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Biodiesel Reported to Improve Fuel Economy

by 5m Editor
28 July 2008, at 8:04am

CANADA - The Canadian International Grains Institute reports the use of biodiesel can improve fuel economy while reducing engine wear, writes Bruce Cochrane.

The Canadian International Grains Institute has completed a cross Canada series of about 50 workshops where farmers were shown how to make their own biodiesel.

Institute director of biofuels and feed Dr. Rex Newkirk says biodiesel can used in the place of regular diesel without any modification of equipment.

Dr. Rex Newkirk-Canadian International Grains Institute

I'm driving a Chevy Duramax Diesel and I run it straight in the summertime and in the wintertime I use a blend.

Most people use a five to a 20 percent blend but, because of our teaching our demonstration we use as concentrated a biodiesel as we can practically.

The one issue we do run into is freezing in the wintertime.

Biodiesel will start to freeze in the wintertime and so we have to blend it with diesel fuel to prevent that freezing or use some additives.

We should see a slight reduction in fuel economy when we use 100 percent biodiesel, in the order of six percent, but we haven't really noticed any differences with our equipment.

When you use a blend, say a five or a ten percent blend, we actually see an improvement in fuel economy.

Probably the biggest thing we see from using biodiesel is it helps your engine last longer.

That's primarily because of the lubricating properties of the fuel.

Our new ultra low sulfur fuel has been reported to be a rather dry running fuel and people are using additives to bring some additional lubrication in.

Biodiesel is a superior lubricant and really helps that work through nicely so we're very happy with its performance.


Dr. Newkirk says the cost of producing biodiesel can range from 40 cent to a dollar and a half per litre, depending on raw material.

He notes the one thing to be aware of is that biodiesel will eat away natural rubber so rubber lines or O-rings will need to be replaced before much biodiesel is used.

Further Reading

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5m Editor