What is Biodiesel?
Biodiesel is a blend of diesel fuel with a bicomponent produced from waste oils and animal fats.
Biodiesel can be made from a variety of feedstocks, soybean and rapeseed oil are common feedstocks
Major diesel generator suppliers do not recommend bio fuels for power generation. If bio is used for power generation applications a suggested limit of no more than 5% bio mixed with diesel fuel and under strict guidlines to prevent engine damage and failure.
The biodiesel components in the fuel can decompose. This can be influenced by temperature, oxygen and time. It’s is not recommended to store biodiesel for periods in excess of 60 days.
The decomposing fuel can produce deposits in the injection system during operation which can lead to sticking of the injectors and pumps especially in power generation.
The results can be ignition failure, loss of power, black smoke, starting problems and increased fuel consumption. Fuel filter change intervals will also be at least doubled. Oil change and oil filter intervals can also be negatively affected by biodiesel.
Diesel tanks must be thoroughly cleaned before converting to biodiesel as it’s components can loosen fuel system deposits. Repairs for all these premature failures would not be covered under the standard manufacturer’s warranty.
Whilst the manufacturers view applications such as emergency power generation, emergency vehicles and standby generators and do not wholly support the use of bio diesel and recommend a level as low as 5%, Generator Hire is of the opinion that this very small percentage potentially offsets the energy content difference considering the increase in waste for reduced service periods and the possible increase of fuel consumption. As generators are commonly used in standby applications we also view the disposal of decomposing biodiesel every 60-90 days to be of negative affect based on the increased waste and costs to the consumer for such little advantage.
Generator Hire is contracted for many emergency applications and will not compromise the engine’s reliability for continuous operation as another key factor for the non use of biodiesel.
Generator Hire will continue to follow the practice implementation by the major manufacturers and will continue to monitor the use of bio diesel and its advantages and disadvantages.