Welcome and thanks for learning more about Michigan Thumb Premium Biodiesel. Biodiesel is a petrodiesel replacement fuel that is manufactured from vegetable oils, recycled cooking greases or animal fats. Because plants produce oils from sunlight and air, and can do so year after year on cropland, these oils are renewable. Animal fats are produced when the animal consumes plant oils and other fats, and they too are renewable. Used cooking oils are mostly made from vegetable oils, but may also contain animal fats. Used cooking oils are both recycled and renewable.
The biodiesel manufacturing process converts oils and fats into chemicals called long chain mono alkyl esters, or biodiesel. These chemicals are also referred to as fatty acid methyl esters or FAME. In the manufacturing process, 100 pounds of oils or fats are reacted with 10 pounds of a short chain alcohol (usually methanol) in the presence of a catalyst (usually sodium or potassium hydroxide) to form 100 pounds of biodiesel and 10 pounds of glycerine. Glycerine is a sugar, and is a co-product of the biodiesel process.
You get 3.4 units of fuel energy from biodiesel for every unit of fossil energy used to produce the fuel. Substituting biodiesel for petrodiesel reduces life-cycle carbon dioxide emissions by 78%. Engine manufacturers depend on lubricity to keep moving parts, especially fuel pumps, from wearing prematurely. Even 2% biodiesel can restore adequate lubricity to dry fuels such as kerosene and low petrodiesel.
And last, but maybe not least, the biggest benefit to using biodiesel is that it is easy. In blends of B20 (20% biodiesel and 80% petrodiesel) or less, it is literally a “drop in” technology. No new equipment and no equipment modifications are necessary.
Biodiesel blends of 20 percent and below will work in any diesel engine without the need for modifications. These blends will operate in diesel engines just like petroleum diesel. If the blend has been properly treated by the petroleum company, it will work year round, even in cold climates. B20 also provides similar horsepower, torque, and mileage as diesel.
There are a few PRECAUTIONS to take when making the switch to B20:
- Make sure you buy B20 from a reputable source.
- Buy fuel that is already blended. This will help ensure that the biodiesel has been properly handled and treated for climatic needs.
- Never buy from someone making fuel in their garage or backyard.
- Biodiesel is a cleaning agent, which means petroleum deposits may end up in the fuel filter until the system is clean. Stick to your regular maintenance schedule, unless your vehicle feels sluggish when accelerating. This is a symptom of a plugged filter and should be checked immediately.