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).

Is biodiesel B20 the same as diesel #2?

B20 is a popular blend because it offers an excellent balance of price, emissions, cold-weather performance, materials compatibility, and solvent capabilities. The majority of biodiesel users buy B20 or lesser blends from their regular gasoline distributors or biodiesel marketers. Under the Energy Policy Act of 1992, regulated fleets that utilize biodiesel blends of 20% or greater are eligible for biodiesel fuel consumption credits.

In general, B20 and lower-level mixes can be used without modification in modern engines. In fact, many diesel engine original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) support the usage of B20 (for a list of OEMs that support biodiesel blends, see Clean Fuels Alliance America’s OEM Information). Before using biodiesel, users should first check their vehicle and engine warranty statements. See the Biodiesel Handling and Use Guide for additional information on OEM-approved biodiesel use in cars.

Engines that run on B20 consume the same amount of fuel, produce the same amount of horsepower, and produce the same amount of torque as engines that run on petroleum diesel. Although B20 with 20% biodiesel content has 1% to 2% less energy per gallon than petroleum diesel, many B20 users say there is no discernible difference in performance or fuel economy. Biodiesel has some pollution advantages, particularly for engines built before 2010. The benefits of engines using selective catalytic reduction (SCR) systems are the same whether they run on biodiesel or petroleum diesel.

Biodiesel, on the other hand, emits fewer greenhouse gases than traditional diesel fuel. The emissions reduction advantage is roughly proportional to the blend level; for example, B20 has 20% of the emissions reduction benefit of B100.

Are biodiesel and diesel interchangeable?

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.

Is biodiesel B20 the same as regular 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.

Can you use biodiesel in any diesel engine?

Biodiesel may be used in any diesel engine without modification and is a straight replacement for petroleum diesel. Rudolf Diesel, a German engineer, invented the first diesel engine in 1893 to run on peanut oil. Biodiesel and petroleum diesel can be mixed in any ratio. B5, B20, B50, and B99 are common blends.

Can I use biodiesel in my Cummins?

Cummins is a firm believer in the usage of environmentally friendly alternative fuels. To encourage the use of renewable, domestically grown fuel, all of our automobile and industrial engines are compatible with B5 biodiesel.

Only the engines listed in this document are B20 certified. Cummins is continuing to research biodiesel concentrations greater than 5%. All future goods will be biodiesel B20 compliant. We are aware of the increased interest in B20 fuel blends and are enthusiastic about renewable fuels.

Some OEMs that employ Cummins engines that aren’t named in this advisory may have their own biodiesel-related releases that are particular to their application. Customers who want to use biodiesel should additionally check with their OEM to make sure that all supplied components, such as fuel tanks and lines, are compatible.

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.

Can 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.

Why do people not use biodiesel?

Total life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions from biofuels are virtually impossible to measure, contrary to popular belief. For example, there is considerable disagreement about the actual energy and greenhouse gas savings of biofuels displacing fossil fuels, and there is also considerable disagreement about the actual energy and greenhouse gas savings of biofuels displacing fossil fuels “Even for the same biofuel type, a large number of publications that analyze the life-cycle of biofuel systems present varying and sometimes contradictory conclusions.” (For further information, read this study). While biofuels may have lower “direct” emissions, their far more abstract “indirect” releases usually result in higher life-cycle emissions. In other words, greenhouse gases are emitted at numerous stages in the manufacture and use of biofuels, as well as in the manufacturing of fertilizers, pesticides, and fuel used in agriculture, as well as during chemical processing, transportation, and distribution, all the way to final usage. This method consumes a large quantity of fossil energy across the supply chain, making biofuels less environmentally friendly than petroleum-based fuels. It takes 18 megajoules of fossil energy to generate one liter of soybean-based biodiesel, which is equal to half a liter of gasoline, from crushing to transport. The unaccounted-for environmental issues that develop indirectly as a result of the usage of biofuels are significant: 1) direct conflicts between land used for fuel and land used for food, 2) other land-use changes, 3) water scarcity, 4) biodiversity loss, and 4) nitrogen pollution from fertilizer overuse.

Our main biodiesel feedstock, soy-based biodiesel, is very land-intensive, requiring five times the amount of land as ethanol to produce the same amount of biofuel energy. Biodiesel emits much more NOx than regular diesel because it contains significantly more oxygen (see this study here). NOx is a highly potent family of greenhouse gases that has a 300-fold stronger warming effect on the atmosphere than CO2. The Union of Concerned Scientists has reached the following conclusion: “Biofuels have major side effects that negate their climatic benefits and put water supplies at risk.” The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reported in 2014 that indirect emissions from biofuels contributed to global warming “may result in higher total emissions than when petroleum products are used.” And, according to a research commissioned by the European Union, indirect CO2 emissions from biofuels are four times higher than those from petroleum-based products. According to the International Institute for Sustainable Development, the climate benefits of replacing petroleum fuels with biofuels are negligible. Even more forthright was a recent research by Chatham House: “It has been discovered that biodiesel made from vegetable oils is worse for the environment than fossil diesel.”

While demand for biofuels is on the rise (due to government mandates), domestic oil use is either slowing, flattening, or even dropping. According to the International Energy Agency’s World Energy Outlook 2014, total U.S. oil production will increase by more than 20% by 2025, while demand will decline by around 8%, since new car efficiency regulations, for example, are predicted to reduce usage by 2.2 million b/d. As a result, the supply of oil is fast expanding. Crude oil production in the United States has surpassed 9.5 million barrels per day for the first time since 1972. And, with tremendous development potential in Canada (which ranks third in the world with 173 billion barrels of known oil reserves) and Mexico (where new energy reforms will allow international investment), North American oil security is just becoming stronger.

Figure 2: Conveniently Ignored…Renewables’ Lower Efficiencies are Best typified in the Electricity Sector in the United States (Capacity Factors in 2018)

Can I use 100% biodiesel?

B100 is a 100% biodiesel fuel. Only with modifications can a normal diesel engine run on pure biodiesel. Biodiesel will coagulate in freezing conditions, causing seals in ancient diesel vehicles to deteriorate.