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Biodiesel

Basics

  • Biodiesel (B100) is a domestically produced, renewable fuel manufactured from vegetable oils, animal fats or recycled restaurant greases. It is safe, biodegradable and produces less air pollutants than petroleum-based diesel.

Blends

  • Biodiesel is often referred to as B100 in its pure, unblended form. Like petroleum diesel, biodiesel is used to fuel compression-ignition engines. Biodiesel can be used in its pure form (B100) or blended with petroleum diesel. Common blends include B2 (2% biodiesel), B5 (5% biodiesel), and B20 (20% biodiesel).

Vehicles

  • Biodiesel can be used in any newer diesel vehicle without modification. Vehicles produced prior to 1993 will need to replace rubber seals with non-rubber seals. Biodiesel acts as a solvent and can loosen sediment built up in the fuel tank and fuel filters should be checked and replaced as necessary.

Benefits/Disadvantages

  • Most vehicle manufacturers approve blends up to B5, and some approve blends up to B20. Biodiesel results in less air pollutants (other than nitrogen oxides), and less greenhouse gas emissions. Currently, biodiesel is more expensive than petroleum diesel. 

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Centralina Council of Governments
9815 David Taylor Drive
Charlotte, NC 28262

Part of the U.S.
DOE Clean Cities
National Network