In a multi-part series about biodiesel, this is one of several articles in an attempt to dispel the myths about biodiesel and it’s use in commercial and private diesel engines.
Myth #3 – I Don’t Want to be Stuck Just Running Biodiesel
Fine. Don’t. You don’t have to just run biodiesel.
In fact, you can switch back and forth as much as you want. Biodiesel can be blended with diesel fuel in any concentration, and you can start and stop using it as much as you want.
Run on B20 for two weeks, then diesel for a month, then pure biodiesel for month, then back to B20 for 6 months. Your engine won’t care, and probably won’t notice.
You might, however. Your engine will likely run quieter and smoother on biodiesel and biodiesel blends, will smoke less, and you may see reduced engine oil sludge buildup over time.
You also may see a change in fuel economy. This one is a bit slippery though. Pure biodiesel (B99 or B100) has less BTU’s per gallon, which generally translates into lower fuel economy, or fewer MPGs, when using it (about 5% less). However, when running biodiesel blends such as B50, B20, or B20, we get reports of customers actually seeing improved fuel economy because of the higher cetane and lubricity of biodiesel. The engine has less friction, the fuel combusts easier, meaning higher efficiency. Our own results have been mixed. Some engines we see an improvement, some engines we see none or worse fuel economy.