BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Last month brought record cold temperatures to the entire country, and Central Illinois was not excepted. The common misconception of biodiesel is that cold weather limits performance, but in fact temperatures plunging as low as negative 10 degrees Fahrenheit were no trouble for a fleet of ADM trucks that ran more than 23,500 trouble-free miles on sustainable B100 biodiesel in February.
The trucks are part of a cooperative pilot program, announced last year, to demonstrate the real-world viability of Optimus Technologies’ revolutionary Vector System. While nearly all diesel engine manufacturers support at least 20 percent biodiesel (B20), the Optimus Vector System is designed to allow conventional diesel engines to run on 100 percent biodiesel in a wide range of climates – even freezing cold.
“Protecting our planet and its natural resources is core to our purpose as an organization,” said Steve Finn, ADM’s vice president for trucking. “ADM’s value chain stretches from the farm field all the way to the food we put on the table and the fuel we put in our vehicles, and we look at every single step of that value chain as an opportunity for innovative practices and solutions. This pilot, using ADM trucks and ADM-produced biodiesel, has the potential to validate technology that could dramatically increase the use of environmentally friendly biodiesel across the trucking industry. We’re excited to be part of this project, and we’re proud to see the technology proving itself – including in the recent extreme weather, during which temperatures dropped as low as negative 10 degrees Fahrenheit, and we saw four consecutive days that never got above 10 degrees.”
The pilot project is supported by ADM, Optimus, the American Lung Association, the National Biodiesel Board, the Illinois Soybean Association and the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council. Five trucks owned by ADM and outfitted with the Optimus Technologies Vector System are being used in daily fleet operations, with each vehicle anticipated to travel 160,000-180,000 miles and reduce up to 500,000 pounds of CO2. All biodiesel used in the project comes from ADM’s refinery in Mexico, Missouri.
ADM’s use of B100 during the recent cold snap goes to show how well biodiesel can operate in winter weather. Biodiesel and biodiesel blends are successfully used year-round, even in the coldest U.S. climates. Since 2003, vehicles have logged billions of problem-free miles. That means users can gain the economic, environmental and health benefits of biodiesel all year long. Biodiesel blends up to B20 should be treated just like petroleum diesel fuel by using cold-weather additives recommended by your fuel supplier, while B100 should be paired with technology such as The Vector System when operating in colder climates.
The Illinois Soybean Association (ISA) checkoff and membership programs represent more than 43,000 soybean farmers in Illinois. The checkoff funds market development and utilization efforts while the membership program supports the government relations interests of Illinois soybean farmers at the local, state, and national level, through the Illinois Soybean Growers (ISG). ISA upholds the interests of Illinois soybean producers through promotion, advocacy, and education with the vision of becoming a market leader in sustainable soybean production and profitability. For more information, visit the website www.ilsoy.org.
ADM unlocks the power of nature to provide access to nutrition worldwide. With industry-advancing innovations, a complete portfolio of ingredients and solutions to meet any taste, and a commitment to sustainability, they give customers an edge in solving the nutritional challenges of today and tomorrow. ADM is a global leader in human and animal nutrition and the world’s premier agricultural origination and processing company. Their breadth, depth, insights, facilities and logistical expertise give them unparalleled capabilities to meet needs for food, beverages, health and wellness, and more. From the seed of the idea to the outcome of the solution, ADM enriches the quality of life the world over. Learn more at www.adm.com.
— Illinois Soybean Association
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