What Is Biodiesel?

The Transwest Team
The Transwest Team
Mar 20, 2014
What Is Biodiesel?

With alternative fuel sources becoming more and more popular, you may have heard about biodiesel, but what exactly is it, and how do you use it? Here’s a quick overview of what biodiesel is and isn’t, along with how it’s implemented today.

The Basics of Biodiesel

First of all, let’s define what biodiesel isn’t. Biodiesel can sometimes be confused with converted (or even unconverted) diesel engines that run on waste vegetable oil. This is not biodiesel, despite having similar traits. We’ll discuss oil conversion engines in a future blog, but for now, let’s take a closer look at biodiesel.

Biodiesel is a fuel product made from vegetable oil or animal fat that is designed to run on standard diesel engines. Biodiesel is usually combined with regular diesel fuel for consumer use, with a standard of labeling that tells you how much biodiesel is in the product, such as B2 (2%), or B20 (20%). It’s important to pay attention to the percentage of biodiesel in fuel because automakers will specify which types are acceptable.

Biodiesel will gel when temperatures dip low enough, and the gelling point is different depending on the source materials, for example, animal tallow fuel will gel 26 degrees warmer than some varieties of vegetable oil biodiesel. There are ways around this, such as fuel additives, tank insulation, and tank warmers.

If you’re interested in using biodiesel in your diesel engine or converting it to run on pure biodiesel (B100), do some research to see what the manufacturer recommends before jumping in and possibly voiding your warranty. If you’re looking for a new diesel-powered truck or RV, browse our excellent selection today!


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