Biodiesel is a domestic, renewable and low CO2 fuel with benign tail pipe emissions. In the Pacific Northwest, B99 was the fuel of choice for dozens of fleets.

BioDiesel Feedstocks – Borage Oil & Camelina Oil 150 150 Star Oilco

BioDiesel Feedstocks – Borage Oil & Camelina Oil

This post continues our deeper look into different types of feedstock that Renewable Energy Group (REG) studied in 2009 in the Feedstock and Biodiesel Characteristics Report.  Different feedstocks give the resulting B100 biodiesel different characteristics.   This week’s two oils are Borage Oil and Camelina Oil.  If you would like to learn more about some of the other feedstocks please visit the main page of feedstocks we have looked at so far.

Borage Oil

Borage oil comes from the plant, Borago officinalis, also known as starflower. Borage officinalis Plant (starflower)The starflower is easily grown in average, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to light shade. In addition this plant tolerates poor soils and drought. It is native to Mediterranean region and is an annual that will continue to propagate itself in a garden by reseeding. The plant grows to 2 to 3 feet tall and the flowers are commonly blue, although pink and white flowers are commonly cultivated.  The flowering season is relatively long from June to September and in milder climates the starflower will bloom for most of the year.

The leaves are edible and the plant is commercially cultivated for its oil.  As a fresh vegetable it is said to have a cucumber-like taste and the flowers have a sweet taste.  It has the highest value of γ-linolenic acid in any readily available specialty oil.

Certificate of Analysis of Borage Oil. Borage Oil sample and Borage Biodiesel sample

Camelina Oil

Camelina oil comes from the plant, Camelina sativa, a member of the mustard family and a distant relative to canola. It is an annual flowering plant that grows well in temperate climates and it also has the common names of gold-of-pleasure and false flax. Camelina SativaThis flowering plant is native to Europe and Central Asian areas. Camelina plants grow from 1 to 3 feet tall, are heavily branched and produce seed pods with many small, oily seeds. Some varieties of camelina contain 38-40 % oil. Camelina can be grown in arid conditions and does not require significant amounts of fertilizer.

According to science direct:

“Camelina is adaptable to many different environmental conditions… Camelina an ideal crop for use on less productive lands and in areas without sufficient rainfall to support other crops. When produced under these circumstances, Camelina would not be displacing crops used for food production and positively addresses the food for fuel debate that often plagues the use of crop oils for fuel production.”

Camelina only requires a short growing season and they are fast growing. In 2009, the Navy purchased 40,000 gallons of jet fuel derived from camelina.

The oil is high in omega-3 fatty acid. This makes the oil great for biofuels and the resulting leftover meal a good option for livestock feed. Other uses for this plant consist of the oils being used in cosmetics, burnt in lamps, and herbal medicine. The seeds are edible and can be eaten raw in salads or mixed with water to create an egg substitute.


Camelina Oil Chart - Certificate of Analysis Camelina Oil and Camelina BioDiesel


Next weeks biodiesel feedstocks are Algae Oil and Canola Oil.

What Types of Feedstock Can Be Used To Make Biodiesel? 150 150 Star Oilco

What Types of Feedstock Can Be Used To Make Biodiesel?

To answer what feedstocks can be used to make biodiesel we need to first answer – What is Biodiesel?

Biodiesel is created through a process called transesterification.  Transecterification is when an alcohol such as methanol or ethanol is added to an oil or fat.  This creates methyl esters and glycerin.  Methyl esters is the scientific name of Biodiesel.  Because biodiesel needs a fat or an oil to start with, this fuel can can be created with any number of feedstocks.  If you would like to learn more about Biodiesel check out this for more questions about biodiesel.

According to the U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy:

“A feedstock is defined as any renewable, biological material that can be used directly as a fuel, or converted to another form of fuel or energy product. Biomass feedstocks are the plant and algal materials used to derive fuels like ethanol, butanol, biodiesel, and other hydrocarbon fuels. Examples of biomass feedstocks include corn starch, sugarcane juice, crop residues  such as corn stover and sugarcane bagasse, purpose-grown grass crops, and woody plants. “

Renewable Energy Group (REG) performed a study in 2009 with the support of the Iowa Power Fund Board and the Iowa Office of Energy Independence that tested 36 individual feed-stocks.  Star Oilco will be spotlighting these feedstocks through our blog and our social media. The full report can be found on their site if you would like to read ahead or explore the results in more depth. We hope you find these as interesting as we did!

Bio-diesel and Feed-stock samples at REG

Above photo taken at REG headquarters in Ames, Iowa.

This first blog highlights the following 2 types of feed-stock:

Babussa Oil & Beef Tallow

Babassu Oil

Attalea speciosa

Babassu oil is extracted from the seeds of the babassu palm tree, Attalea speciosa, an evergreen tree growing to 30 m (98ft) by 20 m (65ft) at a slow rate. It is hardy to zone (UK) 10 and is not frost tender. The flowers are pollinated by bees and other insects. The tree is common in Brazil, Mexico, and Honduras; it grows well in areas typically cultivated for coconut or palm. The kernels contain 60-70% oil, appear transparent, and smell like walnuts. In its natural form the oil is liquid at 20-30°C (68 – 86°F). The seeds are edible and the oil is used in margarine, soaps, detergents, lamp oil and skin products. Oil extraction results in a cake containing 15-25% protein (depending on the shell content), which is a valuable feedstuff.

In February 2008, Babassu palm oil and coconut oil were blended with jet fuel to power a Virgin Atlantic Boeing 747 during a test flight from London’s Heathrow to Amsterdam.

Babassu oil is extracted from the seeds of the babassu palm treeBabassu Oil Chart

Beef Tallow

Tallow is a rendered form of the waste fats and greases from processing beef. Rendering is a process by which lipid material is separated from meat tissue and water under heat and pressure. Beef tallow is primarily made up of triglycerides and it is solid at room temperature. The B100 that is created from this source has a very high cloud point. “Cloud point is the temperature at which wax (paraffin) begins to separate when oil chilled to a low temperature, and it serves as an important indicator of practical performance in automotive applications in low temperatures.”  (Source)  The other uses for tallow include animal feed, soap, cooking and in the past, candles.

Beef Tallow Animal tissue is converted to tallow using rendering; a process by which lipid material is separated from meat tissue and water under heat and pressure.Beef Tallow Chart


Article 2 Feedstock : Borage Oil & Camelina Oil

Article 3 Feedstock : Algae Oil & Canola Oil.

Article 4 Feedstock : Castor Oil and Choice White Grease

Article 5 Feedstock : Coconut Oil and Coffee Oil

Article 6 Feedstock : Evening Primrose Oil and Fish Oil

Article 7 Feedstocks : Hemp Oil & High IV and Low IV Hepar

Article 8 Feedstocks : Jatropha Oil, Jojoba Oil, & Karania Oil

Article 9 Feedstocks : Lesquerella Oil & Linseed Oil

Article 10 Feedstocks – Moringa Oil & Neem Oil

Article 11 Feedstocks – Palm Oil & Perilla Seed Oil

Article 12 Feedstocks – Poultry Fat & Rice Bran Oil

Article 13 Feedstocks – Soybean Oil & Stillingia Oil

Article 14 Feedstocks – Sunflower Oil & Tung Oil

Oregon Biodiesel and Ethanol Fuel Mandates 150 150 Star Oilco

Oregon Biodiesel and Ethanol Fuel Mandates

Oregon Biofuel Blending Requirements for Gasoline and Diesel.

Oregon law has a 5% Biodiesel and 10% Ethanol fuel blend mandate.

In Oregon, you can expect to buy a biofuel with every gallon of gas or diesel, whether you are buying at a retail pump or commercially delivered bulk fuel. Unless you are expressly seeking out a ethanol-free premium unleaded or off road heating oil expressly free of biodiesel, you can expect the fuel will have a low carbon blend of biofuel in it.

Why does Oregon have biofuel blended in every gallon of fuel?

There are several layers of rules, requirements, and incentives placing a minimum of 5% biodiesel blend in diesel and a 10% ethanol blend in gasoline. The City of Portland’s Bureau of Development Services provides information and resources on the background of both Portland and Oregon’s requirements.

Oregon state has a 5% blend mandate for all diesel fuels sold statewide. Portland has its own standard of for 5% biofule in diesel, which is slightly different but functionally the same as the states. Oregon’s standard requires B5/R5 if it’s sold into  machinery (dyed off road or clear on road diesel), which requires a 5% biofuel component. In the  formation of this Oregon statewide mandate, renewable diesel was considered acceptable.

Oregon also has a 10% ethanol blend mandate for all gasoline fuels with a few exceptions. Portland has this same rule as it mandated ethanol blends prior to Oregon state. Oregon has exceptions for ethanol-free premium unleaded.  (Warning: the City of Portland has no exemption for non-oxygenated premium fuels) though there are some sellers of it. Oregon state’s exceptions being premium gasoline for aviation and non-ethanol premium gasoline sold at retail gas stations. This was adopted later after the initial Renewable Fuel Standard mandates. Portland did not follow Oregon with this flexibility for small engine or classic car enthusiasts seeking non-ethanol fuel.

The rules that drive biofuel use in Oregon’s fuel:

The City of Portland has its own Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) which is seen in Portland City Code Chapter 16.60 Motor Vehicle Fuels. This RFS requires all diesel sold (either commercial or retail fuel) to contain a minimum 5% biodiesel (specifically methyl-ester molecule). The RFS also requires all gasoline sold (either commercial or retail gas stations) to contain a 10% blend of ethanol. In addition to this fuel blend requirement, Portland also has requirements for the original feedstock biodiesel is made from. Portland requires that 50% of the biodiesel feedstock be sourced from recycled vegetable oil, canola oil, and a few other types available in the Pacific NW.

The State of Oregon has its own Renewable Fuel Standard. It is less restrictive than Portland’s, allowing renewable diesel or biodiesel to meet its 5% blend requirement. You can find the law in Oregon Revised Statute 646.922. The Oregon RFS also requires a 10% ethanol to be blended with gasoline. There is an exception for premium gasoline to be ethanol-free.  This fuel is commonly called “Non-Oxy Premium” or “Clear Premium” by those seeking to order it.

If you want more information on successfully using Biodiese and Ethanol in your fleet.

If your fleet is seeking to succeed with biofuels, here are some great resources to learn more about biodiesel, ethanol,  and renewable diesel fuels.

If you have questions about biofuels, Star Oilco can help. Do not hesitate to reach out if you have questions, even if you are not in our market. We want you to be successful in your fleet.  We are here to help.

Contact Form

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Oregon-Made Biodiesel 700 394 Star Oilco

Oregon-Made Biodiesel

Low CO2 Biodiesel Made from Waste Vegetable Oil in Salem, Oregon.

B20 Biodiesel A PROVEN FUEL

Star Oilco is a proud seller of locally-sourced biodiesel products.

We believe in biodiesel and run B20 in our own fleet. Star Oilco has been a pioneer in successful fleet demonstration of B20 and blends up to B99 in a host of applications for over a decade. There is no lower cost way to reduce your CO2 emissions than by substituting petroleum diesel with a recycled vegetable oil feedstock biodiesel blend. It is a drop in solution that requires awareness in your fleet maintenance concern — but beyond that is a very low barrier to use.

We have worked with our vendor for recycled oil biodiesel, SeQuential Biofuels, since 2004.

SeQuential Biofuels collects feed stocks collected from deep fryers and food processors throughout the Pacific Northwest to make the lowest CO2 biodiesel fuel in Oregon. If you are seeking to reduce your carbon footprint, biodiesel is your drop in solution. Ready and approved by every manufacturer for on- and off-road vehicles at a 20% biodiesel blend.

How can we help you move forward?  

We are here to help you be successful with biodiesel, even if you are not our customer. Let us know if you have questions or if we can be of help.

Simply call us at 503-283-1256 or contact us using the form below.

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Fixing the problems with bugs growing in your diesel 150 150 Star Oilco

Fixing the problems with bugs growing in your diesel

What to do about Biological Growth in Diesel Fuel.

Fuel Marketer News has two great articles on biological growth in fuel tanks. Star Oilco as a diesel fuel delivery provider in Oregon and Washington is all to familiar with this emerging problem with ultra-low sulfur bio-diesel blend fuels.

Where there is water, bugs can grow in diesel.

The Fuel Marketer News articles below:

Fuel System Bugs Drain Revenue, and
Bugs Cause Fuel System Damage (part 2)

These articles in a nutshell are about the costs, impact, and ongoing effect of bugs growing in fuel as a real industry issue. If you have filters clogging in your fleet–much like a heart attack–it’s not a symptom, it’s a late-stage problem. Clogged filters slow down your fleet fueling and add serious cost to your vehicle maintenance. Lost power on the highway also slows your drivers down, escalating the drain on efficiency fuel that bugs may be causing.

Star Oilco can cure these problems, both with stopping hum-bug growing in your diesel tanks, as well as ensuring that the water those fuel bugs live in stops migrating into your tank. We will help you solve diesel fuel quality issues.

The first step is for Star Oilco to test the bottom of your fuel tank, as well as take a representative nozzle sample that would go into your trucks. We will show you where your fuel quality is today and come up with a collaborative way to move that into exceeding ASTM diesel specification, as well as aligning with engine manufacturer’s ISO specifications for diesel fuel cleanliness.

If you have questions about fuel quality assurance, Star Oilco has solutions. Left unattended, your diesel fuel will grow bugs, alga, yeasts, and other biological active destroyers of fuel quality. If you need to treat your fuel to kill humbugs like these, Star Oilco recommends Bioguard Plus 6 as your go-to solution. It is both a biocide that kills the bugs growing in fuel, as well as a heavy duty detergent to clean up other deposits as well.

Star Oilco Precision Fuel Management tank test request form below:

Tank Testing Form

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Sustainability 150 150 Star Oilco


Star Oilco’s Commitment to Sustainability

What is biodiesel? Is it the same as raw vegetable oil?

Biodiesel is a cleaner burning diesel fuel made from vegetable oil. Simply stated, a biodiesel molecule is a                                                              vegetable oil molecule with the glycerol removed. Chemically, biodiesel is defined as a mono-alkyl ester of                                                           vegetable oil.

Biodiesel is NOT the same as raw vegetable oil or straight vegetable oil (SVO). Diesel engines actually can                                                             operate on straight vegetable oil (SVO) as a fuel. In fact, Rudolf Diesel’s first compression ignition (Diesel)                                                            engine introduced in 1895 used peanut oil as its fuel. Modern diesel equipment, however, requires some                                                          modification to burn straight vegetable oil, and it is yet unclear the effects of straight vegetable oil on diesel                                                         engine performance and longevity.

Will biodiesel void my engine warranty?

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, “Original Engine Manufactures (OEM) provide a material and workmanship warranty on their products. Such warranties do not cover damage caused by external conditions, such as fuel. Thus, if an engine using biodiesel experiences a failure unrelated to the biodiesel use, it MUST be covered by the OEM’s warranty. Federal law prohibits the voiding of a warranty just because biodiesel was used – it has to be the cause of the failure. If an engine experiences a failure caused by biodiesel (or any other external condition, such as bad diesel fuel), it will not be covered by the OEM’s warranty.”

Star Oilco distributes only commercially produced biodiesel that meets ASTM D6751-03 specification – a demanding fuel testing regimen that guarantees the fuel will perform properly in your engine.

Biodiesel is considered an additive in blends less than 6% (B5). Petroleum diesel with 5% biodiesel added still meets ASTM specifications for #2 petroleum diesel fuel. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory and numerous states and federal fleets, including all branches of the U.S. Military, have performed more than 40 million miles of road testing on B20. The results of which have only been positive.

Fleets such as Yellowstone National Park and the City of Berkeley (CA) Solid Waste Management Division have had great success running diesel vehicles on pur biodiesel (B100).

Does biodiesel cost more than petroleum diesel?

Yes. The current retail price for on road B99 is $3.29 per gallon. Our customers pay a premium for biodiesel to support domestic energy sources and because of environmental concerns. Many biodiesel users experience a lower maintenance cost when they use biodiesel.

Can I use Oregon produced biodiesel?

Yes! In fact, the biodiesel you purchase through Star Oilco is produced right here in Oregon! Sequential Biofuels opened their first plant in Salem, OR in July 2005. This plant will produce 1 million gallons of biodiesel annually from waste vegetable oil. Oil sources include the Salem Kettle Chips plant. Country singer Willie Nelson is an investor in the effort.

Does biodiesel provide similar miles per gallon, torque, and horsepower?

In terms of energy contained in the fuel, a gallon of biodiesel contains slightly less energy than a gallon of petroleum diesel. For example, B20 tends to reduce fuel economy by approximately 1%. B20 users rarely report changes in torque or power. With B100, torque, power and fuel economy can be reduced by approximately 8%. However, the increased lubricity of biodiesel may help to counteract this energy difference. Some drivers report better performance with biodiesel, but most do not notice any difference.

Can I switch back and forth between diesel and biodiesel?

Yes! Biodiesel is the ultimate flexible fuel, so you can switch back and forth between biodiesel and petroleum diesel whenever necessary. Also, you can blend biodiesel with petroleum diesel in any percentage.

Is biodiesel safe to handle?

Yes! Biodiesel is ten times less toxic than table salt and biodegrades faster than sugar. The EPA has tested biodiesel’s health effects extensively and has classified it as a non-toxic substance that poses absolutely no threat to human health. Biodiesel is such a clean fuel that it is used to remediate petroleum spills in water.

Can I use biodiesel in an oil furnace (to heat my home)?

Yes! Biodiesel can be used in any diesel application. Oil #2 is the primary heating oil sold in the U.S. It is essentially the same as the diesel sold at gas stations, but contains much more of the pollutant sulfur. Sulfur contributes to acid rain formation, as well as the creation of nitrous oxides and particulate matter, both of which have serious air quality and human health impacts.

Biodiesel is just as warm as regular heating oil, but will help keep both the furnace and the air cleaner. It reduces the oily smell of the liquid fuel and makes the exhaust coming from the chimney smell better – a little like French fries. Pure biodiesel is biodegradable, and it is far less toxic than diesel. With a higher flash point, it is also less of a fire hazard. Biodiesel reduces emissions of cancer-causing compounds by up to 50%, and emissions of nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and hydrocarbons by approximately 20%.

Do I have to modify my furnace to use biodiesel?

No. B20 requires no modification to your heating system. However, biodiesel is a solvent, and will actually clean heating oil tanks and all fuel-wetted parts of a furnace. Because of this, users may experience clogging of the furnace fuel filter early on. Fuel filters are cheap and easy to replace, and the problem will end once the system is cleaned out.

If your heating oil tank is outside and/or underground,Star Oilco will only deliver B20 home heating oil. If your heating oil tank is located inside and above ground, Star Oilco will deliver B20 or B99.

Can biodiesel replace petroleum diesel?

For most of the 20th century, petroleum diesel has been consumed as though it would last forever. Experts disagree about how much petroleum is left and how long it will last. They do agree, however, that less new oil will be found and that prices will increase. Because biodiesel is “home-grown”, it provides energy security. Biodiesel can be produced on a yearly cycle, instead of a 10-million-year-cycle. While we can not displace all petroleum with renewable fuels, it is one important piece of reducing our dependence on foreign oil.