Modern diesel engine technology has advanced to the point where the advantages of biofuel usage are becoming much greater than the disadvantages. Modern diesel engines produce less noise, smoke or vibrations and they are more fuel-efficient than older model engines. Diesel engines have the added advantage of greater acceleration when compared to gasoline engines on the same model of vehicle. The use of biodiesel fuel may be the solution to the increasing transportation energy crisis, particularly in the farming and shipping transportation sectors.
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According to vehicle manufacturer blending limits and guidelines, biodiesel can be substituted for diesel fuel in all vehicle types. Modern vehicle engines use synthetic rubber hoses and system components, eliminating the need to completely convert diesel engines for biofuel use. The US Department of Energy says that B20 blends of biodiesel minimize these types of problems. Most vehicle manufacturers provide information about compliance and warranty issues related to fuel conversion.
Biodiesel fuels perform just as well as regular diesel fuels. A 1998 DOE test confirmed that using low blends of biodiesel will provide an increase in fuel economy. Laboratory tests, as well as road tests, have proven that biodiesel fuels have the same horsepower and torque as regular petrodiesel engines.
Engines will last longer when using biofuels. Traditional diesel engines have a much higher rate of engine wear (lubricity). Lubricity levels are even improved at low bio concentration levels. New regulations require petrodiesel engines to lower sulfur emissions considerably, making biodiesel blends much more attractive as a practical fuel to use. Biodiesel also offers a higher cetane ignition rating, which means that there is less engine noise pollution (dieseling).
At the production level, biodiesel fuel is a clean and affordable fuel for trucks, buses, farm equipment and other forms of heavy transportation. Biofuel refineries are much more simplistic and environmentally friendly in design than typical petrochemical refineries. With the continued rise of international fuel prices, biodiesel is set to become much more popular as a fuel option in the farming and transportation industries.