Biodiesel is manufactured by chemically reacting vegetable oils, recycled cooking grease, or animal fats with alcohol. Today’s biodiesel is primarily made from domestically produced soybean oil, which has extremely low sulfur content. Cooking oil and animal fat biodiesel is also produced with very low sulfur.
When biodiesel is blended with petroleum diesel, it produces a fuel that is compatible with diesel engines, displaces imported petroleum, and reduces harmful emissions. Blends like B2 (2% biodiesel and 98% diesel) and B5 (5% biodiesel and 95% diesel) are becoming increasingly common as drivers become more aware of the many benefits. Biodiesel blends of 20% biodiesel or more are also widely available.
As long as the biodiesel used for blending meets ASTM D6751 standards, low-level biodiesel blends such as B2 and B5 can be used safely in any compression-ignition engine that is designed to be operated on diesel fuel. This may include diesel-powered cars, trucks, tractors, boats, and electrical generators.