What to think about when you start using Biodiesel.
Biodiesel User Considerations
Star Oilco has more experience making biodiesel a success in fleets in Oregon than any other oil company. Do not hesitate to reach out whether you are our customer or not. We are here to make sure you are successful with Biodiesel blends as the simplest drop in low CO2 fuel.
Biodiesel is a renewable fuel produced from oil seed crops, used cooking oil, and/or animal fat waste. It is chemically similar to petroleum diesel, and is produced by combining the oil stock with catalysts and then heating it. Biodiesel is not the same as vegetable oil or SVO. Biodiesel can be used in any diesel engine. Biodiesel and biodiesel blends significantly reduce tailpipe emissions, especially carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and particulates (black smoke). Using biodiesel decreases the cancer-causing risk of auto exhaust by 94%. B20 (20% biodiesel mixed with 80% petroleum diesel) reduces this risk by 27%. Click HERE for a chart detailing specific emissions reductions for B100 and B20.
Star Oilco distributes only commercially produced biodiesel, made in the Pacific Northwest that meets ASTM D6751 specification – a demanding fuel testing regiment that guarantees the fuel will perform properly in your engine.
3 considerations before using biodiesel
- Compatibility with rubber. Biodiesel is a solvent and overtime will degrade any natural rubber in a vehicles fuel delivery system. Generally, natural rubber parts only appear in vehicles manufactured before 1993. After 1993, most engine manufacturers began using synthetic rubber or metal parts exclusively. The following materials are also adversely affected by higher blends of biodiesel: Nitrile, Polypropylene, Polyvinyl, Tygon, and Fluorosilicon. These materials can be replaced with Viton (the industry standard), Viton GFLT, Viton A401-C, Nylon 6/6, and Teflon.
If you are not sure if you have natural rubber in your vehicles fuel delivery system, contact your manufacturer and/or mechanic. If you do not have a mechanic, Jay Dykeman at Jay’s Garage is an excellent resource for biodiesel inquiries. You may contact Jay at (503) 239-5167.
- Cleaning Effect. Petroleum diesel forms sediments that stick to and accumulate in your fuel tank. Over time, this accumulation forms layers of sludge. Biodiesel will dissolve and clean these deposits from your fuel tank, fuel line, and engine. Although it is unlikely, material flushed through your fuel system may clog your fuel filter. You may need to change your fuel filter one or more times if this occurs. It is rare that fuel filter clogging at subsequent fill-ups becomes a problem.
- Cold Flow. Like any diesel fuel, biodiesel can gel at low temperatures; however, the gel point for 100% biodiesel is higher than petroleum diesel. To date, no anti-gel additives have been shown to be effective with B100. As a result, Star Oilco does not recommend the use of B100 below 40º F. During the part of the year when temperatures drop below 40º F, Star Oilco recommends blending at least 50% petroleum diesel in the tank of the vehicle/equipment.
- Biodegradability. Actually a good thing about Biodiesel, yet a cause for concern when storing a vehicle. Biodiesel is made from natural fats and oils. This causing it to be a far lower CO2 emitting fuel than a petroleum product. This also causes it to break down in the environment far faster than petroleum products. Normally a good thing, unless it is in your tank while it is being stored. You will want to take extra care in stabilizing your fuel for storage and ensuring that water does not get into your fuel. Water creates an environmental biological activity can take place where algae, yeasts, and bacteria can live and feed on the biodiesel and diesel in your fuel tank.
Star Oilco is here to make your fleet successful fielding Biodiesel blends.
Let us know if we can help you move forward with a low CO2 fleet solution.