What is biodiesel?

Biodiesel is a fuel produced from oils gained from oiliferous plants. The pure oil must be converted to biodiesel because of its high viscosity (it is too thick), which is caused by glycerol in the oils that contain a very large alcohol molecule.

To produce biodiesel, the glycerol is removed from the oil by a process called transesterification, during which the large alcohol molecule is replaced by another alcohol – methanol – which has a smaller alcohol molecule. This produces a thinner, less viscous, fuel that can be used in commercial vehicle engines without modification.

The chemical name for biodiesel is methyl ester. Transesterification also produces glycerine which can be used for making soaps or reprocessed to retrieve the methanol for future usage.

Biodiesel can be used alone (known as B100) or blended at any ratio with DERV diesel.

The diesel engine was developed invented in the late 19th century by Rudolf Diesel, working with Frederick Krupp and others. He demonstrated his first commercial diesel machine at the Exhibition Fair in Paris at around the turn of the century, running it on peanut oil. He hoped then that Biofuel would be the future cash crop of local farmers, combating the monopoly of dominating large fuel suppliers.

Pricing

Our biodiesel is usually priced at at least 10p a litre cheaper than forecourt prices, offering a significant saving, particularly to those companies with a fleet of vehicles.

Environmental advantages of biodiesel

Biodiesel can reduce greenhouse gas emissions because plant matter that is used for biodiesel manufacture contains carbon that the plant has absorbed during its lifetime as carbon dioxide, as opposed to fossil fuels where the carbon has been locked in the ground for millions of years prior to its release into the atmosphere when burnt.

Our biodiesel is made exclusively from waste oil product so that no energy is expended to grow plant matter for usage as fuel alone. Thus concerns over changes of land usage for production of Biofuel crops are irrelevant to our product.

Biodiesel burns far more cleanly than petro diesel. US tests have shown it to produce 80% less carbon dioxide and nearly 100% less sulphur dioxide, the chemical which causes acid rain. Oxygen is present in biodiesel so it combusts very efficiently, giving 90% fewer unburned hydrocarbons and between 75% and 90% less aromatic hydrocarbons such as benzopyrene. Levels of particulates (small particles of solids involved in combustion) emitted are also lower. Biodiesel may however, emit slightly more nitrous oxide. All in all biodiesel emissions are 90% less carcinogenic (cancer causing) to humans.

US tests also found that biodiesel is less toxic than table salt and will biodegrade at the same speed as sugar. Therefore in the event of a spillage soil and watercourses will not be polluted.

There is not enough waste oil product to supply all diesel requirements, but supporting all forms of biofuels will help to reduce reliance on fossil fuels. Biodiesel is the only fuel that can be used in most vehicles without any necessary conversion.

Biodiesel and your engine

No conversion is required to run commercial vehicles on biodiesel. Biodiesel has excellent lubricity. Much of the diesel engine is lubricated by the diesel rather than the engine oil. Using biodiesel will extend the life of the engine by reducing wear on these moving parts. The clean running nature of biodiesel will help maintain fuel lines, injectors, pumps and tanks.

Vehicles manufactured prior to 1992 could have problems with biodiesel causing degradation of rubber pipes and seals.

It is advisable to check with the manufacturer of your vehicle if it is still under warranty that the use of pure biodiesel will not affect warranty terms.

Life span of fuel pumps can be slightly reduced because biodiesel is slightly more viscous than DERV diesel.

Storage and safety

Due to the non-toxic nature of biodiesel, no special storage area is required. It is safer to transport and store than mineral diesel because it has a flash point of 150 degrees Celsius compared to DERV diesel's flashpoint of 55 degrees Celsius. This makes biodiesel the preferred option in the event of an accident.

Store biodiesel in a clean, dry and dark container. Copper, brass, lead, tin and zinc should not be used for storage tanks but materials such as aluminium, steel, fluorinated polyethylene, fluorinated polypropylene and Teflon are ideal.

About us

We are fully licensed by the Environment Agency and our biodiesel complies with ISO EN14214 and is stringently tested in house to ensure high quality is maintained.

As previously stated, we only use waste oil product for production of biodiesel, never virgin oils.

The process we use is a closed loop recycling process with no toxic emissions of any kind. We make every effort to be as efficient and environmentally aware as possible. All of our vehicles run on biodiesel as does our heating boiler and compressor which are used in the production process.

We collect fuel duty for the Chancellor with every sale.

We generally supply the biodiesel in 1000 litre IBCs, these can be stored temporarily and exchanged with each delivery, no charge will be made in this case for the IBCs unless one is lost; or an IBC can be installed permanently (IBC supplied at £35)and refilled. We can also supply to a tank that you may already have on site, no special bunded area is required on your part for storage.

A simple hose and filling attachment can then fill vehicles using a small fuel delivery pump.  We can supply this set up, tailored to your specific needs.