Biodiesel at Fueleconomy.gov
Biodiesel at Fueleconomy.gov PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 29 August 2011 23:29

Biodiesel is a form of diesel fuel manufactured from vegetable oils, animal fats, or recycled restaurant greases. It is safe, biodegradable, and produces less air pollutants than petroleum-based diesel.

Biodiesel can be used in its pure form (B100) or blended with petroleum diesel. Common blends include B2 (2% biodiesel), B5, and B20. B2 and B5 can be used safely in most diesel engines. However, most vehicle manufacturers do not recommend using blends greater than B5, and engine damage caused by higher blends is not covered by some manufacturer warranties. Check with your owner’s manual or vehicle manufacturer to determine the right blend for your vehicle.

Note: You should never fuel your vehicle with clean or used grease or vegetable oil that has not been converted to biodiesel. It will damage your engine.

Biodiesel Compared to Petroleum Diesel
Advantages Disadvantages
  • Domestically produced from non-petroluem, renewable resources
  • Can be used in most diesel engines, especially newer ones
  • Less air pollutants (other than nitrogen oxides) and greenhouse gases
  • Biodegradable
  • Non-toxic
  • Safer to handle
  • Use of blends above B5 not yet warrantied by auto makers
  • Lower fuel economy and power (10% lower for B100, 2% for B20)
  • Currently more expensive
  • More nitrogen oxide emissions
  • B100 generally not suitable for use in low temperatures
  • Concerns about B100's impact on engine durability
Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 August 2011 00:07