Biodiesel is an alternative fuel made from fats or oils such as vegetable oil or soybean oil. It is renewable and nontoxic, and it contains no petrochemicals. It is often blended with petroleum diesel, and the percentage of the blend is indicated in the name; for example, B20 is a blend of 20 per cent biodiesel. B100 is 100 per cent pure biodiesel with no petroleum. It is safe to use biodiesel in any diesel engine, but you should follow a few precautions.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Vehicle with diesel engine
- B100 fuel
Choose a car that can run on B100. Theoretically, any diesel engine can run on B100, but because newer cars are more specifically optimised for petroleum diesel, using biofuel can sometimes cause problems. According to Biodiesel Filling Stations, any diesel car built between 1990 and 2004 can run on B100. Newer cars can often run on B100 with no problems, but for most brands of cars the use of biodiesel will void the warranty.
Replace any natural rubber components in your car's fuel system, such as natural rubber hoses or gaskets. Biodiesel can corrode these natural rubbers, so they should be replaced with hoses or gaskets made of synthetic rubber or different materials that will not be degraded by biodiesel.
Use B100 in warm weather. In cold weather, biodiesel can freeze in your engine, making it impossible for your car to start. You can avoid this problem by using a blend such as B20 instead of B100 during cold weather months.
Find a B100 supplier. Make sure your supplier offers biodiesel that meets American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) specifications.
Change your fuel filters AFTER you have begun using biodiesel. Biodiesel can dissolve deposits that have been left in your fuel system by petroleum fuel, and these deposits will clog your fuel filters until they have been cleaned out of your car's system.
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