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Biodiesel as Fuel

Biodiesel also known as B100, is a domestic, renewable fuel for diesel engines derived from natural oils meeting the specifications of the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) D 6751, that can be blended in concentrations of up to 20% with petroleum-based diesel fuel. Biodiesel does not contaminate ground water or soil, is non-toxic and can be used in existing diesel engines with little or no modifications.

Biodiesel is most commonly used as B20, this means 20% biodiesel and 80% diesel blend. Based in this scale, it can be used in lower percentage blends, B5, B10, etc. or B30, B40 and so on until its pure form, B100. Being an EPAct designated alternative fuel, 450 gallons B100 are equals to one vehicle credit. Biodiesel must be used in blends of at least 20% biodiesel to get credit, and it can be used to meet up to 50% of a fleet's EPAct requirement, however this fuel can not be banked or traded.

Fleet fuel costs typically are "a penny a point" or more over diesel. Building new fueling stations costs the same as diesel stations. Retrofit existing diesel station at minimal cost with no vehicle price premium, as with standard diesel vehicles. Many vehicles produced since 1994 are B20 compatible, that way little or no modification is required. Most manufacturers endorse B5 blends state "use higher blends at your own risk".

Biodiesel startup, range, and cold weather performance is similar to petrodiesel, the same as fuel consumption, torque, horsepower, and haulage rates. Considered a high lubricity fuel, it is known that 2% biodiesel improves fuel lubricity by up to 66% protecting and extending engines, having a high flash point of 260ºF against the 125ºF of regular diesel.

Biodiesel is the safest fuel to use, handle, and store that operates in most conventional diesel engines and fuel injection equipment with cold flow, and no special storage required, however for B2-B20 use same precautions as using #2 petroleum diesel.


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Thursday, July 18, 2024