What Percentage Of Diesel Is Biodiesel?

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.

Does all diesel contain biodiesel?

Biodiesel in its purest form is rarely utilized. It’s usually combined with diesel and labeled according to how much diesel it contains. According to Edmunds, biodiesel may be found in practically all “normal” fuel sold at petrol stations in the United States, with blends as high as B5. While many drivers of diesel trucks and cars are unaware that the fuel they put in their vehicles contains 5% biodiesel, fleet operators actively seek nonpetroleum fuel. In fact, B20, a blend of 20% biodiesel and 80% gasoline, is used in many fleet and commercial vehicles.

The cost of manufacturing biodiesel is comparable to the cost of producing petroleum. Federal initiatives that give incentives have helped to keep market prices competitive. Biodiesel has also benefited from federal low-sulfur diesel fuel requirements.

Can diesel engines run on 100% biodiesel?

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).

What is the percentage of biodiesel?

Biodiesel comes in a variety of concentrations and can be combined. B5 (up to 5% biodiesel) and B20 (up to 20% biodiesel) are the most frequent (6 percent to 20 percent biodiesel). B100 (pure biodiesel) is most commonly used as a blendstock for lower blends and is rarely utilized as a transportation fuel.

Are biodiesel and diesel the same?

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 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 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).

How much biodiesel is a gallon of oil?

Although the enhanced maize ethanol and cellulosic biofuels mandates in the new Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) have gotten the most attention, the act’s new biodiesel regulations could have a bigger impact on American agriculture in the coming years. From 500 million gallons in 2009 to one billion gallons in 2012, biodiesel use is now required. Because of low operating margins caused by high feedstock costs, biodiesel production in the United States is likely to fall dramatically over the next few years. The mandate’s increased output will put upward pressure on already high vegetable oil prices, raising the cost of manufacturing biodiesel in the United States.

Biodiesel producers would almost certainly need to charge a considerably higher price to cover their production costs than customers will be prepared to pay. When manufacturing costs exceed consumer willingness to pay, production normally does not take place. To ensure that specified biodiesel utilization levels are met, some sort of government action will be required. A evaluation of the existing situation and medium-term prospects for the biodiesel business could point to various actions that the federal government could undertake to ensure that biodiesel use reaches target levels.

Biodiesel Margins

Investors will not build biodiesel facilities unless they expect a competitive return on their investment. A biodiesel plant must earn positive operating margins, which are defined as revenue minus all operating costs, including labor, energy, and feedstock costs, before it can begin to pay out a return on investment. Most biodiesel factories in the United States were unable to recoup their operating costs in 2007. As a result, actual output in 2007 was less than 500 million gallons, significantly less than the capacity of 1.85 billion gallons.

Other than the cost of feedstock, operating costs are currently at 59 cents per gallon. Glycerin, fatty acids, and filter cakes, which are byproducts of biodiesel production, bring in about $8 per gallon. Soybean oil is used in the majority of biodiesel plants in the United States. A gallon of biodiesel requires around 7.6 pounds of soybean oil. Biodiesel facilities’ major source of revenue is, of course, biodiesel, which is typically used as a diesel fuel substitute. Biodiesel, on the other hand, is a great additive for increasing the lubricity of ultra-low-sulfur diesel. It is simple to calculate the soybean oil price over which operating margins go negative and biodiesel facilities cease to function for any given biodiesel price. Figure 1 shows the break-even soybean oil prices for various biodiesel prices.

Biodiesel prices in Iowa averaged $4.20 per gallon during the week ending January 11. Figure 1 demonstrates that the break-even price for soybean oil is 48 per pound at this price. Actual soybean oil prices last week averaged 48.5 cents per pound, indicating that facilities that use soybean oil as a principal feedstock were likely unable to meet their operating costs. Figure 2 demonstrates that, with the exception of a brief rise in mid-August, returns over operating costs have slowly deteriorated since late spring. With such low returns, it’s no surprise that much of the biodiesel capacity in 2007 sat idle. According to the National Biodiesel Board, current biodiesel capacity is 1.85 billion gallons, with another 1.4 billion gallons under development or in the planned phases. The actual production for fiscal year 2007 is expected to be approximately 400 million gallons. It’s worth noting that the costs listed in Figure 2’s expected returns do not include any returns on capital.

Impact of Excess Biodiesel Capacity

Because of the enormous quantity of surplus capacity, soybean oil prices are unlikely to fall below the break-even price depicted in Figure 1 for an extended period of time. Prices below break-even levels will lead to greater biodiesel production, which will cause prices to rise to break-even levels. Each billion gallons of extra capacity equates to 7.6 billion pounds of soybean oil, or 40% of total soybean oil use in the United States in 2006. Increased capacity utilization will undoubtedly have a significant impact on soybean oil pricing.

As a result of the overbuilding of the biodiesel business, investors in biodiesel plants should expect low or no profits. High feedstock prices will result in little or no production if the mandate is not implemented. Low feedstock prices will cause production to begin, but feedstock prices will then be bid back up to break-even levels, preventing a return on investment. Biodiesel plants that are integrated with soybean crushing facilities may reap some benefits, especially when soybean meal prices are high.

Implications of the New Renewable Fuels Standard

Because of the increased mandate for one billion gallons by 2012, the biodiesel industry is anticipated to be one of the great beneficiaries from the passage of the EISA. However, the rule will only benefit the industry if it results in future profits. Profits will be realized only if feedstock prices fall below the break-even levels shown in Figure 1, which is implausible. On the Chicago Board of Trade, soybean oil prices are currently between 50 and 55 cents per pound, reflecting the market’s anticipation that biodiesel output in the United States will increase to satisfy the new mandate, putting upward pressure on prices. Biodiesel wholesale pricing will need to be higher than $4.50 per gallon to produce enough revenue to pay such high feedstock costs, as shown in Figure 1. There are at least four ways for prices to reach such extremes. The present approach of raising biodiesel pricing is to provide diesel blenders that utilize biodiesel in their blends a maximum $1.00 per gallon tax credit.

First, without a tax credit, if wholesale fuel costs rise to $4.50 per gallon, biodiesel prices will rise to that level as well, because biodiesel is an excellent alternative for diesel. However, given the historical link between crude oil and diesel costs, crude oil would have to rise to $155 per barrel before diesel prices rose to $4.50 per gallon. Crude oil futures contracts are currently trading below $100. As a result, it appears unlikely that market demand for biodiesel as a diesel alternative will be sufficient to cover biodiesel manufacturers’ costs.

Second, the export market and as a lubricity component in ultra-low-sulfur diesel blends are two sources of market demand for biodiesel. Just as people are prepared to pay more for ethanol as an octane booster and oxygenate than they are for gasoline, they may be willing to pay more for biodiesel as a lubricant than they are for diesel. Tax advantages for biodiesel may have the same effect in other countries. It appears that diesel blenders and exporters are willing to pay more for biodiesel than diesel. The spot price of biodiesel in Iowa in the first week of January was $4.15 a gallon. After deducting the $1.00 per gallon tax credit, the market demand price comes to $3.15 per gallon. The spot price of Midwest diesel was at $2.80 per gallon, indicating a market demand price difference of 35 cents per gallon between biodiesel and diesel. With this amount of market price premium, however, a market demand price of $4.50 per gallon for biodiesel would require crude oil prices of $140 per barrel. The renewable fuels standard would not apply to quantities exported.

Third, if blenders’ purchases of biodiesel were subsidized, the price of biodiesel could be raised to $4.50 per gallon. To secure a $4.50 biodiesel price, the subsidy would have to vary inversely with the price of diesel. If blenders are willing to spend 35 cents more per gallon for biodiesel than diesel, the needed variable tax credit will be $4.15 less the diesel wholesale price. Taxpayers would bear the whole expense of satisfying the biodiesel mandate through tax credits.

Finally, if the government merely forced that diesel blenders utilize the levels of biodiesel required by the EISA, biodiesel prices could be raised enough to pay feedstock expenses. Blenders would have to pay biodiesel producers a high enough price to keep them in business long enough to meet the needed volumes. Blenders would then have to sell the blender product for whatever price diesel customers were willing to pay. Consumers and blenders would split the expense of the biodiesel mandate.

Economic Impacts of the Energy Independence and Security Act

The passage of the EISA, which includes a one-billion-gallon biodiesel mandate, was intended to aid a biodiesel industry that has been hampered by low margins due to rising feedstock costs that have outpaced biodiesel pricing. The mandate will raise the price of biodiesel, either through increased subsidies to diesel blenders or by forcing blenders to pay biodiesel prices high enough to cover biodiesel producers’ feedstock expenses. Higher biodiesel prices, on the other hand, do not always signify a profitable biodiesel industry. The biodiesel industry’s capacity will still be substantially greater than what is required to achieve the obligation. Because of the extra capacity, biodiesel prices will simply need to be raised to encourage biodiesel producers to run their facilities in order to create the requisite amounts of biodiesel. To put it another way, we should only expect biodiesel prices to rise enough to cover operating costs. If this is the case, biodiesel plant owners should not expect to make much, if any, money on their investment.

The biodiesel sector in the United States faces a bleak future because feedstock prices are always bid to the industry’s break-even point. As long as there is extra capacity, prices cannot go below this level. Prices cannot be bid higher than this because feedstock demand will fall when biodiesel factories close. This new competitive climate is bolstered by increasing biodiesel capacity as a result of their mandates in Europe, Brazil, and Argentina. As a result, the biodiesel business is not the ultimate benefactor of increased biodiesel mandates. Rather, because feedstock costs will be kept at levels that only keep the biodiesel sector afloat, farmers and landowners should expect to reap the lion’s share of the advantages from these new regulations.

What is R100 diesel?

Petrodiesel-like fuels created from biological sources that are chemically not esters and so distinct from biodiesel are referred to as “green diesel” or “second generation diesel.” Renewable diesel is similar to petrodiesel in terms of chemistry, but it is created from recently lived biomass. The term “renewable diesel” refers to fuel derived from biomass (as defined in section 45K(c)(3)) using a thermal depolymerization process that meets both (A) the EPA’s registration requirements for fuels and fuel additives established under section 211 of the Clean Air Act (42 U.S.C. 7545) and (B) the requirements of the American Society of Testing and Materials D975 or D396. Any biomass process that uses heat is referred to as “thermal depolymerization” by the IRS, and the processed fuel is qualified for the $1 per gallon blender’s tax credit. Renewable diesel blends are labeled the same as biodiesel. R100 refers to renewable diesel in its purest form, while R20 refers to a blend of 20% renewable diesel and 80% petroleum fuel. Because renewable diesel and petrodiesel are chemically identical, they can be blended in any proportion, however users may need to add an additive to alleviate the lubricity issues associated with molecules that lack oxygen.