by Gauk
Tue, Aug 30, 2016 4:21 AM

BioDiesel FAQs

What about TAX?

Some states and countries will require you to pay the required taxes if the fuel is used on the roads. EG. in Britain you will need to contact Customs and Excise who will require you to fill in a couple of forms and pay a fuel tax.

Compare that to what you’d pay at the pumps and Autoinfo have brought you another amazing moneysaver!

What is Biodiesel?

Biodiesel is a substitute fuel for users of traditional diesel fuel, commonly called ULSD or Ultra Low Sulphur Diesel.

Biodiesel is produced primarily from waste or used vegetable cooking oils utilising a special process that changes the characteristics of the oil to finish with a product that will power a diesel engine without any modification.

Is Biodiesel as good as normal Diesel?

Rest assured. Biodiesel is far better than ULSD if you take all the environmental advantages into account. You will notice little, if any, difference in performance.

You can completely substitute your normal diesel fuel with biodiesel or mix it in any proportion.

Good website, but I have a couple of questions:

1) The reason for using methanol and NaOH was to remove chemicals that gum up the motor. What are the longer term effects of just adding white spirit?

2) What about the supplies of waste oil? Seems to me they are finite and limited and will rapidly rise in price so that biodiesel will be only just cheaper than taxed DERV. What do you reckon?

There was a feature on vegoil on BBC’s Top Gear so I investigated it further.

I read a lot of scientific studies and tests on the subject and it most definitely works – there’s even a company in Birmingham (UK) that recycles used oil and turns out Biodiesel.

It is my understanding that the white spirit is added to lower the viscosity not to remove chemicals. The only biproduct of the refinement process is glycerin which is burnt of during combution. It is vegoil’s higher viscosity that causes the problems.

Pure vegoil will gum up the injectors – eventually – you could replace them many times over with the money saved but the addition of a solvent eliminates the need. I would run a tank of derv and injector cleaner (available from car accessory shops) periodically just to service the injectors. I have always done this anyway.

Top Gear tested our Biodiesel recipie and it worked – I’d imagine they did their homework also before broadcasting it to the nation?

In the third world and inaccessible areas they use all sorts of oils – rape seed, sunflower, palm oil….for generators and cars because of the price and scarcity of derv.

Longer term?

Supplies of waste oil are massive and it is a waste disposal problem but even if they do dry up it’ll still be cheaper to buy a chip fryer and heat the oil up – plus you could sell the chips as a sideline!!!

Glad you like the site – check out the parking and speeding fines book – these are real loopholes police, friends I have used successfully!

Will Biodiesel affect my engine warranty?

Biodiesel should meet what is considered to be the highest biodiesel standard DIN51606, and as such, will meet the EC standard currently under discussion EN14214. Almost all major manufacturers now accept these standards as evidence of compliance to be used in diesel engines, without modification.

Besides who’s going to know!

Why is Biodiesel environmentally friendly?

The biggest reason is the positive effect on the environment. Biodiesel does not contribute to net CO2 in the atmosphere, creates 30% less particulate emissions, 93% less hydrocarbons, 50% lower carbon monoxide emissions, and 50-85% less PAH’s (health risk hydrocarbons associated with diesel fuel).

It produces less offensive fumes, and, has a very high flash point, making it one of the safest of alternative fuels.

On top of all these benefits Biodiesel is produced from a sustainable, renewable raw material. Use biodiesel and you will be helping to protect the world.

(UK) Additionally, by the end of 2002, it is quite likely that waste cooking oils will be banned from use in producing animal feeds to safeguard human and animal health. This change in government policy could lead to wholesale illegal disposal of waste cooking oil in drains and landfill sites.

Biodiesel is therefore probably the most effective way of disposing of waste vegetable cooking oils in an eco friendly manner.

Will my car pass emission tests?

Yes it will- provided the engine is in good technical condition. Mostly, vehicles run on vegoil have lower rates of particles as vegoil contains more oxygen than diesel and so has a cleaner combustion.

Biodiesel Benefits

  1. Biodiesel runs in any conventional, unmodified diesel engine. No engine modifications are necessary to use biodiesel and there is no “engine conversion.” In other words, “you just pour it into the fuel tank.”
  2. Biodiesel can be stored anywhere that petroleum diesel fuel is stored. All diesel fueling infrastructure including pumps, tanks and transport trucks can use biodiesel without modifications.
  3. Biodiesel reduces Carbon Dioxide emissions, the primary cause of the Greenhouse Effect, by up to 100%. Since biodiesel comes from plants and plants breathe carbon dioxide, there is no net gain in carbon dioxide from using biodiesel.
  4. Biodiesel can be used alone or mixed in any amount with petroleum diesel fuel. A 20% blend of biodiesel with diesel fuel is called “B20,” a 5% blend is called “B5” and so on.
  5. Biodiesel is more lubricating than diesel fuel, it increases the engine life and it can be used to replace sulfur, a lubricating agent that, when burned, produces sulfur dioxide – the primary component in acid rain. Instead of sulfur, all diesel fuel sold in France contains 5% biodiesel.
  6. Biodiesel is safe to handle because it is biodegradable and non-toxic. According to the National Biodiesel Board, “neat biodiesel is as biodegradable as sugar and less toxic than salt.”
  7. Biodiesel is safe to transport. Biodiesel has a high flash point, or ignition temperature, of about 300 deg. F compared to petroleum diesel fuel, which has a flash point of 125 deg. F.
  8. Engines running on biodiesel run normally and have similar fuel mileage to engines running on diesel fuel. Auto ignition, fuel consumption, power output, and engine torque are relatively unaffected by biodiesel.
  9. Biodiesel has a pleasant aroma similar to popcorn popping in comparison to the all-too-familiar stench of petroleum diesel fuel.

Biodiesel Emissions

Overall biodiesel emissions are lower than gasoline or diesel fuel emissions (with the exception of NOx, which we discuss on the next page). Compared to diesel, biodiesel produces no sulfur, no net carbon dioxide, up to 20 times less carbon monoxide and more free oxygen. Biodiesel has the following emissions characteristics when compared with petroleum diesel fuel:

  • Reduction of carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) by 100%
  • Reduction of sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions by 100%
  • Reduction of soot emissions by 40-60%
  • Reduction of carbon monoxide (CO) emissions by 10-50%
  • Reduction of hydrocarbon (HC) emissions by 10-50%
  • Reduction of all polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and specifically the reduction of the following carcinogenic PAHs:
  • Reduction of phenanthren by 97%
  • Reduction of benzofloroanthen by 56%
  • Reduction of benzapyren by 71%
  • Reduction of aldehydes and aromatic compounds by 13%5.
  • Reduction or increase in nitrous oxide (NOx) emissions by 5-10% depending on the age and type of engine.

Biodiesel and Cold Weather Cold Filter Plugging and Gelling

When diesel fuel or biodiesel cools, wax crystals can form in the fuel.

The crystals can plug fuel filters and stop the flow of fuel to the engine.

Diesel fuel #2 can be used down to about -10 deg. F (-23 deg. C) and diesel fuel #1 (kerosene) can be used down to about -20 deg. F (-29 deg. C).

In contrast, biodiesel made from rapeseed can be used down to (-9 deg. C), biodiesel from soy can be used down to (-1 deg. C) and biodiesel from used cooking oil or animal fat can be used down to roughly between (9-12 deg. C).

Cold Weather Solutions

There are many ways to keep a diesel vehicle’s fuel system warm in winter. In fact, some diesel vehicles come stock with cold weather equipment. There are six different ways to keep a diesel vehicle’s fuel system from gelling in winter. The use of a block heater at night and a tank heater during the day has allowed biodiesel to be used in Yellowstone national park down to -40 deg. F.
The six methods for keeping a diesel fuel system operational in winter are:

  • An engine block heater to keep the engine warm at night. This helps with starting on cold mornings.
  • A fuel tank heater, which circulates coolant through a pipe in the fuel tank.
  • An electric element fuel line heater, which heats the fuel at one point.
  • A coolant-operated fuel heater, which uses hot coolant and a heat exchanger to heat a section of the fuel line.
  • An electric fuel line heater. This is like an electric blanket for the fuel line, which extends from the fuel tank to the fuel filter.
  • Winterizing agents and additives.
published by Gauk



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