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Biodiesel Myths Debunked - Biodiesel and Engine Health

Jacob Kingston

Jacob Kingston serves as the CEO of Washakie Renewable Energy in Plymouth, Utah. Through his company, Jacob Kingston produces advanced biofuels, including biodiesel. Today, biodiesel is commercially available for diesel vehicle operators at pumps around the country, but a number of myths may cause individuals to hesitate using it.

One of the most persistent myths is that using biodiesel will wreak havoc on an engine. This myth may derive from the fact that biodiesel will indeed do great damage to a gasoline engine, just as adding traditional diesel would. However, a number of original engine manufacturers have cleared certain biodiesel blends for use in their engines. These manufacturers include John Deere, Cummins, and Caterpillar, among others.
The chemical structures of biodiesel and traditional diesel are similar enough that they burn very similarly in engines. However, biodiesel actually has some benefits over traditional diesel, such as greater lubricity, which reduces wear on the engine and the fuel pump. In that sense, biodiesel can actually extend engine life. In addition, biodiesel is a good solvent that can help remove fuel residue in tanks and lines. Finally, biodiesel burns more completely, which leaves engines cleaner.

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