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Frank Lemos, operations manager for Portland-based Titan Freight Systems, fills up a rig with renewable diesel, a biofuel made by refining vegetable oils, livestock tallow and cooking grease instead of crude oil.

These days, Frank Lemos manages a shipping operation, but the former truck driver still gets behind the wheel occasionally to train new drivers or to fill a staffing hole. When he does, he notices a big difference. The firm recently moved away from conventional diesel fuel, and now there’s something missing: the permeating petroleum smell that drivers wear after a day inside a big rig. 

“You come home, and you don’t get to just jump in bed if you’re tired. You have to take a shower, or else someone’s going to kick you out of bed,” said Lemos, who is operations manager for Portland-based Titan Freight Systems.

Since last fall, Titan’s rigs have mostly fueled up with renewable diesel, a biofuel made by refining vegetable oils, livestock tallow and cooking grease instead of crude oil. It gets the job done just like petroleum diesel yet generates far less pollution. And it means Titan’s drivers are breathing less toxic fumes and soot, and bringing less of that pollution home.

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