Bio-diesel fuels have been around and blended in our fuels for nearly 15 years now. In fact, all on-road diesel is between 2-5% bio-diesel. The federal government doesn’t require fuel providers to disclose the content of bio-diesel (unless it’s over 5%) as long as the diesel fuel still meets the American Society of Testing & Materials (ASTM D975) standard. At the end of the day, you are probably using a bio-diesel blend and you don’t even know it!
First, let’s talk about the benefits of bio-diesel blends. Biodiesel is a renewable fuel that allows us to use less oil. Not only that, but it is also much safer for the environment because it burns cleaner than crude. Bio-diesel reduces greenhouse gases by over 70% compared to diesel. Bio-diesel is also a solvent which keeps our engines cleaner and helps add lubricity to today’s ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD). Last, it provides an economic opportunity for farmers and other rural communities by creating a market for their crops.
So why is biodiesel considered the “enemy?” Biodiesel attracts water. It can hold a much larger moisture content than diesel fuels. In fact, the water retaining properties of biodiesel are 10-15 times greater than diesel fuel. Water is terrible for today’s diesel engines because the fuel becomes acidic and can corrode the inside of tanks. Perhaps most importantly, water provides a home in which microbial growth can expand. The longer your fuel sits unused, the more likely you are to have a bacteria bloom.
If you live in an area with cold winters and low temperatures, then you have to manage winters with biodiesel. As you know, diesel fuel gels in cold weather from the paraffin wax found in the fuel. With biodiesel blends holding more water than regular diesel, you become more susceptible to gelling.
What can be done to avoid the problems that come with this newly mandated fuel and blends? It is important to find a fuel treatment that will combat the problems that bio-diesel causes. Look for a fuel treatment that removes water, cleans and protects against corrosion, and during the winter, a strong anti-gel to prevent fuel gelling.
Fuel Ox™ provides fuel additives for on-road as well as heating oil treatments that prevent the negative effects of bio-diesel. Fuel Ox™ removes water and protects against the corrosive nature of bio-diesel. Fuel Ox™ Cold Charge OTR has these same benefits, with an added anti-gel that lowers CFPP by 33°. For heating oil, Fuel Ox™ Star Plus contains an anti-oxidant to protect seals and fuel tank against the acidity and corrosion, a water remover, as well as an anti-gel to lower CFPP 25°.
With biodiesel, be sure to keep your engine or fuel system protected by using Fuel Ox™ diesel and heating oil products.