Bio-diesel is a type of diesel being blended as an alternative fuel. Generally vegetable or animal oils can be used. Many different mixes of bio diesel are used. With no modifications to vehicles some people use up to 20 percent and from 50% to 70% on modified engines. First the bio diesel has to go through a chemical separation process where the glycerin has to “fall out” of it. This is called transesterification and is done with the use of methanol and lye. Neither chemicals are great to work with but it can be safe with pre cautioned use. Generally clean oils are used to avoid the acidic state of used cooking oil. Some people don’t mind the extra work to cleanse used oil, because the oil can be extremely cheap and many times is free. Fast food places use alot of oil and are glad to get rid of it. Water and acid will need to be removed from the used oils. A washing of the fuel will also need to be done to remove excess methanol, soaps and other contaminants.
Some people, especially businesses, will purchase this fuel from stations scattered across the U.S. at very reasonable costs. A bio-diesel mix will produce almost the same power as regular diesel, with maybe a 5% drop in power. The bio diesel will produce far less emissions, up to half with the exception of NOX being the same. Older vehicles, usually pre 1985, will need to replace their fuel lines to a new diesel line (viton rubber is great)or they will eventually fail. Other than old fuel line replacement and retarding the timing 2-3 degrees, it will work in any diesel engine. It is also good to replace the fuel filter due to the new fuel cleaning out old contaminants. Bio diesel is far more lubricating than standard diesel, which can help to improve engine life. The cost of bio diesel can run anywhere from $.50 to $3.00 depending on what oil is used and how much work and who is doing the refining process.