No, biodiesel is made through a chemical process known as transesterification, which turns natural oils and fats into fatty acid methyl esters (FAME). Vegetable oil combustion without conversion to biodiesel results in soot deposition and deposits, which can cause power loss and engine failure. See What Is Biodiesel for more information.
If your vehicle was built before 1993, the rubber gasoline lines will almost certainly need to be replaced. One of the most significant advantages of using biodiesel is that it can be utilized in existing diesel engines without compromising performance. Biodiesel is the only alternative fuel for heavy-duty vehicles that does not necessitate specific injection or storage.
It’s worth noting that newer diesel Volkswagen, BMW, and Mercedes cars (2007 or after) feature a fuel system with a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) that can cause fuel/oil dilution in the diesel engine, regardless of whether diesel or biodiesel fuel is used. If certain safeguards are not taken, the engine oil may be diluted by the fuel over time. One suggestion is to make sure you use your diesel engine on a regular basis. Furthermore, if you use 100 percent biodiesel in these vehicles, you must change the oil at least every 3,000 miles and keep an eye on the oil level (this is not an issue with vehicles using biodiesel blends, such as B20). If you have any questions, please contact our biodiesel fuel experts.
“Federal law forbids the voiding of a warranty solely because biodiesel was used,” the US Department of Energy explains in its Biodiesel Handling & Use Guide. The failure would have to be traced back to the biodiesel. If an engine fails due to biodiesel use (or any other external circumstance, such as dirty diesel fuel), the damage may not be covered by the manufacturer’s guarantee.”
No, biodiesel may only be used in diesel engines with a compression ignition system.
Biodiesel functions as a solvent. It will remove a lot of the diesel deposits that have built up in your fuel tank. This may cause early fuel filter clogging, but it will not result in a higher frequency of filter changes if you continue to use biodiesel.
Vehicles that run on biodiesel achieve nearly the same MPG as those that run on petroleum. Find out more.
Yes, biodiesel can help you get more mileage out of your engine. Biodiesel has better lubricating characteristics, which helps to keep crucial engine parts from wearing out.
Using biodiesel instead of petrodiesel will dramatically reduce tail pipe emissions of unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter. Sulfur oxides and sulfates, which are important contributors to acid rain, will be almost eliminated. Nitrogen oxide emissions may rise slightly, however this can be mitigated by the use of newer low-emission diesel engines. Find out more.
Click here to see a complete list of filling stations that sell biodiesel.
Petrodiesel is not present in pure biodiesel, B100 (100 percent biodiesel). Biodiesel can be combined with petrodiesel and sold as B20 (20% biodiesel, 80% petrodiesel blend) or B5 (50 percent biodiesel, 50 percent petrodiesel blend) (5 percent biodiesel, 95 percent petrodiesel blend).
Can you put biodiesel in a normal diesel engine?
Vehicles that run on biodiesel and regular diesel are identical. Although light, medium, and heavy-duty diesel vehicles are not strictly alternative fuel vehicles, they can almost all run on biodiesel blends. The most popular biodiesel mix is B20, which contains anywhere from 6% to 20% biodiesel and petroleum diesel. However, B5 (a biodiesel mix containing 5% biodiesel and 95% diesel) is widely utilized in fleet cars. Many diesel vehicles can run on B20 and lower-level blends without any engine modifications.
Biodiesel increases the fuel’s cetane number and improves its lubricity. A greater cetane number indicates that the engine will start more easily and with less delay. To keep moving parts from wearing down prematurely, diesel engines rely on the lubricity of the fuel. Improved lubricity decreases friction between moving parts, resulting in less wear. Biodiesel has a number of advantages, one of which is that it can improve the lubricity of the fuel at mix levels as low as 1%.
B5 is approved by all original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). However, verify the OEM engine warranty to see if higher-level mixes of this alternative fuel, such as B20, are acceptable. For more information on OEM certifications for biodiesel use in automobiles, go to the Clean Fuels Alliance America website.
How do you blend diesel with biodiesel?
One of the reasons biodiesel use is higher than ever is the practice of blending up to 5% biodiesel into diesel fuel without having to declare it as such. Many facilities are purchasing biodiesel and blending it on site. However, while biodiesel has many benefits, storing and using it on a big scale during the winter months can be difficult. As a result, we’ve compiled a list of suggestions to assist you.
If you don’t mix it yourself
Many corporations, we added, are buying it in bulk, storing it in dedicated tanks, and blending it with diesel fuel they already have on hand. That isn’t to claim that everyone does it. If you’re buying it pre-mixed, be sure the provider understands your cold weather fuel operability requirements. They have choices to achieve such objectives (cold flow fuel treatment, kerosene mixing), but they must first understand your expectations.
Blending It Into Your System
Blending biodiesel and diesel to get a desirable Bxx blend requires a little more thought than simply pouring one on top of the other.
Should you do in-line or splash blending? Heat is important.
In-line blending (also known as wild stream) is an effective approach to achieve ideal homogeneity, but it necessitates keeping the biodiesel at least 10 degrees warmer than its cloud point. The guideline is 20 degrees warmer for some tropical bio feedstocks that are particularly sensitive to cold (such as palm oil). It will be much easier to blend the biodiesel into the diesel base if you remember to do this.
However, not everyone is capable of in-line mixing. Their only option is to use splash blending. It’s critical that the biodiesel be warm enough in this case. You’ll be pouring cold-sensitive biodiesel into a cold tank or tanker truck, so keep that in mind. If the biodiesel isn’t heated enough, it will flash freeze before the mixing can be completed. It’s fairly uncommon for blenders to heat biodiesel to temperatures beyond 100 degrees Fahrenheit. The warmer you get it, the easier it will be to blend.
Finally, make sure to test your final blend for operability after you’re finished. And after it’s blended, you’ll need to figure out how to keep it from freezing too much in the winter. The usual guideline is that adding 20% biodiesel to diesel will cause the mixture to gel at a temperature of ten degrees higher than previously. This isn’t good. To overcome this, a combination of cold flow fuel treatment and kerosene mixing can be used. When temperatures are projected to reach -30 to -40 degrees, kerosene is most effective.
Does biodiesel damage your engine?
Poor-quality biodiesel may not have an immediate influence on the running of your engine, but deposits, corrosion, and damage can build up over time until your engine breaks catastrophically.
Will biodiesel hurt my truck?
When dealing with pure biodiesel instead of petroleum-biodiesel blends, gas stations must treat it differently from conventional fuels. Because pure biodiesel is made from vegetable-based products, it requires a higher storage temperature than petroleum fuel. Biodiesel can grow mold if stored in a heated storage tank for too long, and if stored at too cool a temperature, it can thicken and become difficult to dispense.
While these issues can occur after biodiesel has been injected into a vehicle, it is more important for diesel vehicle owners to keep an eye out for signs of clogs in fuel filters and systems, especially when biodiesel is first introduced to the vehicle’s fuel system and especially if the owner is using pure biodiesel. All biodiesel is a solvent, which means it can dissolve deposits in fuel lines and tanks, which can clog fuel filters, injectors, and other sections of the fuel system. According to experts, this is a bigger problem when pure biodiesel is used in older diesel vehicles. Higher mileage usually equates to higher deposits. Vehicles equipped with the latest high-pressure fuel-injection system are also affected.
Because these difficulties are primarily related to pure biodiesel, it may appear that the hazards are greatly reduced, if not eliminated entirely, with low-biodiesel mixes.
This isn’t the case, as the risk is mostly determined by the quality of biodiesel produced. Only biodiesel mixes of up to 5% are recommended in the United States, according to the Worldwide Fuel Charter, a list of fuel specifications endorsed by auto and engine manufacturers.
“While the quality of various biodiesel blends has improved in recent years, we continue to be concerned about the lack of industry quality standards for biodiesel,” says Darryll Harrison, a spokesman for Volkswagen of America. Volkswagen is the leading manufacturer of diesel-powered passenger cars in the United States.
“As quality improves and technology advances, we believe advanced biodiesel and renewable diesel fuels have a bright future,” Harrison says. “In fact, as partnerships with renewable diesel innovators like Solazyme and Amryis have helped VW better understand the impacts advanced biodiesel blends have on existing TDI Clean Diesel technology, our research towards the next generation of clean diesel continues to ramp up.”
Nonetheless, when it comes to warranty coverage for difficulties caused by fuel use in VW diesels, the company is in the majority. In the United States, no carmaker recommends using biodiesel in volumes greater than B5 for passenger vehicles, with one significant exception: The new diesel-powered 2014 Chevrolet Cruze TD comes with a GM guarantee that covers biodiesel blends up to B20.
B20 is permitted in several heavy-duty vans and pickup trucks from Chrysler, Ford, and GM. Ford and GM, on the other hand, only apply to models from 2011 and later.
Is biodiesel the same as diesel #2?
Biodiesel has a higher lubricity than petroleum diesel (it is more “slippery”). Sulfur is almost non-existent in biodiesel. This is also a good thing, as it will likely result in less emissions from biodiesel engines. Biodiesel has a higher oxygen content than petroleum diesel (typically 10 to 12 percent).
Can I run biodiesel in my Duramax?
GM has yet to officially debut its next-generation Duramax diesel engine, but the firm announced today that the new engine, which will power the 2011 Chevrolet Silverado HD and GMC Sierra HD models, can run on a 20% biodiesel blend (B20).
Is biodiesel blend same as diesel?
With gas prices fluctuating and the Obama administration devoted to reducing America’s reliance on oil, Americans appear to be more interested in alternative fuels, such as those derived from farm crops and other renewable organic sources. Biodiesel and vegetable oil, both of which can be used to power a diesel engine, are among the most readily available.
Biodiesel, which is made from vegetable or animal fats, is chemically equivalent to petroleum diesel. Adherents claim it emits far less pollution than ordinary diesel.
Biodiesel is most typically supplied in mixes with regular diesel, such as B5, which contains 5% biodiesel and 95% petroleum fuel, and B20, which contains 20% biodiesel. According to the US Department of Energy, B20 costs around 20 cents per gallon more than petroleum diesel. B100 (pure biodiesel) costs about 85 cents per gallon more than conventional diesel.
Plain, edible cooking oil is a cousin of biodiesel. However, because cooking oil from grocery store shelves is not economically viable (a gallon costs approximately $8), some people are converting diesel engines to run on old deep-fryer oil that restaurants frequently discard. Discarded oil is sometimes given away for free, but more restaurants are beginning to charge for it.
We adapted a diesel-powered 2002 Volkswagen Jetta TDI to run on biodiesel (B5 and B100) and fryer grease to test how they compare to standard petroleum diesel fuel. We discovered that they all permitted the car to perform adequately, but that the price and convenience of each varies.
B5, a biodiesel mix with 5% biodiesel, gave us the greatest overall performance. It was the most efficient in terms of performance, emissions, fuel economy, and convenience. B5 may be used in any diesel engine without requiring any modifications to the vehicle, and it is injected into the tank exactly like regular gasoline. However, because it is made out of 95% petroleum diesel, it offers little to help drivers transition away from fossil fuels.
Our Jetta performed admirably on recycled cooking oil, but the hassle of locating fuel sources and preparing the oil for use in the engine limits its appeal and negates its low cost.
New diesel automobiles with up to 20% biodiesel blends are now being warrantied by automakers. Engineers say they detect too many contaminants and irregularities in the gasoline at concentrations higher than that, or on cooking oil, to be comfortable extending warranty coverage.
Is biodiesel cheaper than diesel?
How does biodiesel compare to ordinary petroleum diesel as its use grows in the marketplace? What are the advantages and disadvantages? Here are four factors to consider while assessing the potential impact on fleet.
1. Cost Analysis
When comparing biodiesel prices, the National Biodiesel Board recommends using the following formula: For each percent of biodiesel blended with petrodiesel, add one penny per gallon. B-5, for example, would cost about five cents per gallon more than petrodiesel. B-20 would cost an extra 20 cents, and so on.
The Department of Energy’s handbook provides another option “Alternative Fuel Price Report for Clean Cities,” available at www.eere.energy.gov/afdc. Biodiesel pricing for low-level blends (B-2 to B-5) are nearly the same as conventional diesel, according to the September 2005 edition, $2.81 per gallon biodiesel against $2.81 regular diesel. Blends with B-20 are around ten cents extra at $2.91. Pure biodiesel (B-100), at $3.40 per gallon, is about 59 cents more expensive than conventional diesel.
2. Pollution Impact
According to the report, “In “Clean Alternative Fuels: Biodiesel,” the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) shows how biodiesel compares to normal diesel in terms of emissions.
The rise in nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions is alarming because NOx is a major contributor to ozone formation. Fuel suppliers for fleets, such as Eastman Chemical, blend appropriate additives with biodiesel to counteract and reduce NOx emissions. For example, according to NREL-sponsored research, adding cetane enhancers such di-tert-butyl peroxide at 1% or 2-ethylhexl nitrate at 5% can lower NOx emissions. The study also claims that combining biodiesel with kerosene or Fischer-Tropsch diesel can lower NOx emissions.
“Biodiesel is a superior alternative for fleets interested in decreasing petroleum usage, greenhouse gas emissions, and regulatory pollutants,” adds NREL’s McCormick.
3. Gasoline Quality
“The only drawback we faced in transitioning to biodiesel was a gasoline quality issue with our prior supplier,” explains Curtis of Eastman Chemical. Biodiesel that does not satisfy high quality standards can reduce engine performance, clog filters and injectors, and result in a slew of other expensive repairs.
Eastman Chemical changed suppliers within the first two months of their biodiesel program and hasn’t had any fuel problems since. Curtis strongly advises fleet managers who are considering using biodiesel to double-check that their fuel supply follows ASTM D6751 criteria. The American Society of Testing and Materials International (ASTM) is one of several international standard-setting organizations that have approved biodiesel requirements.
In the United States, ASTM D6751 is the most commonly cited standard. The goal of this guideline is to safeguard customers from subpar products, lower the cost of buying and selling biodiesel, and simplify the procurement process.
“The benefits can only be obtained if high-quality biodiesel that meets ASTM D6751 requirements is utilized for mixing,” warns McCormick. “Biodiesel that isn’t up to grade can create engine difficulties and increased emissions.”
What effect does biodiesel have on engine performance when compared to normal diesel? The Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA) estimates that using pure biodiesel results in a 5-7 percent reduction in maximum power output. That’s with biodiesel that’s 100 percent biodiesel. Lower ratio blends, such as B-2, B-5, or even B-20, appear to have little, if any, impact on perceived performance as long as fuel quality meets ASTM criteria. The greater lubricity of biodiesel is one performance problem. On the one hand, high lubricity helps to reduce early wear and tear in the fuel system. H
However, when switching from conventional diesel to biodiesel, the enhanced lubricity may pose issues. It can, for example, operate as a solvent for some fuel system components and concrete-lined tanks, releasing deposits built up on tank walls and pipes from diesel fuel storage, causing fuel filter blockages at first. The EPA recommended that car owners replace their fuel filters after the first tank of gas.
Another point of worry is how well it performs in cold conditions. In his analytical paper “Biodiesel Performance, Costs, and Use,” Anthony Radich of the Department of Energy writes, “The performance of biodiesel in cold temperatures is considerably inferior than that of petroleum diesel.”
He claims that the temperature at which wax crystals can develop in a vehicle’s fuel system and potentially clog fuel lines and filters is higher than that of petroleum diesel.
Is biodiesel as efficient as diesel?
Although certain environmental benefits are dependent on how biodiesel is created, there are other advantages to utilizing it, even in blended form. One advantage is that the gasoline is made from a renewable resource that can be farmed in the United States, lessening our reliance on foreign oil.
Biodiesel also lowers tailpipe emissions, such as soot and “air toxics,” which are released into the sky. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), biodiesel emits 11% less carbon monoxide and 10% less particulate matter than diesel. According to Car Talk, biodiesel reduces net carbon dioxide emissions by 78 percent, according to a research conducted by the Department of Energy and Agriculture. Biodiesel is benign and biodegradable, unlike petroleum diesel, which includes sulfur and carcinogenic benzene, both of which are regulated by state pollution boards and the EPA.
Biodiesel is the preferred fuel type of the United States government because to fewer emissions and a national push to lessen reliance on petroleum. It is utilized by the United States military’s four branches, as well as state, city, and private fleets. It’s commonly found on farms, in manufacturing machinery, and in construction. Producers will be able to boost production as demand for biodiesel rises, making biodiesel more broadly available to consumers.
While diesel-powered automobiles are prevalent in Europe, Edmunds reports that they only accounted for 1% of passenger vehicle sales in the United States in 2012. Diesel vehicles now satisfy tight emissions rules, thanks in part to the EPA’s National Clean Diesel Campaign.
Diesel engines provide 20-40% better fuel economy and more torque at lower rpm than gasoline engines. The use of biodiesel fuel in diesel engines cuts pollutants and the country’s reliance on foreign oil. Furthermore, biodiesel can be used in vehicles without any modifications.
What happens if you put biodiesel in a diesel truck?
Across the country, biodiesel blends are utilized in diesel automobiles, trucks, buses, off-road equipment, and oil furnaces. Biodiesel can cut overall emissions from a diesel engine by up to 75%. Due to its naturally high lubricity, it can also help a diesel vehicle live longer by reducing engine wear and tear.