Biodiesel Basics

Yes - Diesel's Can Run On Vegetable Oil



Biodiesel SymbolBiodiesel is a renewable energy resource produced from vegetable oil or tallow (animal fat). It can be used to power diesel engines & can be blended with petroleum based diesel to make a biodiesel-blend. In fact, when the diesel engine was invented, it was powered by peanut oil, rather than petroleum based fuel.

Biodiesel has similar combustion characteristics to diesel fuel & can generally be ran in any diesel engine with little to no modifications necessary. However, most modern diesel engines are not recommended to run on pure biodiesel, but rather a biodiesel/petroleum diesel blend. A biodiesel blend is signified by the letter "B", followed by the percentage of biodiesel in the fuel. For example, B5 would be a 5% biodiesel blend, B10 signifies a 10% biodiesel blend, and B20 a 20% biodiesel blend.


Biodiesel is produced by separating the glycerin from vegetable oil, as the glycerin is not suitable for use as fuel. The refining process generally involves adding a catalyst to the solution in order to separate the glycerin from the vegetable oil. With the glycerin removed, the biodiesel is used as fuel. Biodiesel is non-toxic, biodegradable, and the process of producing biodiesel is relatively simple.


Biodiesel is becoming increasing available within the United States at local fueling stations, though it may be difficult finding a supply. It is important to check with your engine manufacturer to ensure you run the proper blend of biodiesel. Some engines require slight fuel system modifications to perform properly on biodiesel. Best of all, kits are available that allow you to refine your own biodiesel out of used vegetable oil, drastically decreasing the price of fuel. Manufactures of such kits claim producing biodiesel for as little as 70 cents per gallon.




















































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