is a fuel produced by combining a vegetable
or animal fat
and a catalyst.
is a fuel that can be used in traditional diesel engines with few if any
can also be defined as a fuel comprised of fatty acid methyl esters (FAME).
produced for sale is required to meet fuel quality standards.
The fuel quality
standards for biodiesel are defined by the American Society for Testing
and Materials (ASTM)
"ASTM D6751." This standard includes acceptable levels for water and
sediment, sulfur, free
glycerin, flashpoint, cetane number and other specifications. Petroleum
diesel fuel is also required
to meet fuel
quality standards. These standards are defined in "ASTM D975-05."
and vegetable oil are not the same product. Although vegetable oil is the
main ingredient in most biodiesel, the vegetable oil
must undergo a chemical
reaction (transesterification) with alcohol and a catalyst
can be considered biodiesel
. Vegetable oil
that has not been reacted with
an alcohol and a catalyst is
to as waste vegetable oil
), strait vegetable oil (SVO) or virgin oil.
In most cases
no modifications are required to use biodiesel in an engine designed for
petroleum diesel fuel.
of natural rubber compounds can be degraded by repeated contact with biodiesel
(particularly when blends of over 20% biodiesel are used). Older vehicles
are more likely than newer vehicles to contain natural
lines and seals. These fuel lines and seals may need to be replaced if
high blends of biodiesel
will be used
on an ongoing basis.
typically only warrantee the engine for defects in "material and workmanship."
also recommend the type of fuel the engine was designed to use. Any engine
by fuel (of any type) is generally not the responsibility of the engine
manufacturers have issue statements about their recommendations for biodiesel
some of these statements are available at: www.biodiesel.org/
is usually blended with petroleum diesel before it is sold.
is commonly sold as a 2%, 5%, 20% or 50% blend with petroleum diesel.
A fuel sold
as B5 will contain 5% biodiesel
and 95% petroleum diesel.
A fuel sold
as B20 will contain 20% biodiesel
and 80% petroleum diesel.
that is not blended with petroleum diesel is referred to as B100, neat
or pure biodiesel
maintains a list of biodiesel retailers
across the country.
This list is available at:
has a higher cloud point and pour point than petroleum diesel. The cold
weather properties of biodiesel
depend on the type of oil or animal fat
that was used to produce the biodiesel
. concerns. More information about
production can be found at: www.ampc.montana.edu/briefings/briefing88.pdf
can be obtained through several methods. One method is to contact a
commercial oilseed processor and purchase oil directly from them. Another
option is to either grow or purchase oilseeds and process them to obtain
the oil (and meal). A third option is to collect waste vegetable
content of a fuel is typically measured in British thermal units (BTU).
(B100) contains about 8% less BTUs per gallon than number 2 diesel fuel.
a blend of 20% biodiesel
will contain about 2% less BTUs per gallon. Additional
content can be found at: www.uidaho.edu/
Yes, one of
the unique aspects of biodiesel production
is the ability to produce biodiesel
in very small
or large quantities.
Small scale biodiesel production
is commonly referred to as "home brewing."
of the size of a biodiesel production plant
, fuel quality and safety are
also allows producers to participate in government incentive programs for
registration may also be required for certain storage tanks, retail pumps,
building code compliance, recycling used vegetable oil
and other aspects
of the building, production, storage and marketing of biodiesel.
is available at:
producers making biodiesel for their personal use may choose to use less
expensive and less
methods when producing fuel for personal use. More information on commercial
and other fuel quality testing methods can be found at:
is taxed liked petroleum diesel fuel. Biodiesel
purchased at a retail station
will have the taxes already included in the price. Biodiesel
(even small producers) need to register with the state and pay the applicable
fuel taxes. Biodiesel
for off road use is eligible for a refund of a portion
of fuels taxes paid, similar to diesel fuel. More information is available
are lots of federal and state programs that support biodiesel
. These programs
include tax credits for biodiesel production
, grants, and government sponsored
research. More information is available at:
Yes, you must
register with several agencies to legally produce,
glycerin (also called glycerol).
produced is unrefined or
crude glycerin. For every 100 units
10 to 20 units
crude glycerin will also be
once it has been processed from
crude to refined.
For most small
scale producers refining their crude
will not be feasible. These
producers must find a use or
method for their glycerin.
These options including
the glycerin or using it
as a heating oil or boiler fuel.
is a major issue for both consumers and producers of biodiesel
Consumers that purchase biodiesel
from any licensed producer can be confident
that the fuel passed the ASTM fuel quality standards
when it was
produced. Consumers should properly store the biodiesel
(limit water, other
as you would with petroleum diesel fuel) after it is purchased to ensure
the time it is used. Producers of biodiesel
will need to have a quality
assurance program in place if they plan to produce any fuel that isn't
for their own use. This program will likely contain quality control aspects
at various stages of the production process and final product sampling.
These samples will then be sent to a
lab that offers biodiesel fuel quality