Frequently Asked Questions
Where do I get biodiesel?
Biodiesel is commonly available. It can be purchased directly from biodiesel or petroleum distributors.
Is biodiesel used as a pure fuel or is it blended with petroleum diesel?
Biodiesel can be used as a pure fuel or blended with petroleum in any percentage. For example B20 (a blend by volume of 20 percent of biodiesel with 80 percent petroleum diesel).
What means B100, B20, B5 etc.?
Biodiesel blends are denoted as, “BXX” with “XX” representing the percentage of biodiesel contained in the blend (ie: B20 is 20% biodiesel, 80% petroleum diesel).
Is it legal to use biodiesel?
Yes, it is legal worldwide (US, Europe, South America, Asia). In fact, many national agencies support biodiesel usage and many governments try to stimulate to using it by subsidies.
Is Biodiesel the same thing as raw vegetable oil?
No! Biodiesel is produced from any fat or oil such as soybean oil, through a refinery process called transesterification. This process is a reaction of the oil with an alcohol to remove the glycerin, which is a by-product of biodiesel production.
How do biodiesel emissions compare to petroleum diesel?
Biodiesel in a conventional diesel engine results in substantial reduction of unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter compared to emissions from diesel fuel. In addition, the exhaust emissions of sulfur oxides and sulfates (major components of acid rain) from biodiesel are essentially eliminated compared to diesel. In fact, biodiesel is often used as an additive to Ultra-Low Sulphur Diesel (ULSD) fuel.
Do I need special storage facilities?
In general, the standard storage and handling procedures used for petroleum diesel can be used for biodiesel. The fuel should be stored in a clean, dry, dark environment. Acceptable storage tank materials include aluminum, steel, fluorinated polyethylene, fluorinated polypropylene and teflon. Copper, brass, lead, tin, and zinc should be avoided.
Can I use biodiesel in my diesel engine?
Biodiesel can be operated in any diesel engine with little or no modification to the engine or the fuel system. Biodiesel has a solvent effect that may release deposits accumulated on tank walls and pipes from previous diesel fuel storage. The release of deposits may clog filters initially and precautions should be taken. Ensure that only fuel meeting the biodiesel specification is used. It is not recommended to use it in new diesel engines (e.g. common rail).
Is it safe for human to use biodiesel?
The acute oral LD50 (lethal dose) is >17.4 g/kg of body weight. By comparison, table salt (NaCl) is nearly 10 times more toxic. Moreover, 85% biodiesel degrades about 4 times faster than petroleum diesel (half-life of biodiesel is 28 days).
Is it safe to use biodiesel at winter?
Keeping in the mind physical characteristic (higher temperature of gelling) it is not recommended to use biodiesel at winter. Depending what was used to production of biodiesel it can gel even in temperature of 0oC, but usually it is around -10oC. Moreover, contamination by water (biodiesel is hygroscopic - absorbs water at a molecular level) can move gelling temperature to 0oC. It should be stressed, that all those discrepancies can be omitted by using special fuel depressors (the same which are commonly used for petroleum oil).