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Old 05-03-2019, 06:16 PM   #1
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Diesel to Biodiesel and back again?

One piece of information I've been trying to suss out and not having any luck with other online resources so I thought I'd check here and see if anyone knows for sure.

Everything I've read about Biodiesel (not waste veg-oil) is that it's 'essentially' interchangeable with regular diesel fuel, there's no conversion necessary, which is great.

BUT, what I want to know is, can you fill up with either Diesel or Bio depending on availability? Say I'm down to my last few gallons of Bio, and there isn't another Bio station nearby - can I just fill it with regular Diesel and keep driving? Like, is there a problem mixing them in the same tank, or do you need to somehow run the tank dry before switching from one to the other?

It seems like you should be able to if they're truly interchangeable, but I can't find any confirmation on it.
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Old 05-03-2019, 06:52 PM   #2
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I've driven interchangeably on both. Biodiesel is readily available in the midwestern states but not so much in, say, south Florida. Truckers mix and match whatever is available at whatever truck stops they use.
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Old 05-04-2019, 02:05 AM   #3
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It is my understanding that the base oil and method used for brewing the biodiesel can have an effect on the energy available in the biodeisel,. However, the effect is not enough to be concerned about for most applications. Besides, one can not tell what was used to make the biodiesel sold at the pump. Note: I have no personal experience with biodiesel unless it is already at the pump.
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Old 05-04-2019, 02:33 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
I've driven interchangeably on both. Biodiesel is readily available in the midwestern states but not so much in, say, south Florida. Truckers mix and match whatever is available at whatever truck stops they use.
Thanks, that's what I was hoping! No reason not to at least aim for Biodiesel stations then!
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Old 05-08-2019, 05:21 PM   #5
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That's my understanding too. Mix as needed.

I am finding www.biodiesel.org to be a great resource finding biodiesel filling stations. I'll be driving my newly purchased bus up from NM shortly on biodiesel!
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Old 03-18-2020, 02:21 PM   #6
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Biodiesel is completely soluble with petroleum diesel. I first started using BD by just dumping it into my fuel tank. Ratios were...inconsistent. Never had a problem.
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Old 04-11-2020, 01:03 PM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Native View Post
It is my understanding that the base oil and method used for brewing the biodiesel can have an effect on the energy available in the biodeisel,. However, the effect is not enough to be concerned about for most applications. Besides, one can not tell what was used to make the biodiesel sold at the pump. Note: I have no personal experience with biodiesel unless it is already at the pump.
Bio has a lower cetane value than petro diesel. But it's not much.
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Old 04-16-2020, 08:32 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brad_SwiftFur View Post
I've driven interchangeably on both. Biodiesel is readily available in the midwestern states but not so much in, say, south Florida. Truckers mix and match whatever is available at whatever truck stops they use.
Interesting. Not second-guessing you, of course -- But most, if not all, carriers I drove for instructed me to never fuel with bio. I drove for this one crazy old coot that forbid fueling in MN in winter, not sure what the h-e-double-hockey-sticks THAT was about.

My understanding through commercials for bio is that it is largely made from algae, something I understand to have been a big problem with marine diesels, and I have heard some trucks running it full-time have experienced fuel system problems. Of course, in regard to the biodiesel, last time I drove commercially was late 2017, so perhaps things have changed?

I'm thinking per your statement that perhaps it hinges on the percentage of bio. I've seen B20 on some pumps, which I understand some setups are not equipped to deal with. I got yelled at once for trying to fuel B20 in Michigan. Maybe that's the rub... *shrugs*
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Old 04-17-2020, 09:53 AM   #9
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The amount doesn't matter. Bio is completely soluble with dino diesel. The MN guy was probably worried about viscosity in the cold. It makes sense if you're running anything above B60-ish (my best guess).
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