What is Biodiesel?
Biodiesel is a clean burning alternative diesel fuel, produced from renewable resources. Biodiesel can be manufactured from a variety of feedstocks including virgin vegetable oils, especially soy and canola; tropical seeds; animal fats; and used cooking oils.
Biodiesel is made through a process called transesterification which separates the glycerine molecule from the feedstock oil/fat. Its Chemical Name is FAME = Fatty Acid Methyl Ester. Questions continually emerge that concern businesses interested in using biodiesel.
This is despite the fact that over 65 countries, including Australia, have developed or are developing renewable fuels policies that include biodiesel. National markets are encouraged by biodiesel’s potential to help reduce carbon emissions from diesel fuel and its ability to improve fuel supply security.
At a business level, a shift to biodiesel is an opportunity to help promote your green credentials to your customers and the community. It can also reduce the carbon reported to government and help meet your company’s own internal reduction policies.
In many cases – not all – recurring questions about biodiesel are based on concerns which are unfounded, misinformed or just wrong. You could even describe one or two as ‘urban myths’.
Biodiesel and Park Fuels
Park Fuels is the longest standing supplier of Biofuels to the NSW Government, having continually held the bulk biofuels contract since 2006.
With dedicated Biodiesel storage facilities and in line blending capabilities at our Port Kembla Terminal and an additional Biodiesel tank along with in line blending facilities at the new Park Fuels Newcastle Terminal, Park Fuels can guarantee quality and security of supply for Biodiesel and Biodiesel blends from B2 to B50.
B5 is diesel containing 5% Biodiesel, B50 is diesel containing 50% Biodiesel. The most common blend is B20.
Park Fuels can supply biodiesel that is manufactured in Australia using feedstock from used cooking oil (UCO).
All the Biodiesel supplied by Park Fuels meets the Australian Fuel Standard (Biodiesel) Quality Determination as well as European and American Biodiesel Fuel Standards.
Park Fuels can supply biodiesel in any blend ratio for all retail, transport and commercial applications.
The Australian government has zero rated carbon emissions from biodiesel.
A Safer Product – Biodiesel has a higher flashpoint than petroleum diesel with a flashpoint of >130°C compared to 52°C for petroleum diesel.
Improves the lubricity of petroleum diesel
Non toxic and bio-degradable
Emissions from biodiesel use are significantly less than Petroleum diesel:
Improved Workplace Health and Safety benefits
Seamless transition from petroleum diesel
At B5 or B20 no additional infrastructure costs
No modifications to diesel engines or to existing storage or delivery infrastructure are required.
Biodiesel and the Environment
With the Government zero rating carbon from biodiesel there is an emission saving of 2.7kilograms of CO2 for every 1L of B100 Biodiesel used in place of Petroleum diesel
As an indication - for every 1,000,000L of B20 Biodiesel used, there is a reduction in CO2 emissions of 540 tonnes.
100% reduction in Sulphur emissions
Biodiesel is environmentally sustainable over its entire life cycle of production
Major reductions in all greenhouse gas emissions
Exhaust emission reductions for Carcinogenic Compounds (95%); Carbon Monoxide (46%); unburnt hydrocarbons (35%) and Particulate Matter (45%).
The production of Biodiesel has improved life cycle energy efficiency compared to Petroleum diesel.
Biodiesel is produced from a number of renewable resources making it one of the most sustainable fuels available. Biodiesel’s supplied by Park Fuels do not impact on food production but rather by-products of other processes.
Biodiesel and My Engine
Is Biodiesel suitable to use in my engine?
Yes, Biodiesel has comparable combustion properties to diesel. Modern diesel engines are capable of using biodiesel blends. Biodiesel will provide increased lubricity in the engine resulting in less friction and engine wear. The introduction of low sulphur grades of diesel has reduced the lubricity of diesel in diesel engines.
Blends of up to 20% Soy Biodiesel meet the Australian Fuel Standards (Automotive Diesel) Determination 2001.
Engine Manufacturers (OEM’s) now support at least a B5 blend provided the biodiesel meets the Australian Standards. A growing number of OEM’s now support the use of B20.
Your OEM can confirm the biodiesel blend that is recommended for your engine and warranty requirements.
What impact will biodiesel have on performance?
Most B20 users report no noticeable difference in fuel consumption. At a B20 level , there is typically no reduction in fuel energy content.
Biodiesel has a Cetane number with the OEM design specifications and within the same Cetane range as Petroleum Diesel providing no loss of engine power.
Servicing and Maintenance
Do I need to change the Oil Drain Interval (ODI)?
Modern engines are increasingly designed for higher biodiesel blends. Some OEM’s support standard ODI’s when using up to B20.Please consult your OEM for confirmation.
Will Biodiesel block my engine’s filters or cause flow issues?
Biodiesel can act as a mild solvent when used for the first time in tanks and fuel systems. It can help clean fuel systems because it can mobilise existing particles that have adhered to them.
This may impact filters as the mobilised particles enter the fuel. This should be short lived and not cause ongoing filter issues.
For blends greater than 20%, an oil and filter change is recommended after the first tank full of Biodiesel. Its cleaning properties may remove scale and deposits that have built up from previous Petroleum diesel use.
Will Biodiesel cost more?
The price of biodiesel blends will vary according to bulk supply prices for biodiesel and diesel and the effective excise on biodiesel blend fuels.
As Biodiesel is zero rated for carbon, it will reduce the carbon cost for those businesses that are liable.
Is there Government Support for Biodiesel use?
The NSW State Government has mandated the use of 2% biodiesel in petroleum diesel.
World Governments are increasingly supporting the use of biodiesel as a sustainable fuel, reducing emissions, by increasing mandates for its use with existing petroleum diesel.
Are there any Australian Biodiesel Quality Standards?
The Australian Fuel Quality (Biodiesel) Determination 2001 (as amended Feb 2009) governs the quality of biodiesel in Australia. Park Fuels meets and exceeds all requirements specified in this standard.
In addition, Park Fuels meets and exceeds the requirements of the American and European Biodiesel standards.
As a Biodiesel supplier focused on quality, Park Fuels has a Cold Filtration Process at the Port Kembla Terminal to ensure the highest quality of Biodiesel available. No other supplier in Australia has this final process available. The Cold Filtration was commissioned in September 2013 after 2 years of research and testing.
The bottom line is biodiesel can be readily incorporated into your business. It takes a little care in buying your biodiesel from a reputable supplier who will handle the fuel well and provide advice and technical support.