Biodiesel from BioRoute...Benefits the Operator...Benefits the Environment

Biodiesel - What is it?
Biodiesel or Methyl Ester as it's also known, is a clean burning and renewable fuel alternative to mineral diesel made predominantly from vegetable oils.

Biodiesel's physical and chemical properties are very similar to normal diesel, so it can be mixed and used as a blend with Derv or on its own. (Specification comparison)

Why should I use Biodiesel?
Commercial benefit
Biodiesel is cheaper than mineral diesel. With fuel bills representing 35% of an operator's costs, using Biodiesel will enable savings to be made.
(See potential savings...)

Environmental benefit
The environmental benefits of using Biodiesel will enhance the operator's reputation.

Better ignition and combustion

Biodiesel has better ignition and combustion characteristics (due to a higher Cetane Index), which allows the engine to run more smoothly with less of the "knocking" sounds typical of diesel engines.

Reduces exhaust emissions
Biodiesel substantially reduces exhaust emissions (unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide and particulate matter). It contains naturally occurring oxygen, which enables the fuel to burn more completely and all but eliminate the black smoke normally associated with diesel engines. There may be a slight increase in NOx emissions but this is dependant on the engine type and its operating environment.

Improves lubricity & reduces engine wear
Biodiesel has very good intrinsic lubrication properties. Even blends as low as B1 (1% in ULSD) can improve the lubricity in highly de-sulphurised mineral diesel. In engines approved for operation with B100 Biodiesel, the engine wear is significantly reduced.

Fuel consumption
Using Biodiesel as a B20 or B30 blend (20/30% mix with normal diesel) has no reported effect on fuel consumption. Some operators have even suggested it actually improves fuel consumption. There may be a slight increase in fuel consumption when using B100 pure Biodiesel, however the effects are mitigated by the improved ignition and combustion qualities of Biodiesel.

Safer, biodegradable and non toxic
Biodiesel has a higher flashpoint than mineral diesel. It is also readily biodegradable and non toxic, which makes it a safer and more environmentally friendly fuel to handle, particularly in sensitive areas.

Sulphur free
Biodiesel is naturally free of sulphur and so produces no sulphur dioxide, considered to be one of the main precursors to acid rain.

Carbon dioxide neutral
Biodiesel is made from renewable resources, which means it reduces the contribution of carbon dioxide (one of the main greenhouse gases) to the atmosphere.

How is Biodiesel used by others?
Biodiesel as a 5% blend with mineral diesel, referred to as B5 Biodiesel is now permitted within the EN590 mineral diesel specification across Europe. There are pressures from within the European Community to increase this ratio, but no agreement has been reached as yet.

In the UK, we recommend that operators consider switching to the B20 or B30 grade. This is a blend of 20/30% Biodiesel with 80/70% mineral diesel. B20/B30 are optimum blends for all year round performance and cost savings. Experienced operators can convert to higher blend ratios up to B100 (100% pure Biodiesel) when UK summer fuel specifications apply, to take full advantage of the benefits and savings Biodiesel can bring. Ready blended B20/B30 grade now available!

In Germany Biodiesel is made from oil seed rape to the European Standard EN14214, and is used extensively as B100 by commercial vehicle and bus operators across Germany. A range of Biodiesel blends in ULSD are also widely used.

American truck and bus operators prefer a blend of 20% Biodiesel manufactured to the US Standard ASTM D 6751 in mineral diesel which is referred to as B20 Biodiesel. The B20 blend currently provides commercial vehicle operators in the US with the optimum cost vs benefit balance.

Can I use Biodiesel now?

In a word…YES!… At blends from B5 up to B20/B30, Biodiesel is easy to use. No new equipment and no modifications to existing equipment are necessary. Simply treat it as though it were ordinary mineral diesel. You just need to be aware of the handling characteristics of the fuel particularly if using it in higher concentration blends above B20/B30.

What the engine manufacturers say
Manufacturers provide warranties on their products against failure, where such failure is directly attributable to their own faulty materials or workmanship. Using any fuel, whether it is ULSD, Derv or Biodiesel does not in itself affect the engine manufacturers warranty.

All private and commercial vehicle manufacturers have approved the B5 (5%) Biodiesel blend within mineral diesel.

Manufacturers such as Mercedes in their BR 300, 400, 500 and 900 series engines, DAF in their LF, CF and XF Models, Scania and MAN Trucks, Peugeot Citroen Group have all approved certain models and engine types to use with B30 - B100 Biodiesel. Other manufacturers have adopted different positions regarding the use of Biodiesel and we are able to help with identifying the suitability of a particular vehicle or engine type.

Using Biodiesel as a B5 blend
Biodiesel as a 5% blend in Derv is fully accepted within the EN590 diesel specification.

Using Biodiesel as a B20/B30 Blend
We recommend that operators consider the B20/B30 grade, a blend of 20/30% Biodiesel with 80/70% mineral Diesel. B20/B30 are the optimum blends for year round performance and represents a good balance between cost savings, emissions, cold weather performance, materials compatibility and cleaning effect. Once blended, B20/B30 may be treated exactly like ordinary Diesel.
Ready blended B20/B30 grade
now available!

Using pure Biodiesel as B100
Experienced operators can convert to higher blend ratios (up to B100 the 100% pure Biodiesel grade) when UK summer fuel specifications apply. B100 enables full advantage to be taken of the savings and benefits Biodiesel can bring.

The BioRoute service…to help you enjoy the commercial benefits of using Biodiesel

Vehicle suitability - can my vehicles use Biodiesel?
  • We will evaluate your vehicle fleet profile and determine its suitability for running on Biodiesel as recommended by the vehicle manufacturers.
  • We will provide you with assistance and support to ensure a smooth conversion to this renewable fuel, with no disruption to your operations.
Biodiesel Storage - can I use my existing diesel storage?
  • We will evaluate your current diesel storage arrangements and suggest how you can introduce Biodiesel into your fuel mix at the appropriate blend ratio.
  • Where storage tank capacity is limited, we can arrange to co-ordinate the delivery of Biodiesel, with deliveries from your mineral diesel supplier, to ensure the required blend ratio is maintained.
Supply of Biodiesel?
  • We will deliver pure B100 Biodiesel to your site to ensure you maintain the required blend ratio in your mineral diesel storage.
  • You will retain the flexibility to buy your mineral diesel from your preferred supplier.

(Note: minimum quantities apply and the required grade is not pre-blended before delivery).


Contact us now

Storing and handling Biodiesel?
1) Ambient external temperature
2) Cleaning effect
3) Materials compatibility
4) Fuel stability

Whilst these considerations are important for higher concentrations of Biodiesel and B100, their effects on B20 and below are significantly reduced. It is useful however as a B20 user to be aware of them, to have a better understanding of the fuel's characteristics.
Ready blended B20 grade now available!

Ambient external temperature
As with all diesel fuels, Biodiesel will start to turn cloudy at very low temperatures. This effect is also known as waxing or gelling. Although the formation of waxes is reversed as the fuel temperature rises, their presence may lead to blocked fuel filters.

To prevent waxing of the Biodiesel in storage during the winter months, it should be maintained at an appropriate temperature or blended with mineral diesel.

Cleaning effect
As a mild solvent, Biodiesel has excellent cleaning properties. It will loosen and dissolve any accumulated sediment left by mineral diesel in fuel tanks, fuel lines and fuel systems whether in bulk storage or in the vehicle itself. The extent of sediment build up will depend on the age and condition of the storage tank or vehicle, but fuel filters may well clog up with these mineral diesel deposits if the fuel tanks and systems are not cleaned before using Biodiesel.

The level of this cleaning effect depends on the concentration of the Biodiesel blend being used and the amount of sediment in the fuel system to start with.

These same cleaning qualities may affect paintwork and the adhesives fixing graphics or signs to a vehicle or tank, so if Biodiesel is spilled, it must be wiped up immediately.

Materials compatibility
Biodiesel is compatible with seals, gaskets and adhesives found in many vehicles in use today, but may not be compatible with certain polymers and rubbers found in hoses and gaskets that typically form part of the fuel system found in older vehicles. There have not been any significant material compatibility issues with B20 however.
Ready blended B20/B30 grade now available!

Fuel stability
As with diesel fuel, Biodiesel has a long-term storage life, beyond which its stability may become affected. In diesel fuel terms, this is referred to as oxidation stability. UK produced Biodiesel will include additives to ensure the fuel meets appropriate standards for oxidation stability, and be suitable for storing for a minimum "best practice" period of 6 months. As with ordinary diesel fuel, it is recommended that Biodiesel should not be stored for any longer than this.

External conditions, such as water, heat and sunlight can affect the stability of the fuel. When Biodiesel is stored, care must be taken to ensure all storage tanks are clean and dry (free of water) before using it for the first time.

For further information please
contact us now.


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