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First Retail Rollout of U.S. High Performance Biomass Diesel Fuel - 18 Stations Launch in California

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According to a report this week by PennEnergy.com, an online news division of PennWell Corp., Tulsa, Oak., USA, Propel Fuels, Sacramento, Cali, USA, has launched what it claims is the North American market's most advanced alternative diesel fuel to date, now fully commercially available for the first time in and across multiple cities in northern parts of the nation's most populated state. Diesel HPR (High Performance Renewable) is now available at brand locations across Northern California. Propel's Diesel HPR uses Neste Oil's NEXBTL renewable diesel, a low-carbon renewable biomass fuel that meets petroleum diesel specifications for use in diesel engines while realizing the benefits of better performance and lower emissions.
 
Diesel HPR will be available initially at 18 Propel locations promoting HPR Diesel in California, including in the mid to slightly large markets in the cities of Sacramento, San Jose, East Bay, Redwood City, and Fresno. To improve real-time customer knowledge of locations for the new (and for now, relatively limited) operation, precise directions and real time pricing will be found on Propel's mobile app available for both the Android and Apple through their app stores, so that the alternative fuel can be found easily - a difficulty alternative fuel suppliers have faced in the past with their hopeful and optimistic (but often frustrated) customer base. A complete list of locations are also available online as of this week.
  
The diesel is refined from biomass (a mixture of sub-par grade managed forest sourced timber logs turned into wood chips, combined with branch thinnings, waste such as saw dust or wood residue collection, and certain crops grown for the energy in their cellulose bodies instead of for food-value). This mixture is processed through Neste Oil's advanced hydrotreating technology it has registered as the NEXBTL formula.
 


Diesel HPR meets the toughest specifications required by automotive and engine manufacturers, enabling the fuel to be used by any diesel vehicle. Diesel HPR is designated as ASTM D-975, the standard for all ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel in the U.S., and is recognized as "CARB diesel" by the California Air Resources Board. Propel reports Diesel HPR provides increased engine power and torque, as well as significant reduction in harmful tailpipe emissions, NOx emissions, and toxic particulates.
 
"Diesel HPR exceeds conventional diesel in power, performance and value," said Rob Elam, CEO and Co-Founder of Propel. "Propel is committed to offering Californians the most advanced low carbon fuels that meet our high standards for quality and value."
 
According to the U.S. Department of Energy's Alternative Fuels Data Center, renewable diesel's high combustion quality results in similar or better vehicle performance compared to conventional diesel, while California Air Resources Board studies show that renewable biomass diesel formulations can reach up to 70% greenhouse gas reduction compared to traditional petroleum (fossil-based) and non-renewable diesel blends currently dominating nearly the entire North American diesel market (except for what small, typically pilot ventures like Propel have tried to establish in limited regions across or within certain U.S. or Canadian states that have been welcoming to their efforts).

Propel hopes to evolve beyond being an experiment or "pilot" station for environmental novelty - through already serious preparation and investment have demonstrated they seem ready to build and expand the biomass, renewable diesel market to be nationally successful in the future - or at least in Northern California where there is a strong market for more renewable, environmentally conscious items - especially including direct energy sources many local consumers proudly purchase.
 
Much could still depend on intangibles such as the eventual cost of global crude prices in the next few years combined with the possibility of eliminating what are currently expensive stages in manufacturing due to initial low market demand for biomass diesel refining technology and accompanying stations that will be able to supply it to diesel vehicle owners across the U.S - and not just in Northern California.
 
Few believe crude prices will stay low enough to keep petroleum diesel affordable long term, making biomass diesel a potential wise investment, but there is also skepticism an infrastructure can ever be built for biomass diesel to be supplied in large enough amounts to meet an increasing demand with enough decline in cost to make it popular and an alternative fuel mainstay by the time newer and potentially even cleaner technologies such as when advanced fuel cells and electric motors are put into wide commercial use over most any and all types of combustion engines. Some environmental groups also do not consider biomass fuel to be good due to the fact it comes primarily from wood / trees, and even when it comes to wood waste, many conservationists do not like natural forest being eliminated so that the buildup of waste exists in the first place.
 
Proponents for biofuels argue that producing the organic and renewable liquid fuel allows for a more seamless transition with trucking and farm equipment crucial to commercial shipping and agricultural operations, pointing out that there is not likely time for any nation to "take time off" and invest in going electric or converting all their equipment to new fuel cell designs, which might remain costly as well for the foreseeable future. Supporters of biomass diesel also point out it is a great alternative fuel for offering high torque and high-density energy generation in a portable combustion engine while still emitting drastically limited emissions vs. petroleum/fossil sources used to make diesel fuel. 
 

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