What is Biodiesel?
Biodiesel is a cleaner-burning alternative "diesel" fuel, made from 100% natural, 100% renewable sources, such as recycled cooking oil. Biodiesel can be used in place of standard diesel (which is made from fossil fuels) in almost any place that regular diesel is called for..
It is interesting to note that Rudolf Diesel, the person who invented the diesel engine, intended and ran his engines on vegetable oil!
How do you make biodiesel?
On Maui most biodiesel is made from used cooking oil. This cooking oil is collected primarily from restaurants that have deep fat fryers that cook foods like French fries. These restaurants usually hire a pumping company to collect their oil after they are done with it, who then bring it to the biodiesel processor. Once at the processor, the oil is filtered, (if made from used cooking oil) and put through a process called transesterification which basically mixes vegetable oil with an alcohol (usually methanol) and a catalyst, (usually lye.) This process separates and creates two commodities, biodiesel (the chemical name being methyl esters) and glycerin (which is an ingredient in a lot of soaps.)
Virgin vegetable oils can also be used to make biodiesel. Quite often oils that are turned down as food grade vegetable oil are used to make biodiesel. Different plants contain different amounts of oils. Depending on where it is farmed, one can use several different plants to make biodiesel. Some of the commonly used vegetable oils to make biodiesel include: - mustard, rapeseed (a.k.a. canola), palm, olive, peanut, soy bean, safflower, sunflower, castor, etc.
Biodiesel can be confusing. When you see B100 B20 or B5 etc...This means what percentage of biodiesel is actually in the fuel B20, therefore, means it is 20% biodiesel, and 80% regular petroleum diesel (fossil fuel) B5 means there is only 5% biodiesel, the rest is regular petroleum diesel (fossil fuel) B100, therefore means it is 100% biodiesel or to be 100% accurate...
Some places label any blends of biodiesel and petroleum diesel as "biodiesel" so it is important to find out how much biodiesel is actually being offered. Bio-Beetle approves use of only 100% (99.9) B-100 biodiesel, unless one has no other options what so ever
Is Biodiesel approved for use?Biodiesel is registered as a fuel and fuel additive with the Environmental Protection Agency and meets clean diesel standards established by the California Air Resources Board.
Fossil fuel is the primary cause of pollution in the world. Biodiesel offers those who want a clean environment the option to make a significant beneficial impact by using a renewable fuel. Sustainability? Or business (pollution) as usual? Biodiesel dramatically reduces particulate matter emissions and other federally targeted emissions while helping to stabilize greenhouse gases. Biodiesel is also non-toxic, biodegradable and free of sulfur.
Is there any noticeable difference when using 100% biodiesel vs regular diesel?
While its emissions are radically lower, biodiesel functions in the engine the same as petroleum diesel. Biodiesel can be substituted for diesel with essentially no engine modifications, and maintains the payload capacity and range of diesel, with only minor if any noticable loss.
By choosing biodiesel over fossil fuels, you will be supporting local farmers and the local economy,instead of supporting the oil industry and all the negative affects things that come along with it... such as terorism, wars, oil spills, global warming plus will be creating a healthier environment for yourself and those around you!
Where do I fuel up on Maui?
Our cars average 35-40 miles a gallon and over 400 miles on a tank, which means most renters easily drive a week without having to fuel up! That includes driving Lahaina, Kihei, Haleakala, and Hana, etc...
Pacific Biodiesel is centerally located near the airport in Kahului, at 40 Hobron street. They have a 24 hour pump so you can refuel anytime.
There is also a station now, in Lahaina at the Lahaina Minit Stop at 10 Kupuohi Street. Click here for pictures
Can I use biodiesel in a vehicle myself?
Most likely Yes! Almost any diesel vehicle or engine can run on biodiesel. Some older vehicles, may need minor modifications with fuel lines or other rubber fuel components. Newer diesels should have no problems (e.g. as of October 2006 Maui Recycling Service powers a 2001 Ford F-450 with over 100,000 miles, 2 Kann Manufacturing Curbsorters combined over 180,000 miles.
But be aware that it is a pioneering venture.... Once in awhile there might be issues with brand new vehicles, as in most any new venture.
We were told that the new 2009 VWs are not compatable with 100% biodiesl, but they told us the same thing about the 2006s, and we have 13, with virtually NO problems relating to biodiesel. Using biodieslel helps keeps the engine cleaner, thus one must change the fuel filter more often, and if you change to biodiesel from a car that has a lot of miles on regular petroleum diesel, you will have to change the fuel filter a lot as the biodiesel cleans out all the build up from regular diesel, which can be extensive!
One also has to be smart about using biodiesel
Our biodiesel is made by Pacific Biodiesel, who has been making biodiesel for decades, and probably is the cleanest biodiesel possible. Their biodiesel is tested constantly and kept better than the standards for selling fuel. If you would use just any biodiesel, in your engine, made by anyone, or made in someones garage, you are more likely to have issues...
Is the use of Biodiesel covered under engine warranties?
Manufacturer warranties cover defects in material and workmanship, and those warranties extend to engines burning Biodiesel. These warranties do not cover engine problems related to fuel of any kind. Tests and demonstrations, however, have shown that biodiesel is no different from petroleum diesel in terms of engine performance and wear.
Is Biodiesel cost effective?
YES! Diesel engines are more efficient than gas motors, so you will almost certainly save money on transportation if you switch from a gas vehicle to a biodiesel vehicle . Diesel engines usually out last gas engines, too, if you are looking for a long term vehicle.
Where else is Biodiesel used?
Biodiesel is used extensively in Europe, especially Germany and France.
Who else can benefit from Biodiesel?
Besides supporting local farmers instead of the petroleum industry, Biodiesel strengthens the national energy security while generating new industry and high-quality jobs. The United States spends about billions each year to import nearly 50 percent of its oil. Imported oil is expected to grow to 70 percent very soon.
Biodiesel also has a positive energy balance, generating three or more units of energy for every unit required to make it. And because it is biodegradable and nontoxic, biodiesel poses little to no environmental threat while in transit.
Another benefit is that used and non food grade cooking oil is often landfilled, so making biodiesel out of it helps lead us to a zero waste society while giving us a much desired source of energy.
Is Biodiesel the answer to the worlds energy crisis?
Bio-Beetles position on biodiesel as an alternative fuel:
Biodiesel is a part of this world solution to its dependency on oil, but it is not the only answer. The world needs to change its ways and drastically cut down its use of energy no matter what its source. Even if someone is driving on pure biodiesel, they should not feel the right to drive as much as they want and use as much biodiesel as they can.
Biodiesel can and should only be made from totally sustainable renewable feedstock, even algae. It can even be made from 100% used / recycled oil from restaurants and oil that is not suitable for food, which is what is currently being used at the fueling stations Bio-Beetle uses. But, biodiesel can also be made by stripping lands, ruining the environment, GMOs, and depleting food supplies, which is being done over seas and Bio-Beetle will not support those practices.
Just like any commodity, we must keep aware of where biodiesel comes from and how it is made, and we must do our best to see that it remains the best fuel option we have today, without exploiting the land and people around it.
Even if all fuel used in America today were biodiesel, and was made from renewable earth/future friendly sources, we would not have enough to support our current demand, so we each must still be conscious in our actions. We still need to cut down on our driving, walk, ride a bike, car pool when possible, and choose cars that get the greatest fuel economy.
We also need to look at other ways our habits are exploiting the land for fuel use. If we demand fuel we need to switch from a meat based diet to a grain based diet, since we can feed a lot more people and have more plants for fuel oil with grains, plus make ourselves healthier and the planet healthier! We need to change our consumer attitudes of getting anything and everything we wantâ€¦ We need to be active in government and demand changes that are best for the planet and those who live here.
Everything we do, everything we buy has an effect on our environment. We as individuals make choices everyday of doing what is best for the planet, our selves, and the future. Bio-Beetle promises to do our best in making choices that are best for all and make sure the biodiesel we use is from sustainable earth friendly sources.
Where can I get even more information on Biodiesel fuel?
Where can I rent a biodiesel car?
Maui Hawaii of course.......