UConn Office of Environmental Policy

Promoting sustainability at UConn

Learning about BioDiesel

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The price of fuel, whether it is heating oil, diesel, or gasoline, seems to perpetually be on the rise here in Connecticut, making it increasingly more important for consumers to be informed about the different types of fuel available.

After attending the 2013 Regional Biodiesel Industry Forum hosted at the University of Connecticut, I learned a lot about the benefits of one fuel source that few consumers are familiar with; biodiesel.

Biodiesel is actually less expensive than petroleum based-diesel, outperforms both natural gas and petrodiesel in home-heating systems, and is one of the more sustainable fuel sources.  The following are just a few more things that I didn’t know about biodiesel; they surprised me and they very well might surprise you too!

 

Inexpensive

  • With state incentives, biodiesel can be up to 50 cents cheaper per gallon than petrodiesel

Great performance

  • Vehicles running on B20, a blend of 20% biodiesel and 80% petrodiesel, have the same fuel consumption, horsepower, and torque as vehicles running on conventional petrodiesel
  • When mixed with No. 2 diesel, B20 performs the same as petrodiesel in cold weather
  • Biodiesel has a BTU value comparable to petrodiesel
  • Most vehicles manufactured after 1993 can use biodiesel blends up to B20 without any impact on operating performance
  • When biodiesel is first introduced to an engine the filters get clogged more frequently because the biodiesel actually cleans out build-up left behind from petrodiesel
  • The waste cooking oil used to manufacture biodiesel must be purified and meet very specific standards in order to be used as biofuel
  • Biodiesel actually performs better than petrodiesel in many systems due to better lubricity and other chemical properties of the biodiesel

Sustainable fuel source

  • Biodiesel releases fewer toxins, particulate matter, and greenhouse gas emissions than conventional diesel
  • Biodiesel is an advanced fuel meaning that it is produced on existing land and reduces life-cycle carbon emissions by 80% as compared to petrodiesel
  • Biodiesel is a byproduct of producing high-quality meats, fried foods, and high-protein soybean meal and as demand for biodiesel increases the cost of these food staples can decrease

By switching to biodiesel in home-heating systems as well as in vehicles you can save money without sacrificing performance, and at the same time you can help improve environmental quality.

If you would like to learn more about biodiesel or if you would like to learn if your diesel vehicle can run on biodiesel, visit www.biodiesel.org!

-Brianna

Author: UConn OEP

The Office of Environmental Policy at the University of Connecticut brings together students, faculty, staff, and the community for a more environmentally sustainable campus.

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