Biofuel can be broadly defined as solid, liquid or gas fuel derived from recently dead biological material and is distinguished from fossil fuels which are derived from long dead biological material. In theory biofuels can be made from any biological source. However, we stick (at present) to plant (vegetable oil) and timber (sawdust and chips)
The designer of the diesel engine (Rudolf Diesel) ran his first engine on peanut oil (a biodiesel) and since this time the diesel engine has been run at various times in history on various biofuels. Biodiesel is an alternative fuel which is similar to conventional "fossil" diesel. At Devon biofuels, biodiesel is currently made from vegetable oil which is sourced from the catering trade rather than from land which is normally producing food. Biodiesel is up to 80% lower than fossil fuel diesel in emission levels, and has been shown to produce an average saving of up to 8% in fuel economy.
Biodiesel is made through a chemical reaction which changes the shape of the molecule. It’s is a process that splits the Methyl Ester (biodiesel) from the glycerine that damages engines. From used vegetable oil the process of changing it into a diesel molecule is completed through mixing the catalyst, methanol and sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide with heated vegetable oil. This is done after carrying out a titration test to distinguish the amount of components needed to get an optimum reaction.
The glycerine is then taken out and the residues of methanol removed. The diesel is then put though a dry wash to clean and polish it. It is then filtered and ready to use.
The recognised standard for good quality bio diesel is EN14214.
This is not a straight forward question to answer. Many diesel engines will run on biodiesel without any modification, a number of manufacturers lead the way and actually state biofuel as an accepted fuel in the cars handbook (and sometimes on the sticker in the fuel filler cap). However, there have been circumstances where engine failures have been attributed to running biodiesel (sometimes poor quality biodiesel being the fault) a search of the internet will highlight these.
We understand the the choice to run your vehicle on biodiesel is not a light one to make. We would therefore recommend you look closely at the vehicle handbook to see what quality fuels the vehicle will run (or call the dealer) before starting at a 50/50 mix. The engine will generally run more efficiently on biodiesel, and much of the "dirty" fuel deposits left in the system will be flushed through.
It is a good idea to change the fuel filter after running the vehicle on biodiesel for around 1000 miles. Vehicles that were manufactured prior to 1992 generally have rubber fuel hoses that have been found to perish over time when used with biodiesel, so if your car is of this age it may be worth replacing the fuel hoses.
The processing plant at Devon Biofuels is currently under construction, and it will be a while before full production is back to normal. However, we still have storage capability and can supply to our members, although the biodiesel is brought in. This is why we have instigating a membership system, whereby we can calculate demand over the course of the month.
If you would like to run on biodiesel and want to join please click here.
Biodiesel is now in stock.
Biodiesel now in stock, £10 annual membership fee with a membership card now being issued. If you would like to sign up, contact us via the membership page. If you are already on our database, we will be contacting you soon.