May 27, 2008
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The main benefit of Diesel combustion engines is that they have a 50% fuel burn efficiency; compared with just 23% in the best gasoline engines. This makes Diesel engines capable of achieving much better fuel efficiency than gasoline vehicles.
Biodiesel is commercially available in most oilseed-producing states in the United States. As of 2005, it is somewhat more expensive than fossil diesel, though it is still commonly produced in relatively small quantities (in comparison to petroleum products and ethanol). Many farmers who raise oilseeds use a biodiesel blend in tractors and equipment as a matter of policy, to foster production of biodiesel and raise public awareness. It is sometimes easier to find biodiesel in rural areas than in cities.
Some Diesel-powered cars can run with little or no modification on 100% pure biodiesel, a fuel that can be made from vegetable oils. Vegetable oils tend to solidify in cold weather conditions so vehicle modifications may be required in order to heat the fuel prior to use under those circumstances. Modern low emission diesels (most often Euro -3 and -4 compliant), typical of the current production in the European industry, require extensive modification of injector system, pumps and seals etc. due to the higher operating pressures. The result is sensitive lubrication & sealing systems that bio diesel fuels do not protect and may even attack. This reduces the market for bio diesels as increasing numbers of new vehicles are not able to use it.