The Decker Truck Line and the National Biodiesel Board along with other sponsors are conducting a two year long study of the performance of B20 (20% biodiesel blend) in over the road truck operation. The study, called the "Two Million Mile Haul" had reached the one year mark and has yielded some initial observations.
"Although we have data from only the first year of the study, we are pleased with the results to date," says Don Heck, coordinator of biotechnology and biofuels programs at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, Iowa. "Preliminary results are that B20 biodiesel performs similarly to 100 percent diesel. We found a slight decrease in overall fuel efficiency for the B20 group of trucks, but it was not statistically significant. In fact, the difference was several times smaller than the driver-to-driver variability in fuel efficiency within each group."
The study will also test engine durability with oil analysis being done and the engines being town down for inspection at the conclusion of the study.
"Oil test data shows no appreciable differences between the fuels. We expect that the B20 group of engines will show less wear than the control group," says Heck. At the conclusion of the study, engines from both the control group and B20 group will be torn down for a closer analysis of engine wear.
Trucking study examines biodiesel efficiency
The study also has a website.
Two Million Mile Haul