Blog Archives

3 Ways Distilled Biodiesel Can Give You a Competitive Advantage

“What are some benefits of distilled biodiesel?”

The answer is as simple as 1, 2, 3 — the benefits wholesalers, retailers and fleets get with distilled biodiesel: 

  1. Superior cold weather performance
  2. Lower carbon intensity with decreased supply and price fluctuations through feedstock flexibility
  3. Easier blending
Those are the top three benefits we’ll focus on in this article. If you want to take a deeper dive into the topic, including the science behind distillation, download our free white paper on distilled biodiesel.

Superior cold weather performance

Distilled biodiesel has advanced cold flow properties because distillation does a better job than other purification methods at removing minor components that can contribute to filter plugging. Far too often people think Cloud Point is the only thing that matters when using biodiesel in the cold. Even with a higher Cloud Point, distilled biodiesel can outperform undistilled low cloud biodiesel in cold weather.

Feedstock flexibility

The ability to create high-quality biodiesel from a variety of feedstocks — feedstock flexibility, as we call it at REG — has a couple of big advantages. One is it can provide more nimbleness in the commodity markets. If a particular feedstock is experiencing price or supply fluctuations, we can turn to another feedstock and know that our end product will still meet ASTM and customer specifications. This, of course, is good for our customers, too. 

Another advantage of feedstock flexibility is the ability to make biodiesel from feedstocks such as animal fat, used cooking oil and inedible corn oil that can allow for lower carbon intensity (CI) scores. Carbon intensity is the measure of greenhouse gas emissions associated with producing and consuming a fuel. Some of the feedstocks with favorable CI scores can result in biodiesel with a higher Cloud Point, but with Cloud Point being less of an issue with a distilled product, users can get a fuel with lower carbon intensity that helps them reach sustainability goals and also performs well in cold weather. 

So to recap, under this single benefit of feedstock flexibility comes several other advantages, including supply, price and sustainability. 

Ease of blending

You may be sensing a theme related to the removal of minor components in the distillation process — and it has yet another benefit. It helps create the purest type of biodiesel. A purer biodiesel means there are fewer minor components. Fewer minor components means less effort is required to fully mix the biodiesel molecules and petroleum diesel molecules. 

Free white paper

If you’d like to learn more about distilled biodiesel, including the distillation process and how it differs from the traditional method of purifying biodiesel, read this white paper. 

Read More

Louisiana Fleets Honored by LCF at 2017 Clean Fuel Leader Awards

EBR Schools, GreenSeasons and UL Lafayette take away top honors

Each year, Louisiana Clean Fuels recognizes fleets in its territory for use of alternative fuels, emissions reduction and fuel saving measures and honors outstanding fleets and projects. To qualify for the awards, fleets need only to participate in the Clean Cities Annual Reporting process by sharing their fuel usage and fleet information with Louisiana Clea Fuels, a U.S. Department of Energy designated Clean Cities Coalition since 2000.

The 2017 Awards are based on fuel statistics and data gathered for the 2016 Clean Cities Annual Report.

  • Rising Star
  • Innovative Project of the Year
  • Resilience Award
  • 2 Lifetime Achievement Awards
  • Various recognition awards for outstanding fleets

Rising Star: East Baton Rouge Parish School System

The 2017 Rising Star Award is for a fleet that has just begun its journey with alternative fuels. This particular fleet responded to the devastation of the great flood of August 2016 and decided to do something good for the children and their community by investing in cleaner burning, domestically produced alternative fuel buses for their district.

The East Baton Rouge Parish School System is the second largest school district in Louisiana serving over 42,000 students. The flood damaged homes and vehicles of its employees and students, the roads they use to travel, entire contents of school buildings, and the lives of its community. Thirty-five percent of employees and over 5,000 children were displaced by the flood. Over one hundred ten (110) school buses were destroyed and 189 school buses drivers displaced.  The Office of Transportation and the transportation shop were included in the seven administrative sites that flooded. Eight flooded schools were relocated to other school sites; and four non-flooded schools were relocated to make room for the displaced schools.

After the flood, the school system scraped together what funds they could and purchased 68 buses - 10 of which were propane. The school board also won DERA funding to offset the cost of more propane buses and has expressed their desire to purchase more.

Accepting the award for East Baton Rouge School System:

  • Warren Drake, Superintendent of Schools
  • Pat Friedrich - District Grant Writer
  • Gary Reese– Chief of Student Support Services 


Innovative Project of the Year: University of Louisiana at Lafayette

This year’s Innovative Project of the Year goes to a university that is conducting groundbreaking research into cyber security of Electric Vehicles. The University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s innovative program is funding by a grant titled,  “Diagnostics Security Modules for Electric Vehicles to Building Integration project” and is funded by Idaho National Laboratory and the Department of Energy.

The goal of the project is to evaluate the cybersecurity of electric vehicle charging stations and Plug in electric vehicles, strengthen cyber security of the connected systems (such as smart buildings and other vehicles) and determine the effect that the increasing amount of electric vehicles may have on the grid.

The team at University of Louisiana at Lafayette consists of graduate students, undergraduate students, and professors. Dr. Raju Gottukkumala and Dr. Paul Darby lead the team. Dr. Gottukkamala is the Director of Research for the Informatics Research Institute at UL Lafayette, he is also an assistant professor at the university. Dr. Darby is an assistant professor in the Electrical & Computer Engineering department at UL Lafayette. Six students compose the remainder of the team - Andrew Roche, Rizwan Merchant, Adam Tauzin, Camille Charnews, Kaleb Leon, and Benjamin Armentor. They are also working with Kenneth Rohde at Idaho National Laboratory. 

Accepting the award for Univeristy of Louisiana at Lafayette:

  • Dr. Raju Gottumukkala
  • Dr. Paul Darby
  • Dr. Henry Chu
  • Mr. Ben Armentor
  • Mr. Camille Charnews
  • Mr. Rizwan Merchant


Resilience Award: GreenSeasons

The 2017 Resilience award goes to a Louisiana fleet whose commitment to alternative fuels was put to the ultimate test. Back in early 2016, they converted twenty-three of their trucks to CNG and started construction of a private, onsite slow-fill natural gas station. Everything seemed to be on track and going smoothly. Then, in August of 2016, the worst natural disaster to hit our country since Hurricane Sandy dumped nearly 7.1 trillion gallons of water on the southern half of our state. Every one of their vehicles was underwater as was their new private CNG station.

When asked why he wanted to stick with alternative fuels after everything was damaged, Chris CasseIberry said that reducing GreenSeason’s carbon footprint was just that important to him. He also needed to have a constant and reliable source of fuel, ensure that his trucks were properly fueled every night, and wanted to reduce his overall cost of fuel for his fleet. In addition to utilizing CNG in their fleet, GreenSeasons has eight commercial propane mowers. But he doesn’t plan to stop there. This company has big plans to eventually operate on 100% alternative and renewable energy sources.


Accepting the award for GreenSeasons:   Chris CasseIberry


Lifetime Achievement Awards:

The 2017 Lifetime Achievement awards go to two individuals who have worked tirelessly for much of their careers to promote the use of cleaner, domestically produced alternative fuels in our state.

  • Robert Borne, Entergy
  • Jean Kelly, LDEQ


2017 Top Performing Fleets

Top Performing Private Fleets

Republic Services             

  • 14,174.20 tons of GHG reduced
  • Achieved this through CNG usage plus fuel economy improvements & idle reduction


  • 3,532.5 tons of GHG reduced
  • Top User of Alt Fuels – Over 1 Million Gallons in 2016
  • Achieved this through CNG, Propane and Renewable Diesel

Waste Management                     

  • 245.80 tons GHG reduced
  • Achieved this through CNG fleet reduced petroleum use by 294,291 gallons in 2017


2017 Honorable Mention Private Fleets

In this group, Ivan Smith and Builders Supply offset the most petroleum through alternative fuel use, while GreenSeasons further reduced their GHG emissions through additional use of Propane in their commercial mowers and Fuel Economy Improvements, VMT Reductions and Idle Reduction.

Green Seasons                    

  • Reduced GHG emissions by 645.70 tons        
  • Fuel Economy Improvements, VMT Reductions and Idle Reduction
  • CNG and Propane
  • Winner of the 2017 Resilience Award

Builders Supply                    

  • Reduced GHG emissions by 98.30 tons
  • CNG Fleet and Idle Reduction

Ivan Smith Furniture                       

  • Reduced GHG emissions by 144.30 tons
  • CNG Fleet & Idle Reduction

Eagle Distributing                

  • Reduced GHG emissions by 97.60 tons


Top Performing Utility Fleet: Entergy                 

  • Reduced GHG emissions by 383.90 tons
  • CNG, E85, HEVs and Route Optimization


Honorable Mention for Utility Fleets

Centerpoint Energy

  • Reduced GHG emissions by 24 tons
  • CNG Fleet

Atmos Energy

  • Reduced GHG emissions by 6.7 tons   
  • CNG Fleet


Top Performing Municipal Fleets

St. Landry Parish Solid Waste District

  • CNG and RNG Reduced GHG emissions by 977.3 tons

City of Shreveport & Sportran

  • CNG Fleet Reduced GHG emissions by 552 tons


Honorable Mention Municipal Fleets

Bossier City             

  • CNG Fleet Reduced GHG emissions by 52.7 tons

Lafourche Parish School District

  • Propane buses Reduced GHG emissions by 18.27 tons

City of Lake Charles

  • Propane fleet Reduced GHG emissions by 137 tons

Terrebonne Parish Consolidated Government

  • CNG Fleet Reduced GHG emissions by 34.9 tons

Read More

New Tools in Transportation: AFLEET Update

Propane School Bus FuelingA newly updated version of the AFLEET Tool from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory is now available. AFLEET — short for Alternative Fuel Life-Cycle Environmental and Economic Transportation Tool — is a free publicly available tool that calculates and compares the costs and environmental benefits of a broad range of alternative fuel technologies.

The AFLEET Tool is ideally suited to aid those who make purchasing decisions for fleets as they compare vehicle technologies for emission reductions and air quality gains. This new version adds the ability to look at air pollutant emissions from well-to-wheel as it lets users evaluate not just “at-the-tailpipe” air pollutants, but also those arising from fuel production.

New AFLEET Features:

  • Idle Reduction Calculator 
  • Low-NOx engine option for CNG and LNG heavy-duty vehicles
  • Diesel in-use emissions multiplier sensitivity case
  • Well-to-pump air pollutants
  • Vehicle cycle petroleum use, GHGs, and air pollutants
  • Renewable diesel vehicles
  • Electric commercial trucks
  • Updated biofuel and RNG feedstocks

Learn more about AFLEET here.

Read More

Vehicle Technologies Office Fact of the Week

Over half of all carbon monoxide (CO) emissions in 2002 were from highway vehicles; by 2016 that fell to 30%. The share of nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions from highway vehicles declined from 43% of all NOx emissions in 2002 to 34% in 2016. The highway share of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions declined by 9% during this same period. Highway vehicles contributed less than 3% of all particulate matter (PM) emissions.

Highway Share of All Pollutant Emissions, 2002-2016

Graphics showing highway share of all pollutant emissions (CO, NOx, PM, and VOC) from 2001 to 2016

Note: Particulate matter emissions include both fine particle matter less than 10 microns (PM-10) and fine particle matter less than 2.5 microns (PM-2.5). Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Emissions Inventory and Air Pollutant Emissions Trends Data.Fact #998 Dataset

Read More

Sponsorships and Table Top Exhibit Space Available for LCF Fall Stakeholder Meeting & Annual Awards

November 2, 2017 | 10:30 am-2:00pm | BRCC

Show your support for Clean Cities and sponsor or exhibit at our Annual Clean Fuel Leader Awards and Fall Stakeholder Meeting.

Don't miss our biggest event of 2017! Join up to 100 of our stakeholders for lunch and networking at the new BRCC Automotive Technology Center to celebrate this year's outstanding projects and individuals who have made significant contributions to alternative fuels in our state at our Annual Clean Fuel Leader Awards. 

Sponsorships, LIMITED table top exhibit space & vehicle display opportunities are available. Contact Stephanie at

  • Table-Top Exhibits:  $150 (Limit 8)
  • Vehicle Display: Free (First come- first serve: Space is limited. No more than 4 light duty vehicles allowed on front circle. Medium/Heavy Duty Vehicles must park on the side of the training center)
  • Lunch Sponsorships:  $300 (Unlimited)
  • Awards Ceremony Sponsorship Levels:  $500 & $1,000. Sponsors at $1,000 level given the opportunity to speak at the event or give out the award of their choice.

Are you an LCF Member? Check to see if you qualify for free or discounted sponsorships and booth space! Call or email Stephanie today!



Dr. Chuck Carr Brown, LDEQ Secretary to preside as Master of Ceremonies

As Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, Dr. Brown is responsible for facilitating the Department’s Mission of providing service to the people of Louisiana through comprehensive environmental protection in order to promote and protect health, safety and welfare while considering sound policies regarding employment and economic development, with a vision of being a respected steward of the State's environment.  

Don't miss this great opportunity network with other members and clean fuel stakeholders over lunch!

Tentative Agenda:

10:00 - 10:30 AM       Registration, Networking & Exhibits

10:30 - 11:30 AM



  • VW Settlement
  • FHWA Alt Fuel Corridors
  • Changes to the state tax credits
  • New Membership Benefits
11:30 - Noon   Sponsor or Keynote Presentation (TBD)
Noon - 12:30 PM   Lunch, Networking & Exhibits
12:30 - 1:30 PM   Clean Fuel Leader Awards
LDEQ Secretary, Chuck Carr Brown
1:30 - 2:00 PM   Networking & Exhibits


Meeting Location:

BRCC's McKay Automotive Technology Center
2115 North Lobdell 
Baton Rouge, LA 70818


Lodging Suggestions:

Hampton Inn and Suites by Hilton Baton Rouge Downtown
Address: 462 Lafayette St, Baton Rouge, LA 70801
Phone: (225) 382-2100

Hilton Baton Rouge Capital Center (Downtown Hotel)
201 Lafayette Street,
Baton Rouge, LA  70801

WATERMARK Baton Rouge, Autograph Collection
Address: 150 3rd St, Baton Rouge, LA 70801
Phone: (225) 408-3200

Hotel Indigo Baton Rouge Downtown
Address: 200 Convention St, Baton Rouge, LA 70801
Phone: (225) 343-1515

Baton Rouge Marriott
5500 Hilton Avenue  (Near College Drive and I-10)
Baton Rouge, LA 70808 USA

Holiday Inn Express Downtown
400 North Blvd, Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Best Western Chateau Louisianne Suite Hotel
710 N Lobdell Boulevard Baton Rouge, La, 70806

Any hotel in the College Drive / I-10 area or in Downtown Baton Rouge
would be convenient.

Read More

5 Ways Alternative Fuels Aid Response to Hurricanes and Natural Disasters

Back-to-back hurricanes Harvey and Irma devastated parts of Houston and Florida and left millions of residents in the dark. The long lines and “out of fuel” gas station signs are reminders that most of the transportation sector still relies on gasoline and diesel. However, in a number of cities and states, alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) are playing a big role in responding to natural disasters and improving emergency preparedness.

Take a look at these five examples:

1. Hurricane Harvey temporarily knocked out nearly 30% of the nation's refining capacity. While refineries worked to recover from the storm, compressed natural gas (CNG) stations in the area were able to remain up and running. Natural gas is supplied by underground pipelines so stations can operate without a hitch throughout an emergency. Many natural gas fueling stations also come equipped with emergency natural gas-fired generators that can keep the stations running during a blackout. 

An aerial view of a shuttle bus driving on the street.

2. Atlantic City, New Jersey relied on its fleet of 190 CNG buses to shuttle residents to safety when Hurricane Sandy struck in 2012. While other fleets struggled with fuel shortages these shuttles were able to stay moving during and after the storm thanks to uninterrupted CNG supply.

3. Flexibility is also important for vehicles servicing critical infrastructure needs. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has a fleet of bi-fuel (gasoline and natural gas) Ford F350 pickup trucks that operate at key airports, tunnels, and bridges. Being able to run on either fuel provides fueling flexibility, as well as extended range during normal operations.

4. AFVs can also help with recovery. New Richmond, Wisconsin sent a hybrid-electric utility bucket truck as part of a mutual aid mission to help with Hurricane Sandy cleanup. These vehicles operate on battery power when stationary and allow crews to fix power lines. The battery power eliminates engine idling and saves fuel at the same time. Some companies also use biodiesel and have reserve tanks in case of emergency—this helps stretch supplies of regular diesel even further.

5. Diverse fueling options also help reduce recovery time after a disaster. Following Hurricane Sandy, Eastern Propane was able to keep their fleet of propane-powered trucks running, delivering propane to the surrounding community and helping clear tree limbs and branches along the way. In Long Island, utility operators National Grid and Long Island Power Authority used their CNG cars and trucks for infrastructure repairs and cleanup.

Alternative Fuel and Advanced Technology Vehicles Aid in Emergency Recovery Efforts

Watch: See how alternative fuels and other advanced vehicle technologies can help emergency fleets react to and recover from natural disasters. 

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) supports a balanced portfolio of early-stage research and works directly with its nationwide network of Clean Cities Coalitions to enable widespread use of alternative fuels and energy efficient mobility technologies that enhance energy affordability, reliability, and resilience and strengthen U.S. energy security. Learn more about VTO’s Initiative for Resiliency in Energy through Vehicles project.

Read More

How Does a Lithium-ion Battery Work?

Lithium-ion batteries power the lives of millions of people each day. From laptops and cell phones to hybrids and electric cars, this technology is growing in popularity due to its light weight, high energy density, and ability to recharge.

So how does it work?

This animation walks you through the process.

Animation created by Sarah Harman and Charles Joyner

The Basics

A battery is made up of an anode, cathode, separator, electrolyte, and two current collectors (positive and negative). The anode and cathode store the lithium. The electrolyte carries positively charged lithium ions from the anode to the cathode and vice versa through the separator. The movement of the lithium ions creates free electrons in the anode which creates a charge at the positive current collector.  The electrical current then flows from the current collector through a device being powered (cell phone, computer, etc.) to the negative current collector. The separator blocks the flow of electrons inside the battery.


While the battery is discharging and providing an electric current, the anode releases lithium ions to the cathode, generating a flow of electrons from one side to the other. When plugging in the device, the opposite happens: Lithium ions are released by the cathode and received by the anode.

Energy Density vs. Power Density

The two most common concepts associated with batteries are energy density and power density. Energy density is measured in watt-hours per kilogram (Wh/kg) and is the amount of energy the battery can store with respect to its mass. Power density is measured in watts per kilogram (W/kg) and is the amount of power that can be generated by the battery with respect to its mass. To draw a clearer picture, think of draining a pool. Energy density is similar to the size of the pool, while power density is comparable to draining the pool as quickly as possible. 

The Vehicle Technologies Office works on increasing the energy density of batteries, while reducing the cost, and maintaining an acceptable power density. For more information on VTO’s battery-related projects, please visit

Read More

TIGER 2017 Announced!

Funding for Local Transportation Priorities

Bike Lane StreetsThe U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced the 2017 TIGER grant applications. TIGER funding directly supports local infrastructure projects that promote safety, accessibility, mobility, and economic redevelopment. Multi-million dollar awards will be available for community-scale transportation initiatives that create jobs, enhance mobility, and improve quality of life. This is one of the best and most competitively sources of funding for transportation projects in local communities. In keeping with prior years, the minimum request for communities in an urbanized area is $5 million and a 20% match is officially required. Rural projects can request a minimum of $1 million.

On July 25, Sustainable Strategies DC organized a call between senior DOT leaders and a dozen mayors from across America to recommend improvements that will create new opportunities for small- and medium-size localities. The newly released solicitation reflects changes based upon numerous concerns that these mayors expressed, and it emphasizes projects in rural communities more than in previous years.

Sustainable Strategies DC is already working with communities nationwide to pursue these competitive funds. Based on our previous experience in winning TIGER grants and knowledge of how the program will likely change, we are helping localities develop strategies now to be most competitive for TIGER funds. Click here for more information on TIGER services that Sustainable Strategies DC provides and contact President Andrew Seth at (202) 261-9881to discuss how we can assist you with your application. The deadline to apply is October 16th, 2017

For information on additional opportunities, please contact Sustainable Strategies DC or click here for their website.  

Read More

Technologies That Will Transform the Transportation System

The transportation system is in the midst of a dramatic worldwide transformation that has the potential to impact our daily lives. Many factors are contributing to this change: overall U.S. demographics are shifting, more people are moving to cities, and connected devices are empowering consumers with more choices and on-demand services. The arrival of new technologies, such as connected and automated vehicles, and the rise of the shared-economy, including car-sharing and ride-hailing, have the potential to provide new, low-cost, mobility options. 

Dramatic Energy Impacts

These new transportation technologies have the potential to provide improvements in safety, affordability, and accessibility to the American people. However, they also present challenges that must be understood. A recent study funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) indicates that the future impact of new mobility systems, including connected and automated vehicles, could range from a 60% decrease in overall transportation energy to a 200% increase.

Graphic that depicts the disruption of transportation energy in the future with cars driving toward a
Graphic | Sarah Harman

Energy Efficient Mobility Systems Research

To maximize the advantages of emerging disruptive technologies, such as connected and autonomous vehicles, VTO launched Energy Efficient Mobility Systems (EEMS). This comprehensive research program aims to identify and make full use of energy efficiency opportunities of advanced vehicle technologies and infrastructure, its interactions with existing infrastructure, and improved mobility of people and goods.

Current Mobility Projects

New recently announced “living lab” projects in Washington, Texas and New York are integrating smart mobility technologies in a holistic approach to the movement of people and/or goods that maximize energy efficiency. These projects will test new ideas, collect data, and inform research on energy efficient transportation technologies and systems, creating an essential feedback mechanism to the EEMS research program.

Connected Driving Software Prototype Demo
Watch and learn how connected technologies can improve the safety and fuel efficiency of your car.  

In addition, three EEMS projects will conduct research that evaluates energy savings benefits from connected and automated vehicles. These projects will lead to the creation of new software, controls, and technologies that use connectivity and automation to improve vehicle efficiency and analyze the system-wide energy opportunities available through connectivity and automation combined with shared mobility. 

Read More

Energy Department Invests $13.4 Million in Transportation Projects


Today, the Energy Department (DOE) announced $13.4 million in support of five new cost-shared, community-based projects focused on energy efficient mobility systems including connected and autonomous vehicles and alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure including natural gas, propane, biofuels, hydrogen, and electricity.

This Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) funding is an investment in highly-innovative, highly-leveraged, and scalable projects that will provide real-world experience and generate knowledge and lessons learned to help improve our nation's energy security, support energy independence, improve transportation efficiency, and strengthen U.S. economic competitiveness. 

The following projects will serve as "living labs" to test new ideas, collect data, and inform research on energy efficient transportation technologies and systems.

  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, New York) will receive $2 million to evaluate changes in freight demand patterns that reduce energy use, incorporate energy efficient technologies and practices into freight logistics, and publish lessons learned.   
  • Pecan Street Inc. (Austin, Texas) will receive $1 million to pilot "last mile" electric bus services. The project includes a feasibility assessment of new technologies such as autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles and dynamic app-driven re-routing.
  • City of Seattle Department of Transportation (Seattle, Washington) will receive $1.9 million to accelerate the use of EVs in shared mobility applications in four major U.S. markets and establish best practices for all U.S. metro regions.

Two additional alternative fuel community partner projects across the Southeast and Midwest regions will bring together over 20 diverse partners including communities, businesses, fleets and Clean Cities coalitions.

  • Center for Transportation and the Environment (Atlanta, Georgia) and its partners will receive $4.6 million to accelerate the deployment of alternative fuel vehicles and infrastructure throughout the southeastern United States.
  • Metropolitan Energy Center, Inc. (Kansas City, Missouri) and its partners will receive $3.8 million to accelerate the deployment of alternative fuel vehicles, as well as supporting infrastructure, through community-based partnerships throughout Missouri, Kansas, and Colorado. 

To learn more about the Department's work with industry, academia, and community partners on advanced vehicle technologies, please visit the Vehicle Technologies Office website

Read More