Biodiesel is a domestically produced, renewable fuel that can be manufactured from new and used vegetable oils, animal fats, or recycled restaurant greases. Biodiesel’s physical properties are similar to those of petroleum diesel, but it is a cleaner-burning renewable alternative. Research has shown that biodiesel also reduces emissions of toxic air pollutants in older on-road vehicles and in many off-road applications.
Biodiesel can be blended and used in many different concentrations, which include the following blends:
- B100 (pure biodiesel)
- B20 (20% biodiesel, 80% petroleum diesel)
- B5 (5% biodiesel, 95% petroleum diesel)
- B2 (2% biodiesel, 98% petroleum diesel)
B20 is one of the more common biodiesel blends available in the U.S. Pure biodiesel or biodiesel blended with petroleum diesel can be used to fuel diesel vehicles, providing energy security and emissions and safety benefits. However, higher blends should be avoided in older vehicles (manufactured before 1994) as their elastomers (rubber hoses and gaskets) could break down from repetitive use of blends above B20.
Nearly 80% of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) of diesel vehicles approve blends up to B20 in some, or all, of their diesel vehicles. Some OEMs approve the use of B100 in certain models. You can find more information on the National Biodiesel Board website.
Biodiesel is safe and biodegradable, and its use significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions and serious toxic air pollutants.