Biodiesel vs. Normal Diesel

The progressive countries are taking keen interest in alternative fuels, such as biodiesel. Most vehicle owners who are still new to the technologies of biofuel often wonder as to what makes it better than the regular fuels and what are the advantages of using Biodiesel. While the auto industry is ripe with the hot topic of lowering greenhouse emissions and how to meet the more stringent norms set for pollution control that leaves the everyday user still wondering as to how he can make his vehicle less polluting. Will switching to biofuel make sense? Well, before you go ahead and do that, you should understand the differences between Biodiesel and regular diesel in order to make useful comparisons.

While the regular diesel and Biodiesel are very similar fuels, they are not identical when it comes to performance. Biodiesel is derived from renewable farm crops and organic sources, and it is the most widely available biofuel to power a diesel engine. It is expected to pollute a lot less than the regular diesel and keep those greenhouse emissions in check. The most commonly sold Biodiesel blend is B5 or 5 percent biodiesel and 95-percent petroleum diesel. The 5 percent biodiesel blend is known to provide the best performance in terms of fuel economy and emissions. Moreover, B5 can be used to power any diesel engine without the need to make any modifications. However, the automaker’s recommend blends of up to 20 percent for the new diesel cars because of the risk of impurities and inconsistencies and to provide optimum warranty coverage. However, how does the biodiesel fare when compared to normal diesel? Let’s have a look.

  • Emissions – When comparing emissions, it is found that biofuel emissions are better than those of regular diesel. There are significant reductions in the amounts of carbon monoxide too produced by biofuel.
  • Particulates – A significant concern for diesel engines is the particulate content. When measured by the opacity of the exhaust smoke, B100 produces a lot less particulate content when compared to B5 and standard diesel.
  • CO2 – The critical contributor to global warming is Carbon Dioxide; and every gallon of fuel, whether biofuel or normal diesel, results in about 19 pounds of CO2. However, the CO2 from biofuels is offset by the plants grown that absorb the carbon.
  • The catalyst – Biodiesels use hydrogen as a catalyst, and it is a lot cleaner and much better because of the higher cetane rating in comparison to the ordinary diesel.
  • Fuel economy – B100 and B5 offer much better fuel economy than regular diesel within the city. However, the regular diesel scores slightly better than the Biodiesel on the highways.

Biodiesel needs to be blended with petroleum-based diesel to get higher efficiency and performance. There is a lot less engine clatter with the Biodiesel, which results in overall improved performance. The new fuel technology indeed promises a clatter-free drive and a smooth driving experience. Moreover, you know you are doing your bit for the planet and the environment when you know your vehicle is emitting significantly lower harmful gases.

As the biodiesel production has grown manifolds in the past decade, the governments are promoting its growth and incentivizing its usage. The aim is to lower the reliance on oil and keep the planet clean and prevent further global warming. What needs to be done is to work on how to improve engine performance and longevity and use even smaller blends of Biodiesel, such as B-2. To conclude on the above comparison and discussions, there are indeed many benefits of switching from regular diesel to Biodiesel. What matters to the users is its performance and fuel efficiency, and the biodiesel scores high on those key parameters.

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