BIODIESEL FAQ

1. What is Sustainability?

  • According to the U.S. EPA, sustainability is meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

2. Is Biodiesel Vegetable Oil?

  • No, biodiesel is produced through a chemical process called transesterification which converts oils and fats of natural origin into fatty acid methyl esters (FAME). Combustion of vegetable oil without conversion to biodiesel will lead to soot accumulation and deposits that may lead to power loss and engine failure. *See what is biodiesel

3. What is Biodiesel?

  • Biodiesel is made through a chemical reaction between natural oils and alcohol, followed by purification. Biodiesel can be made from nearly any naturally occurring vegetable oil or fat. The most frequently used oils by Pacific Biodiesel facilities are used cooking oil, tallow, yellow grease, poultry grease, cottonseed oil, and soybean oil.

4. What is Sustainable Biodiesel?

  • Sustainable Biodiesel is biodiesel produced in a manner that, on a life-cycle basis, minimizes the generation of pollution, including greenhouse gases; reduces competition for, and use of, natural resources and energy; reduces waste generation; preserves habitat and ecosystems; maintains or improves soils; avoids use of genetically modified organisms; and provides community economic benefit that results in jobs and fair labor conditions.

5. Do I Need To Modify My Diesel Engine To Use Biodiesel?

  • If your car was made after 1993, the answer is probably no. In most cases current model vehicles use synthetic fuel lines, there are a small number of more recent vehicles that use rubber fuel lines so check your vehicle to be sure. If your car was made prior to 1993, or is one of the few more recent vehicles using rubber fuel lines, the rubber fuel lines will probably have to be replaced. One of the major advantages of using biodiesel is the fact that it can be used in existing diesel engines without negative impacts to operating performance. Biodiesel is the only alternative fuel for heavyweight vehicles that does not require any special injection or storage modifications.

6. Can I Run Biodiesel In My Gasoline Engine?

  • No, biodiesel can only run in conventional compression-ignition (diesel) engines!

7. Can I Go Back And Forth Between Biodiesel and Petroleum Diesel In My Vehicle?

  • Yes, you can use biodiesel and diesel fuel interchangeably, as well as blended in any percentage mixture.

8. Will I Need To Change Fuel Filters More Often When Using Biodiesel?

  • Biodiesel is a solvent. It will clear many diesel deposits that have accumulated in your fuel tank. This may cause initial fuel filter clogging but continued use of biodiesel will not cause an increased frequency of filter changes.

9. Will I Need To Change Fuel Filters More Often When Using Biodiesel?

  • Vehicles running on biodiesel get virtually the same MPG rating as vehicles running on petrodiesel. Many alternative fuels have difficulty gaining acceptance because they do not provide similar performance to their petroleum counterparts. Pure biodiesel and biodiesel blended with petroleum diesel fuel provide very similar horsepower, torque, and fuel mileage compared to petroleum diesel fuel. In its pure form, typical biodiesel will have an energy content 5%-10% lower than typical petroleum diesel. However it should be noted that petroleum diesel fuel energy content can vary as much as 15% from one supplier to the next. The lower energy content of biodiesel translates into slightly reduced performance when biodiesel is used in 100% form, although users typically report little noticeable change in mileage or performance. When blended with petroleum diesel at B20 levels, there is less than 2% change in fuel energy content, with users typically reporting no noticeable change in mileage or economy.

10. Is Biodiesel Good For My Diesel Engine?

  • Yes, biodiesel can actually extend the life of your engine. Biodiesel has superior lubricating properties that reduce the wear of vital engine parts.

11. How Are The Emissions From Biodiesel and ULSD Different?

  • Using biodiesel instead of petrodiesel will significantly reduce unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, and particulate matter from tail pipe emissions. It will also virtually eliminate sulfur oxides and sulfates which are major contributors to acid rain. Nitrogen oxide emissions may slightly increase, but can be remedied with newer low-emission diesel engines. Biodiesel is the only alternative fuel to successfully complete the EPA’s rigorous emissions and health effects study under the Clean Air Act. Biodiesel provides significantly reduced emissions of carbon monoxide, particulate matter, unburned hydrocarbons, and sulfates compared to petroleum diesel fuel. Additionally, biodiesel reduces emissions of carcinogenic compounds by as much as 85% compared with petrodiesel. When blended with petroleum diesel fuel, these emissions reductions are generally directly proportional to the amount of biodiesel in the blend. The reduced particulate and unburned hydrocarbons emissions that result when using biodiesel are a welcome relief in environments where workers and pedestrians are in close proximity to diesel engines, including public transport, mining, and construction. *A Comprehensive Analysis of Biodiesel Impacts on Exhaust Emissions U.S. EPA

12. Where Can I Find Biodiesel In My State?

13. Does Biodiesel Contain Petroleum Diesel?

  • Pure biodiesel, B100 (100% biodiesel) does not contain petrodiesel. Biodiesel can be blended with petrodiesel and is frequently sold as B20 (20% biodiesel, 80% petrodiesel blend) or B5 (5% biodiesel, 95% petrodiesel blend).

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