customers that the City of Portland has enacted the Renewable Fuel Standard to promote energy independence, health benefits, and economic development.
 

Where can I get more information about the Renewable Fuel Standard?

If you have additional questions about the Renewable Fuel Standard, contact Crystle Cowen with Portland’s Bureau of Development Services at 503-823-7820.
 

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