Why Choose Biodiesel?
If you own a diesel vehicle, it makes sense to consider biodiesel for so many reasons including breaking the bonds of Middle East oil dependency and paying out hard earned money to oil companies making record profits yet still getting government handouts and taking our hard earned money at the pump. Want to fight back? Consider buying a hybrid or a diesel and running that baby on biodiesel. The following information from Biodiesel Now - check out the links at the end of this section!
The biodiesel market has increased from 25 million gallons to more than 2.8 billion gallons of advanced biofuel from the early 2000’s to 2016. The industry has established a goal of producing about 10 percent of the diesel transportation market by 2022.
This is good for the environment, and good for the economy. There are currently about 200 biodiesel plants across the country. The industry is supports nearly 48,000 jobs, generating billions of dollars in GDP, household income and tax revenues. The biodiesel industry supports jobs in a variety of sectors, from manufacturing to transportation, agriculture and service.
Why should I use biodiesel?
Biodiesel is better for the environment because it is made from renewable resources and has lower emissions compared to petroleum diesel. It is less toxic than table salt and biodegrades as fast as sugar. Produced domestically with natural resources, its use decreases our dependence on imported fuel and contributes to our own economy.
What is biodiesel?
Biodiesel is a vegetable oil-based fuel that runs in diesel engines - cars, buses, trucks, construction equipment, boats, generators, and oil home heating units. It's usually made from soy or canola oil, and can also be made from recycled fryer oil (yes, from McDonalds or your local Chinese restaurant). You can blend it with regular diesel or run 100% biodiesel.
What are the benefits?
1) National security. Since it's made domestically, it reduces our dependence on foreign oil. That's good.
2) National economy. Using biodiesel keeps our fuel buying dollars at home instead of sending it to foreign countries. This reduces our trade deficit and creates jobs.
3) It's sustainable & non-toxic. Face it; we're going to run out of oil eventually. Biodiesel is 100% renewable... we'll never run out of it. And if it gets into your water supply, there's no problem - it's veggie oil! Heck, you can drink it if you so desire, but it tastes nasty (trust us).
4) Emissions. Biodiesel is nearly carbon-neutral, meaning it contributes almost zero emissions to global warming! Biodiesel also dramatically reduces other emissions fairly dramatically. We like clean air, how about you? Plus, the exhaust smells like popcorn or french fries!
5) Engine life. Studies have shown it reduces engine wear by as much as one half, primarily because it provides excellent lubricity. Even a 2% biodiesel/98% diesel blend will help.
6) Drivability. We have yet to meet anyone who doesn't notice an immediate smoothing of the engine with biodiesel. It just runs quieter, and produces less smoke.
Are there any negatives?
Of course. There is no perfect fuel.
1) Primarily that it's not readily available in much of the nation, YET. Consumption jumped from 500,000 gallons in 2000 to 15 million gallons in 2001, so hopefully availability will change soon.
2) Biodiesel will clean your injectors and fuel lines. If you have an old diesel vehicle, there's a chance that your first tank or two of BD could free up all the accumulated crud and clog your fuel filter.
3) It has a higher gel point. B100 (100% biodiesel) gets slushy a little under 32°F. But B20 (20% biodiesel, 80% regular diesel - more commonly available than B100) has a gel point of -15°F. Like regular diesel, the gel point can be lowered further with additives such as kerosene (blended into winter diesel in cold-weather areas).
4) Old vehicles (older than mid-90s) might require upgrades of fuel lines (a cheap, easy upgrade), as BD can eat through certain types of rubber. Almost all new vehicles should have no problem with BD.
5) Finally, the one emission that goes up with biodiesel is NOx. NOx contributes to smog. We feel that a slight increase (up to 15%) in NOx is greatly offset by the reduction in all other emissions and the major reduction in greenhouse gasses.
Where do I get biodiesel?
Biodiesel is available nationwide. It can be purchased directly from biodiesel producers and marketers, petroleum distributors, or at a handful of public retailers throughout the nation.