Biodiesel can be used in pure form (B100) or may be blended with petroleum diesel at any concentration in most injection pump diesel engines.
Since the passage of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, biodiesel use has been increasing in the United States. In the UK, the Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation obliges suppliers to include 5% renewable fuel in all transport fuel sold in the UK by 2010. For road diesel, this effectively means 5% biodiesel (B5).
2. Vehicular use and manufacturer acceptance
In 2005, Chrysler (then part of Daimler Chrysler) released the Jeep Liberty CRD diesels from the factory into the American market with 5% biodiesel blends, indicating at least partial acceptance of biodiesel as an acceptable diesel fuel additive. In 2007, DaimlerChrysler indicated its intention to increase warranty coverage to 20% biodiesel blends if biofuel quality in the United States can be standardized.
The Volkswagen Group has released a statement indicating that several of its vehicles are compatible with B5 and B100 made from rape seed oil and compatible with the EN 14214 standard. The use of the specified biodiesel type in its cars will not void any warranty.
In 2007, McDonalds of UK announced it would start producing biodiesel from the waste oil byproduct of its restaurants. This fuel would be used to run its fleet.
The 2014 Chevy Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel, direct from the factory, will be rated for up to B20 (blend of 20% biodiesel / 80% regular diesel) biodiesel compatibility
3. Railway usage
British train operating company Virgin Trains claimed to have run the UK’s first “biodiesel train”, which was converted to run on 80% petrodiesel and 20% biodiesel.
4. Aircraft use
A test flight has been performed by a Czech jet aircraft completely powered on biodiesel.
5. Cleaning oil spills
With 80-90% of oil spill costs invested in shoreline cleanup, there is a search for more efficient and cost-effective methods to extract oil spills from the shorelines. Biodiesel has displayed its capacity to significantly dissolve crude oil, depending on the source of the fatty acids.
6. Biodiesel in generators
In 2001, UC Riverside installed a 6-megawatt backup power system that is entirely fueled by biodiesel. Backup diesel-fueled generators allow companies to avoid damaging blackouts of critical operations at the expense of high pollution and emission rates. By using B100, these generators were able to essentially eliminate the byproducts that result in smog, ozone, and sulfur emissions. The use of these generators in residential areas around schools, hospitals, and the general public result in substantial reductions in poisonous carbon monoxide and particulate matter.
7. As a heating oil
Biodiesel can also be used as a heating fuel in domestic and commercial boilers, a mix of heating oil and biofuel which is standardized and taxed slightly differently from diesel fuel used for transportation. It is sometimes known as “bioheat” (which is a registered trademark of the National Biodiesel Board [NBB] and the National Oilheat Research Alliance [NORA] in the U.S., and Columbia Fuels in Canada). Heating biodiesel is available in various blends. ASTM 396 recognizes blends of up to 5 percent biodiesel as equivalent to pure petroleum heating oil. Blends of higher levels of up to 20% biofuel are used by many consumers.