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Envirosafe Tanks is a leader in the manufacturing and sale of double wall steel fuel tanks for the bulk storage of biodiesel fuel and other fuel products.
For years, Willie Nelson championed the use of efficient, clean burning biodiesel, encouraging truckers to fill up at his stations. Before anyone else even talked about it, Willie knew the value of a cleaner burning, cheaply produced alternative fuel. Now people seem to be catching on. More and more, biodiesel is becoming an attractive option to fleet managers for compliance with tougher emissions reduction standards.
While biodiesel can be used in the same way as traditional diesel, there are a few things to know about this alternative fuel before beginning a conversion process.
Biodiesel Cold Flow Considerations
Biodiesel presents unique considerations for fleet operators in northern states. At temperatures at or below freezing, thickening of biodiesel renders it useless. Have no fear, as the fuel warms it becomes usable again. To remedy this problem, simply use a 20/80 biodiesel to petroleum diesel blend to negate the thickening process of sub-freezing temperatures. Alternately, for use pure biodiesel in these conditions, an anti-coagulating agent can be added.
Biodiesel Storage Options
Biodiesel storage methods are not far removed from traditional diesel storage methods; however, there are some considerations for optimum fuel longevity and purity.
- Six month viable storage life with proper precautions
- Store in a moisture-free location away from heat and out of direct sunlight
- If unable to store out of direct sunlight or warm weather; cover tanks with reflective tarp
- To reduce fuel polymerization and oxidation, store in tightly sealed full tanks
- Remove all moisture from tanks, as water promotes slime and bacteria growth and fuel degradation
- Zinc and copper leech into biodiesel, causing impurities, so do not store fuel in tanks containing any amount of these metals
Biodiesel And Vehicle Warranties
Fleet operators must be concerned with the impact that biodiesel usage could cause to the warranties of their vehicles and parts. Rightfully so. It costs companies money to repair vehicles under warranty. Therefore, any reason to negate the warranty will be evaluated. Fortunately, the United States government is pushing clean energy alternatives and has made biodiesel conversion much safer for the average fleet manager.
- Automotive manufacturers are prohibited from voiding warranties based solely on the use of biodeisel fuel in their engines
- All major engine producers in the United States are subject to this warranty voiding prohibition
- Because biodiesel is a fully recognized alternative fuel by the EPA, the government wants to protect those who choose to use the fuel
Biodiesel Effects on Engines
Not only does biodiesel produce substantially less pollutants than traditional diesel fuel; it actually increases engine life and cleanliness. Biodiesel’s solvency properties clean the interior walls of the entire system.
Long Term Effects
- Biodiesel will loosen and remove sludge and build-up left by traditional diesel
- Cleans and lubricates entire fuel system
When Using Pure Biodiesel
- Change fuel filter frequently upon initial conversion to biodiesel due to clogging from loosened engine sediment and sludge
- Check older hoses for swelling, cracking, and degradation, as biodiesel causes older, traditional hoses to break down
- Conversion of traditional hoses in automobiles manufactured before 1994 to synthetic hoses six months to one year after biodiesel usage is recommended
Biodiesel Fuel Storage: What is Biodiesel?
Biodiesel is a clean-burning fuel produced from animal fat or vegetable oils. The glycerin in these substances is removed leaving behind methyl ester, commonly known as biodiesel.
- Is the only alternative fuel to fully pass the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments testing
- Meets ASTM D6751 specifications
- Is registered with the EPA
What are the Benefits?
Any percentage of biodiesel blend fuel may be used in diesel engines, and it significantly improves the overall function of a fleet’s engines, because it has a “scrubbing” action on the internal walls of engines and hoses.
Because it is derived from resources that are readily available in the U.S, biodiesel can significantly reduce a fleet’s reliance on foreign petroleum, which reduces costs as oil prices continue to soar.
Lastly, biodiesel and its blends significantly reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emissions released into the atmosphere. It is also much more efficient that diesel. In fact, the energy it provides is 4.5 times greater than the energy used to produce it.
More Cold Weather Tips:
- Blend biodiesel with kerosene or with cold weather additive treated petrodiesel
- Store vehicles indoors
- Use block and filter heaters
- Use a B20 blend or lower