What Is Biodiesel and Can You Use It in Your Diesel Truck?

What Is Biodiesel and Can You Use It in Your Diesel Truck?

The world is craving new sources of energy, as extracting and burning fossil fuels contributes to air and water pollution. One of the alternatives in the spotlight is biodiesel. 

Biodiesel is a clean-burning fuel produced from organic plant or animal material. Many people consider biodiesel fuels to be renewable and a desirable alternative to traditional types of fuels. 

What is biodiesel fuel, though? How does it work? Will it work in a diesel engine without causing irreparable damage? 

This guide will give you answers to these biodiesel questions. Read on to learn more about how you can use biodiesel to help save the planet. 

What Is Biodiesel? 

In some ways, biodiesel is similar to petroleum diesel. When it burns, it produces energy harnessed to operate a diesel combustion engine

However, instead of petroleum, it comes from vegetable and animal fats. Producers of biodiesel treat the fats with alcohol-producing chemicals. This creates long chains of methyl, ethyl, propyl, and other compounds. 

Biodiesel production uses domestically-sourced waste from vegetable oils, restaurant grease, and animal fats. The resulting fuels are less toxic than other diesel fuels. They are biodegradable. 

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, biofuels are a legal source of fuel. They're the only alternative fuel to pass the test set forth in the Clean Air Act of 1990

How Does It Work in Diesel Engines? 

Biodiesel comes in many different forms. People can use it in its pure form, designated as B100, or in combination with other diesel fuels. 

The B-factor indicates the ratio of biodiesel to other fuels. 

Most diesel engines can operate with biodiesel fuels without modification. There are some special circumstances you should consider before using biodiesel fuels. 

Biodiesels may contain a solvent which may release dirt from the engine. This can cause dirt to accumulate in the workings of the engine. You may need to clean your engine parts more regularly than before. 

Benefits of Biodiesel Fuels

Petroleum fuels have a damaging effect on the environment. Research shows biodiesels may help mitigate some of these effects. 

Compared to fossil fuels, the biodiesel releases much fewer greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This is important. Greenhouse gases from fossil fuels contribute greatly to the rapid changes in the global environment. 

Biodiesels come from renewable sources, such as byproducts from corn and grasses. They may even come from restaurant grease. 

This makes their production a benefit for dealing with food waste. 

Currently, many cities use biodiesel to power their public transit systems. Employment opportunities may rise as biodiesel becomes more mainstream. 

A Viable Alternative to Diesel 

Diesel enthusiasts should have as much concern for the environment as the rest. Burning petrodiesel could lead to further environmental damage. 

What is biodiesel? 

It could be the answer we seek in the quest to strike balance between performance and the environment. Each of us has a part to play in protecting the planet. 

We hope you enjoyed this introduction to biodiesel. Are you looking for more diesel-related power? Check our diesel gear


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