BIODIESEL: What it is and why should I use it?


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’s safe to use in any diesel engine, whether it’s blended like B20 (20% biodiesel and 80% conventional petroleum diesel) or straight.  A visit to the NATIONAL BIODIESEL BOARD SITE at 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  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.

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