Heavy equipment, including your autos and other forms of transportation or modes of operation for working, require fuel. In many “super” machines, diesel is the type of fuel incorporated. As technology grows more advanced with time, fuel alternatives are quickly entering the markets.
One example is biofuel, with a few forms that include biodiesel and ethanol. Many people are trying to understand the concept of biofuel. The priority for most is to educate on biodiesel and ethanol and how these compare with diesel or if biodiesel can potentially be used interchangeably with diesel.
Another prospect to consider is whether new machinery will be the answer to incorporating biofuels for a better environmental approach to fuel.
Does that mean everyone will be responsible for buying new equipment, autos, and machinery, or how will this transition occur? Let’s see what will happen if you keep your diesel car and put biodiesel in the diesel engine.
Diesel fuel is a distillate used more frequently with freight or delivery trucks, some autos and smaller trucks, buses, trains, and power generators for compression ignitions.
Until its patent in 1892, the fuel was referred to as “distillate.” It was leftover when makers extracted paraffin to use with lamps using the distillation process. Because the resource didn’t need to be externally ignited, it was deemed a revolutionary find.
With coal, an existing fire was necessary to exert energy. With a diesel engine, adequate pressure with diesel compression is sufficient to create ignition.
At the start, smaller engines were used in autos where the piston was combusted to drive the equipment. Eventually, designers scaled the schematic for heavier equipment like trains.
The fuel is refined at a “ratio of roughly 42 gallons of crude oil to roughly 12 gallons of diesel” and heated to a boil. The vapors that result are ultimately distilled into diesel fuel and a variety of other liquids. Because of crude oil, the substance cannot be recognized as a renewable resource.
Biodiesel is a type of Biofuel. It is a biodegradable and nontoxic resource that combines vegetable oils or animal fats with an alcohol like ethanol. These don’t have to be fresh products but can be reused, including old “restaurant greases.”
The indication is B20, a blend of 80% petroleum diesel and 20% biodiesel, a common combination since standard diesel and biodiesel are often mixed. In saying that, the suggestion is that a standard diesel engine and biodiesel fuel can be interchangeable.
Despite no specification for biodiesel fuel, diesel engines can use the option since the fuel types are so comparable. They are so much so that you can blend them for use as a mixed substance. This is the case with B20, as mentioned, a standard mix with petroleum diesel.
If there’s a high concentration of biodiesel to petroleum diesel, there’s potential for the engine to react adversely if it’s not designed to process the substance. This is why it’s suggested that B100, a relatively pure biodiesel, is urged to be used with caution. Click to learn more about B100.
It’s also noted that the energy output for concentrations of biodiesel will be less; for B20, it’s roughly 2 percent less compared to a similar level of petroleum diesel. In higher concentrations, you will also see more adverse properties, including the inclination for gelling when temperatures dip.
Although diesel and biodiesel have the potential for interchangeable use, each has its own individual traits that should be considered before committing to a resource.
For biodiesel, the primary benefit is the substance’s longevity as a resource. The fact that it’s a biomass derivative means it’s entirely renewable and reliable as a plant-grown resource. The lubricity is higher than that of diesel, decreasing wear and tear on parts and helping with engine longevity.
When comparing emission footprints, biodiesel is relatively less, “emitting roughly 11 percent less carbon monoxide and approximately 10% less particulate matter than diesel.” The product is safer for transporting, storing, and cleaning if there is spillage due to its lower combustion point.
In the current landscape, it’s noted that diesel is a more dependable fuel resource than its counterpart. The product is available at most fill stations allowing plenty of opportunities to refill if you’re running low when traveling.
The price point is marginally less expensive and compatible with all diesel engines without fear of damage.
It’s suggested that petroleum diesel offers a greater degree of energy efficiency when compared to biodiesel. It doesn’t consume large volumes of water to produce nor depend on crops. The substance doesn’t run the risk of producing mold when the temperatures are too warm, nor will it gel if things get too cold.
While you can use diesel and biodiesel interchangeably, which you should use as your primary resource will be a matter of preference after weighing the pros and cons of each.
The two are versatile, practical options for autos, heavy equipment, and power generators. When diesel was introduced onto the market, it was quite a revolutionary transition for the fuel industry.
Now biofuels, particularly biodiesel, hope to make some improvements in that vein; check syntechbiofuel.com to learn more about the options. You might need to use some additives with the substance until the products are perfected to a greater degree. No one wants mold forming or the product turning to gel based on the weather conditions.
Eventually, it will likely come down to the environmental footprint and whether that impact is low enough or you need to bring it down a few notches. Those who feel they make concessions in other areas of life that they can allow for petroleum diesel, follow those instincts.
If it would make you feel like you’re being more conscious by incorporating biodiesel, you should do that. At some point, everyone will be using similar products when one is found to be more efficient. That’s the course of life.