What is Biodiesel?
Biodiesel is an alternative to petroleum-based diesel fuel that can be produced from a range of vegetable oils and animal fats and oils. These can be sourced through growing crops like rapeseed and from waste oils from restaurants and food manufacturers.
The feed oils are converted into biodiesel using a process called transesterification. Oil reacts to an alcohol to form fatty acid methyl esters, which have similar characteristics to petroleum-based diesel.
Biodiesel is often blended with petroleum-based diesel (designated with a “B” factor) to suit different purposes. Blends of 20% or less biodiesel (B20, B5 and B2) can be used directly in diesel engines with no modifications (although you may want to check the manufacturers warranty). Blends with higher concentrations of biodiesel are likely to require engine modification because it contains solvents that can damage hoses and gaskets or react to standard diesel residues to produce filter-clogging particulates.
The main benefits to using Biodiesel relate to its green credentials. Engines using Biodiesel have been shown to have reduced emissions of a number of pollutants including unburnt hydrocarbons, CO (carbon monoxide), sulphur compounds and particulates. Biodiesel is also promoted on the basis of its ability to reduce greenhouse gas emissions of CO2. This benefit is measured on the basis of of its total production lifecycle and some environmentalists question Biodiesels efficacy depending on which crops have been used to produce it and where they have been grown.
If you have any questions about the use of Biodiesels in any of our new or used diesel generators then simply get in touch for some friendly advice.
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