With fuel getting more expensive by the day and global warming becoming a growing concern, many fleet managers are searching for alternatives to traditional gasoline and diesel fuel. Biodiesel can provide the same high-quality fuel you expect while offering an eco-friendly alternative to typical fueling methods.
Here, you’ll find everything you should know before looking into biodiesel products for your fleet.
Here are the Basics
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, biodiesel is “a domestically produced, renewable fuel that can be manufactured from new and used vegetable oils, animal fats, and recycled restaurant grease.” Biodiesel stands out from other alternative fuels as it’s the only one to meet the rigid testing requirements of the Clean Air Act.
It’s important to distinguish biodiesel from renewable diesel, although the two products are quite similar. Biodiesel has different fuel properties than traditional diesel and falls under a different fuel specification (ASTM D6751 for B100, or pure biodiesel). However, renewable diesel is nearly identical to conventional diesel and falls under its same fuel specification (ASTM D975).
Benefits of Biodiesel
Biodiesel offers plenty of benefits for fleets and for the environment. The physical attributes of it are quite similar to standard diesel, but it can help you significantly reduce your fleet’s carbon footprint. With many companies looking for ways to be more eco-friendly and sustainable, it allows you and your fleets to produce cleaner energy.
One of the best things about switching to this fuel is the ease of use. You don’t have to modify any of your vehicles to adapt to the new fuel; it can be used in the diesel engines you already rely on. (If the vehicles in your fleet were manufactured before 1994, you may need to stick with lower blends. Take a look at the next section for more information.)
Using biodiesel won’t hurt your vehicles’ performance, either. Most blends provide comparable performance to conventional diesel. On top of that, its more effective at lubricating your fuel system than traditional diesel, keeping your vehicles performing properly for years to come. As repair costs continue to climb for vehicles all over the country, this alone can provide savings to your company’s fleet.
Of course, a major benefit of biodiesel is the reduced impact on the environment. Between the feedstocks needed to produce the fuel and the combustion that results from using the fuel, biodiesel can actually reduce greenhouse gas emissions throughout its lifecycle.
Finally, a little-known benefit is it’s increased safety compared to traditional diesel fuel. Pure biodiesel is less combustible than petroleum diesel, so if it is accidentally spilled, there is a much lower risk of damage.
What to Know About Blends
Not all biodiesel options are created equal. You can choose to use it all on its own, or you can select a blend that contains a portion of petroleum diesel. Pure biodiesel is referred to as B100.
Biodiesel blends are named to indicate the percentage of biodiesel within the fuel. In the above example, B100 is named as such because it contains 100% biodiesel. Another common concentration is B20, consisting of 20% biodiesel and 80% petroleum diesel. You may also see blends like B5 or B2.
B5 can be used in any diesel vehicle manufactured since 1994. Most vehicles can use blends up to B20, but continued research is needed before all diesel vehicles can utilize this fuel. If you’re unsure which blends you can use in your vehicles, contact the original equipment manufacturer (OEM).
Where to Find It?
Since biodiesel can be made from so many different renewable resources, it’s easy to produce it just about anywhere. It is currently available in all 50 states. To learn about your local fueling sites that offer blends, visit the Alternative Fuels Data Center’s website.
If you’re searching for a reliable and affordable provider, Guttman Energy is here. Our latest innovation, Guttman Renewables, is dedicated to offering effective and eco-friendly fuel solutions to our clients across the country. In addition to our biodiesel options, we also offer ethanol products to keep your fleet running smoothly. You can also purchase carbon offset certificate to help your company reach its sustainability goals.
Contact Guttman Renewables today to learn more about our products and how our team can help keep your fleet become more efficient and eco-friendly. Our customer service is incomparable and we’re here to help provide solutions for you and your business. Give us a call today!