Look Carefully! Many companies and groups improperly use the word biodiesel to describe diesel fuel replacement products they have developed. This creates significant confusion for consumers looking to purchase and use biodiesel. Some of these alternatives have not been properly tested and could lead to damage to vehicles. Below is some information to help distinguish real biodiesel from imposters.
What biodiesel IS NOT:
- Biodiesel is not vegetable oil.
- Biodiesel is not vegetable oil diluted with solvents, i.e. diesel fuel or alcohols.
- Biodiesel is not vegetable oil with “special additives” to make it run better.
- Biodiesel is not vegetable oil refined through a conventional oil refinery process.
- Biodiesel is not vegetable oil refined through thermal depolymerization (renewable diesel).
- Biodiesel is not a fuel that requires costly modifications to your diesel engine (straight vegetable oil).
- Biodiesel is not crude methyl esters which have not been refined or minimally refined.
Unlike biodiesel, none of the fluids listed above have undergone renewable fuel certification, emissions or toxicity testing, or long-term reliability testing in engines and vehicles.
In order to be called biodiesel and receive certain tax credits specifically intended for biodiesel:
- Biodiesel must be produced from naturally occurring fats and oils using transesterification.
- Biodiesel must be composed of fatty acid methyl esters.
- Biodiesel must be refined to remove all trace impurities.
- Biodiesel must meet the ASTM standard D6751 “Specification for Biodiesel (B100)”.
If a fuel product does not meet these requirements it IS NOT biodiesel, and does not qualify for tax credits relating to biodiesel. The most important thing to ask your fuel provider is if the biodiesel is ASTM certified.