As you may have noticed, winter is well and truly upon us here in the Cowichan Valley. Through snow and sleet, the staff at CBDC have worked tirelessly to keep the fuel flowing to our valued members. However, due to persistent demand, we have been unable to supply all the biodiesel ourselves and had to rely on a partner to top up our tanks. This imported fuel begins to gel at higher temperatures than we are used to and, while our members are used to being able to fill up with B100 year-round, this year that is not the case. In fact, we have already run into some trouble with our own fleet vehicles when using B100 on cold mornings.
CBDC staff have taken action to improve the flow properties and combustibility of our fuels at cold temperatures, but there are still a few things you should be aware of.
1. To ensure your biodiesel vehicle or equipment will start every time, while still enjoying the benefits of biofuels, we recommend switching to B50 (a 50% biodiesel:diesel blend) or B20 (20% biodiesel in diesel) when the temperature falls bellow freezing. These blends are less resistant to gelling and have improved cold-flow properties compared to B100.
2. We have already made B50 available to our members at the CPS location on Allenby Rd. and B50 and B20 are always available at the Bing's Creek location on Drinkwater Rd. We have disabled the B100 option at CPS because the cold, thick fuel has a detrimental effect on our pumps.
3. Depending on your preferred blend, filling time may be affected - especially in the early morning, and the low flow rate can cause automatic shut-off nozzles to over-fill. We recommend not leaving the pump unattended while fueling.
4. The price of our B20 blend is only about 10% higher than the current price of fossil diesel, meaning you don't have to spend a lot to make a big difference to the environment!
Thank you for supporting the Cowichan Biodiesel Co-op, if you have any questions, comments or concerns please don't hesitate to email to Alannah (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call or visit our office at Unit 1, 55 Station St in Duncan, (250) 748-2694. We hope to see you around the pump!