Biodiesel: The Green Fuel of the Future

July 11th, 2022 |  Categories Biodiesel

Biodiesel is a type of fuel that works like petroleum diesel but is better for the environment. As a green energy alternative, biodiesel can be produced from used cooking oil and grease. Using a process called transesterification, these oils are refined into biodiesel. As more and more companies look for ways to reduce their environmental impact, biodiesel is becoming an increasingly popular fuel source. Learn more about how biodiesel works and the future of clean energy from SeQuential and our parent company, Crimson Renewable Energy.

 

What Are the Benefits of Biodiesel Fuel?

Biodiesel was first commercially manufactured in the 1990s and is now used around the world as an alternative to fossil fuels. The advantages of switching to biodiesel include: Car being refueled with biodiesel fuel

  • Smaller carbon footprint: The transportation industry is a major source of climate-altering carbon dioxide emissions. But by switching to biodiesel, fleet managers can significantly reduce their carbon footprint. According to the Alternative Fuels Data Center, switching from petroleum diesel to B100 biodiesel can lower carbon dioxide emissions by 74%.
  • Air quality: Biodiesel is a clean-burning fuel, meaning it creates far fewer contaminants and releases less smog and particulate matter than other fuel sources. And because it is biodegradable, biodiesel poses less of a threat to waterways than petroleum diesel.
  • Sustainability: Rather than using harmful environmental practices to source fossil fuels, biodiesel is made by recycling and refining used cooking oil. By creating fuel from a common byproduct of the restaurant business, the biodiesel industry also helps keep cooking oil and grease out of the waste stream.
  • Security: By increasing the domestic production of biofuels, the United States can take steps to reduce its dependence on foreign oil. At the same time, biodiesel production helps boost the national energy economy since biodiesel can be refined and produced from American products in American facilities.
  • Ease of use: Biodiesel can be used in any diesel engine without modification. While the most commonly available biodiesel blend is currently B20 (20% biodiesel and 80% petroleum diesel), 100% biodiesel will also work in a diesel engine. And because biodiesel has a higher cetane rating and better lubricity than petroleum diesel, it causes less wear and tear on your engine.

With so many positives, it’s easy to see why many companies and fleets are making the switch to clean energy sources. According to a report from the International Energy Agency (IEA), demand for biofuels is expected to increase by 28% in the next few years.

How to Use Biodiesel

When making the switch to biodiesel, you should always ensure that your fuel blend meets the latest ASTM standards. Certain biodiesel producers, including SeQuential, also comply with BQ-9000, the National Biodiesel Accreditation Program. This program ensures that producers are following rigorous standards for the testing, blending, storing, and shipping of biodiesel fuel.

Some companies are hesitant to switch to biodiesel because they worry it will be more difficult to handle and store. However, the guidelines for biodiesel handling are comparable to those for petroleum diesel. SeQuential recommends the following best practices:

  • Ensure storage tanks are free of water, sediments, and other contaminants.
  • Minimize exposure to heat and sunlight, which can accelerate oxidation.
  • Minimize exposure to oxygen, which can reduce storage life.
  • In cold weather, use the same anti-gelling protocols as petroleum diesel.
  • Use a winterizing agent when temperatures are below 25°F.
  • Typically, biodiesel fuels should be used within six months of delivery.
  • If biodiesels will be stored long-term, use precautions such as stability additives.

Learn More About Biodiesel from SeQuential

Wondering where to find biodiesel? At SeQuential, we work with retail food establishments across the United States, collecting and refining their used cooking oil to create biodiesel. Our recycling service is free of charge, so commercial kitchens can be confident their used cooking oil and grease are handled properly without incurring an additional charge. SeQuential collects cooking oil from restaurants, hotels, college campuses, and more, and we also provide grease trap maintenance services.

For over a decade, we’ve been fueling vehicles with our BQ-9000 certified fuel, which is available at locations throughout Oregon. SeQuential partners with fleet managers, retailers, and distributors to make clean-burning biofuels more widely available. To become a fuel partner or learn more about our green energy solutions, contact us today.