Biodiesel is a cleaner-burning alternative "diesel"
fuel, made from 100% natural, 100% renewable sources.
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.
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
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,
It is interesting to note that Rudolf Diesel, the
person who invented the diesel engine, intended and ran his
engines on vegetable oil!
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...
Right now, the closest to a
"B100" option available to the general public is
Which means the fuel is 99.9% biodiesel and .01 % regular
Why you ask? Due to a crazy federal tax credit, there must
be at least .01% regular diesel blended with B100 biodiesel
to qualify for this tax break! Although a silly rule, it
helps keep biodiesel prices lower!
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
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.
The idea for a biodiesel rental car has been a long-time
dream of Shaun
Stenshol, owner of Maui
Recycling service. He and partner Pamela
Miedtke-Wolf, are constantly
looking for ways to make Maui (and the planet) self
sustaining, and their lives as close to zero waste as
possible. Maui Recycling Service, plus, Shaun and Pam
currently use Biodiesel in all their vehicles. Making
Bio-Beetle a reality was just another way to show what we
can do, right now, to help protect the planet.
Bio-Beetle seeks out 100% vegetable oil from sustainable
choices, based biodiesel because it is the best
environmentally friendly fuel choice available today! We use
earth friendly coolants, synthetic engine oil and non toxic
cleaners. We will always choose the most natural,
biodegradable, cruelty free options available. We are using
100% recycled or tree free paper in the office, organic
cotton uniforms, and recycled items when obtainable. Plus we
are encouraging renters to bring in their recyclables and
choose other ECO travel options when available. We also ask
our renters to take care of the cars, and do things such as
clean off sand and dirt before getting into the vehicles
because even though they are supporting a non fossil fuel
powered car, the electricity that is needed to vacuum the
cars still is!
our full Bio-Beetle Philosophy
Where are you located?
On MAUI Bio-Beetle is
located at 55B Amala street in Kahului, near the Kahului
Airport and the Harbor. Renters can arrange to be
picked up curbside at the Maui Kahului airport or near the
Kahului dock if getting off a cruise ship. We can even
arrange to meet in Kihei or other locations.
It is always best to call ahead, in case we are out, and can
here for pictures:
Where do I fuel
Renters please check with the car rental agency for any
specific details concerning refueling.
On Maui Pacific biodiesel is located at 40
Centrally located and close to the
airport. One is never farther than 65 miles from the station
on Maui! The Pacific Biodiesel phone # is 808-877-3144.
Pacific Biodiesel has a 24 hour pump so it is easy to refuel
Our Volkswagens get such great fuel economy, 35-40 mpg, that
most people don't fuel up for a week! And thats if they are
driving all over the island! 400 or more miles at tank!
One can put in a gallon or two of
regular diesel if they are worried about running out, but
that should be rare if ever...
What happens if the
has mechanical problems while I am renting?
By renting the Bio-Beetle, you accept the fact that this
rental car is unique. We do our best to make sure there
won't be problems, but if there are, we will try to help you
find another vehicle, but it MAY NOT be biodiesel only.
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
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.
Can I use
biodiesel in a vehicle myself?
Most likely Yes! Any diesel vehicle or engine
can run on biodiesel. Older vehicles may need minor
modifications with fuel lines or other rubber fuel
components. New 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
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!
Is the use of Biodiesel covered under
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.
How much does Biodiesel cost?
As of March, 2012, on Maui, biodiesel costs $4.44/gallon
(road tax included) for your road vehicle, this is one of
the lowest prices for biodiesel in the world.
On Mainland USA biodiesel costs between $2.00 and $18.00 per
gallon (before road tax - road tax varies state to
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 .
Our renters save an average of 30-40 dollars a week on fuel
Who is using Biodiesel?
Biodiesel can be used in any almost any diesel engine.
Biodiesel is also extensively used in Europe, especially
Germany and France.
Famous renters and/or
biodiesel supporters we have had in Hawaii
Daryl Hannah is a big biodiesel supporter too.
Who else can benefit from Biodiesel?
Besides supporting local farmers instead of the petroleum
industry, Biodiesel strengthens the nations energy
security while generating new industry and high-quality
jobs. The United States spends about $60 billion 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.
Can Biodiesel help mitigate global
Yes! A 1998 biodiesel lifecycle study, jointly sponsored by
the US Department of Energy and the US Department of
Agriculture, concluded biodiesel reduces net CO2 emission by
78 percent compared to petroleum diesel. This is due to
biodiesels closed carbon cycle. The CO2 released into
the atmosphere when biodiesel is burned is recycled by
growing plants, which are later processed into fuel.
Biodiesel the answer to the worlds energy
Bio-Beetles position on biodiesel
as an alternative fuel:
Biodiesel is a part of this
worlds 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
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
We need to be active in government and demand
changes that are best for the planet and those who live
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.
We hope that you will try to do what is best also.
Where can I get even more information
on Biodiesel fuel?
Where can I rent a biodiesel