Potential Impact of Biodiesel on SDDOT

Research was conducted to determine the impact of a 5% blend (B5) of biodiesel with 95% petroleum diesel fuel on the South Dakota Department of Transportation (SDDOT). Biodiesel is made from vegetable oil or animal fat that has been transesterified. This process removes the glycerol from the oil. The transesterified oil can be used as a substitute for, or as an additive to, petroleum diesel fuel. Biodiesel is similar to #2 diesel fuel. It has a higher flash point, and is nontoxic and biodegradable. Biodiesel has a higher cloud point and cold filter plugging point than petroleum diesel fuels. Blending procedures and the impact of cold weather operation were evaluated to determine if a low level blend of biodiesel could be used reliably during South Dakota winters. Although previous biodiesel research indicated that neat biodiesel caused problems with rubber elastomers, no elastomer problems were noted during the test. The impact of a low level blend on engine performance was evaluated and the SDDOT fleet noted small reductions in fuel economy. The operators did not report reductions in power or torque when fueled with B5. Engine oil analysis suggested that engine component wear was essentially the same (or slightly lower) in vehicles fueled with B5 compared to diesel fueled engines. Economic analyses of biodiesel fueling indicated a slight increase in fuel costs.


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Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Edition: Final Report
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 198p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01013258
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: SD2002-12-F
  • Contract Numbers: 310808
  • Created Date: Dec 12 2005 2:52PM