ACT Expo 2016
NexGen Fuel Unveils Baja Contender
One of the many “firsts” unveiled at ACT Expo 2016 is an off road “trophy truck” from NexGen Fuel (Booth 923).
According to Pat O’Keefe, president and CEO of NexGen, the off road racer, which is powered by a diesel engine using NexGen renewable diesel, will participate in the 49th annual Baja 1000 off-road endurance race in Mexico later this year.
“We’re pretty excited about the fact that nobody has ever run a diesel-powered trophy truck – and obviously nobody has ever run a renewable diesel-powered trophy truck,” O’Keefe said. “So it’s kind of two firsts.”
Acknowledging significant confusion in many circles between renewable diesel and biodiesel fuels, O’Keefe offered a well-practiced tutorial on how renewable diesel is chemically identical to a petroleum product – it’s made with hydrogen at conventional petroleum refineries – but is derived from renewable feeds, like fish oil and slaughterhouse waste. Moreover, renewable diesel does not include any of the olefins or the aromatics that cause NOx emissions.
“By removing the olefins and aromatics you essentially have a very, very pure fuel,” he says, adding, “The significance about ‘why’ we’re doing it for the Baja 1000 reflects the fact that diesel inherently gets better fuel mileage than gasoline, so it’s more of an advantage strategy that should help us because we won’t have to stop for fuel as often as the gasoline-powered guys.”
To emphasize the mileage benefits, a second vehicle on display in the booth is a sports car that the company drove from Jacksonville, Florida to Santa Monica, California on a single tank of renewable diesel.
While NexGen maintains a focus on purely renewable fuels – beginning with renewable diesel and moving toward renewable gasoline – and getting those fuels to the market, O’Keefe said that subsequent large scale distribution of the fuel occurs through Golden Gate Petroleum, a 70-year-old family-owned business, as well as other petroleum distributors.
Golden Gate Petroleum is currently providing renewable diesel to the cities of San Francisco, Oakland, and Walnut Creek, with both San Jose and Marin County planning to switch in the near future.
“The huge new opportunity is the whole State of California,” he added. “They recently issued a mandate that they are switching all diesel to renewable diesel.”