Biodiesel is a renewable fuel source from vegetable oils, animal fats, and waste cooking oil. It has gained wider use in recent years as an alternative to conventional diesel fuel, as it is considered more environmentally friendly and sustainable.
The use of biodiesel in vehicles has become increasingly common, particularly in the United Kingdom, where it is often blended with traditional diesel at varying concentrations. Here are five essential facts if you are considering using biodiesel to power your car.
1. Biodiesel Reduces Emissions and Pollution
One of the primary reasons for the growing popularity of biodiesel is its potential to reduce harmful emissions and air pollution. Biodiesel produces fewer greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and particulate matter, than traditional diesel fuel.
This is because it is made from renewable sources, like vegetable oil, which absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as they grow. Additionally, biodiesel has a lower sulphur content than traditional diesel, which reduces the amount of sulphur dioxide released into the air, a significant contributor to acid rain.
Some studies have shown that a blend of 20% biodiesel and 80% traditional diesel (B20) can lessen carbon dioxide emissions by up to 15%. Moreover, using pure biodiesel (B100) can result in an even greater reduction of up to 75% in carbon dioxide emissions compared to traditional diesel.
2. Biodiesel is Compatible with Most Diesel Engines
A significant advantage of biodiesel is its compatibility with most diesel engines without needing modifications. If you have a diesel-powered vehicle, you can use biodiesel without significant engine or fuel system changes. However, it is essential to check your vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations, as some older engines or specific models may require modifications to use biodiesel.
In the UK, many fuel stations offer a blend of biodiesel and traditional diesel, known as B7, which contains up to 7% biodiesel. This blend can be used in most diesel engines without any issues. However, if you are considering using higher concentrations of biodiesel, such as B20 or B100, it is crucial to consult your vehicle’s manufacturer for guidance.
3. Biodiesel Offers Similar Performance to Traditional Diesel
While biodiesel has a lower energy content than traditional diesel fuel, its power, torque, and fuel efficiency performance are generally comparable. This means that you can expect your vehicle to perform similarly when using biodiesel, with only minor variations in fuel consumption.
However, it is worth noting that biodiesel has a higher cetane number than traditional diesel, which means it ignites more easily and can result in smoother engine operation and reduced emissions. Additionally, biodiesel acts as a natural solvent, which helps clean your engine and fuel system, improving performance over time.
4. Biodiesel Can Be More Expensive Than Traditional Diesel
One of the drawbacks of using biodiesel is its cost, which can be higher than traditional diesel fuel. The price of biodiesel depends on various factors, including the cost of raw materials, production methods, and government incentives or taxes.
In the UK, biodiesel is subject to lower fuel duty than traditional diesel, which can help offset some cost differences. However, it is still essential to consider the potential impact on your fuel budget when deciding to use biodiesel.
5. Biodiesel Can Be Sensitive to Cold Temperatures
Biodiesel has a higher cloud and pour point than traditional diesel, which means it can become cloudy or even gel at cold temperatures. This can lead to potential issues with fuel flow and engine performance in colder climates. However, this problem can be alleviated by using biodiesel blends with lower concentrations of biodiesel, such as B7 or B20, which are less likely to gel at low temperatures.
If you live in a place with a temperate climate and plan to use higher concentrations of biodiesel, it’s a good idea to use fuel additives and store your vehicle in a heated garage to prevent gelling.
Biodiesel is a promising alternative to traditional diesel fuel, offering numerous environmental benefits and compatibility with most diesel engines. Researching and understanding the potential advantages and drawbacks of using biodiesel in your vehicle and consulting your vehicle’s manufacturer for specific guidance is vital.
Using biodiesel is good for the environment. However, not all biodiesel is made the same. Additionally, improper storage and handling of biodiesel can present issues for your engine. If you think you’ve put contaminated diesel in your tank, then you should call Fuel Fixer for fast and efficient contaminated biodiesel removal services. Contact us today and get back on the road with confidence.