What Is Biodiesel?
Biodiesel is a cleaner burning fuel produced from domestic and more importantly renewable resources.¬† Is it vegetable oil?¬† No.¬† It is produced when vegetable oil (like from soybeans or restaurant waste oil) is refined in a process called transesterification.¬† The process produces glycerin and biodiesel, a fuel that is biodegradable is non toxic and free of sulfur.¬† It must meet the ASTMD6751 industry standard for fuel so it‚Äôs safe to use in any diesel engine, whether it‚Äôs blended like B20 (20% biodiesel and 80% conventional petroleum diesel) or straight.¬† A visit to the NATIONAL¬†BIODIESEL BOARD SITE at www.biodiesel.org will give you information on biodiesel news resources, where you can buy biodiesel and much more.
Why Should I Use It?
The EPA reports that even B20 biodiesel can reduce emmisions by 15% vs. conventional petroleum diesel.¬† Since the raw materials behind it are domestic and renewable it is a sustainable fuel that will lessen our dependence on foreign oil.¬† The process to refine biodiesel is cleaner than refining conventional petroleum diesel too.¬† Studies suggest that production of biodiesel can help generate farm income, reduce farm subsidies,¬†add jobs and even cut the trade deficit.¬† All these things along with excellent lubricity that reduces wear and tear on the engine make biodiesel a fuel to consider.
Are there are Concerns or Drawbacks?
Biodiesel straight does not like severe cold so it should be blended in colder climates.¬† More information concerning biodiesel in the cold can be obtained by reading at www.biodiesel.org/cold/.¬† Also, since it has a mild solvent in it biodiesel has a tendency in the early stages of use to loosen deposits in the fuel tank,¬†and fuel systemof a conventional diesel user¬†and potentially clog fuel filters.
Overall, it appears the potential benefits¬†far outweigh potential problems.¬† More research is being performed every day so it looks like biodiesel could be a viable fuel option for diesel moving trucks and other diesel engines.