Biodiesel Mileage...
an Increase or Decrease?

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Biodiesel mileage - biodiesel has a slightly lower energy content that petrodiesel, causing a small loss in mpg and injector build-up can also contribute to this problem.

biodiesel mileage

Energy Content:

Biodiesel has a lower energy content than petrodiesel. According to the EPA, plant-based biodiesel averages 4.6% less energy per gallon, animal-based 10.6% less per gallon. That means if you multiply the percentage of a biodiesel blend by 4.6% (we'll use this because the majority of biodiesel is made from plant oils), it will equal the percentage of miles per gallon that will be lost.

• For Example:

If you were using a B20 blend you would figure 20% X 4.6%.
Multiply (0.20 X 0.046).
This gives you (0.0092).
Move the decimal point to the right two places, which gives you (0.92).
This means you can expect to see your mpg decrease 0.92%.

And if you were using a B5 blend, (5% X 4.6%) means you are decreasing your MPG by 0.23%.

B100? A decrease of 4.6%.

Injector Build-Up:

• Decreased mileage can be caused by deposit build-up in the engine. A new test (as of 2008) (opens in a new window) has been developed.

This test represents the modern turbo-charged/ common-rail/ electronic/ direct-injection diesel engine.

This test can be used for researching injector build up.

• The use of detergent additives (used widely in Europe) can resolve combustion performance issues, and has the potential to fix power loss as well.

• Some modern direct injection engines that run at hotter temperatures have been reported to have problems with build-up. Whereas the older indirect injection engines, which run at lower temperatures, tend to receive benefits from the biodiesel's solvent and lubricating properties.

Considering Cost:

When comparing biodiesel mileage to petro diesel mileage, don't forget to factor in the fuel cost difference. If you are able to get biodiesel 5% cheaper than petrodiesel, you are traveling the same distance at the for about the same cost.

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