Biodiesel is a domestically produced, renewable fuel that can be manufactured from new and used vegetable oils, animal fats, and recycled restaurant grease. Biodiesel’s physical properties are similar to those of petroleum diesel, but it is a cleaner-burning alternative. Using biodiesel in place of petroleum diesel significantly reduces emissions of toxic air pollutants.
What is a biodiesel blend?
Biodiesel can be blended and used in many different concentrations, includ- ing B100 (pure biodiesel), B20 (20% biodiesel, 80% petroleum diesel), B5 (5% biodiesel, 95% petroleum diesel), and B2 (2% biodiesel, 98% petroleum diesel). B20 is a common biodiesel blend in the United States.
Can I use B20 in my vehicle’s diesel engine?
For vehicles manufactured after 1993, biodiesel can be used in diesel engines and fuel injection equipment with little impact on operating performance.
But if your vehicle is older than that, the engine could be assembled with incompatible elastomers, which can break down with repetitive high-blend biodiesel use.
Most original equipment manufactur- ers (OEMs) approve blends up to B5 in their vehicles. Some approve blends up to B20, and one manufacturer even approves B100 for use in certain types of its farm equipment. However, some OEMs don’t recommend using biodiesel blends above B5 in on-highway vehicles manufactured in model year 2007 and later. In these vehicles, high levels of fuel may accumulate in the engine lubricant under certain condi- tions. It’s not known whether those high levels of biodiesel might affect lubricant performance.
Check your OEM’s website or speak with a dealer to determine which biodiesel blend is right for your ve- hicle. You can also find general and manufacturer-specific information on the National Biodiesel Board website www.biodiesel.org.
How can I find biodiesel?
Biodiesel is available in all 50 states. According to the U.S. Energy InformationAdministration, annual consumption of biodiesel in the United States totaled 316 million gallons in 2009. As of June 2009, the country had an annual production capacity of more than2.69 billion gallons. According to the Alternative Fuels and Advanced Vehicles Data Center (AFDC) website, there are more than 600 B20 fueling sites across the country. To locate biodiesel stations in your area, use the Alternative Fueling Station Locator at www.afdc.energy.gov/stations.