Biodiesel

  • In some countries biodiesel is blended with diesel at concentrations of up to 20 percent (B20).
  • Some diesel engines can operate on straight biodiesel, however concentrations above about B20 can adversely affect cold weather starting and performance. 
  • Few manufacturers of vehicles sold in Australia currently accept the use of more than B5, while others recommend against the use of any level of biodiesel. 
  • Vehicle owners should check the recommendations of the vehicle’s manufacturer before using biodiesel, particularly if a new vehicle warranty applies. 
  • The general view is that if the biodiesel has been manufactured to appropriate standards, concentrations of B5 or less are indistinguishable from conventional diesel and the blend will meet all relevant Australian fuel quality standards. 
  • There is no legal requirement for service station pumps to show they dispense biodiesel unless the level exceeds B5.
  • Biodiesel can be made at home from used cooking oil. The process uses potentially dangerous chemicals and is unlikely to be acceptable to local authorities, emergency services and home insurers. 
  • Incorrectly manufactured biodiesel can damage fuel systems.
  • Biodiesel is only likely to be a niche fuel in Australia because there is insufficient feedstock available to convert all of Australia’s diesel fuel usage to it. 
  • Biodiesel production is dependent on availability of feedstocks. Drought etc. can impact this availability.  

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