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Personal: Transportation


What is biodiesel?
Availability and Cost
Safety and Performance
Government Programs and Regulations


Biodiesel in cars

Biodiesel blends, a mixture of petroleum diesel and biodiesel, can be used in any diesel engine. As biodiesel can be blended with diesel in any concentration, the blend level depends on economics, availability, the desired emissions level, material compatibility and combustion characteristics. An increasing number of Original Equipment Manufacturers are endorsing the use of lower biodiesel blends, e.g., 5% in their engines. Some manufacturers now extend warranty coverage for new diesel powered vehicles to use lower blends of biodiesel, provided the fuel meets applicable standards. Some manufacturers also provide vehicles pre-filled with biodiesel blends.

Most North American vehicle engine manufacturers generally warranty up to a B5 level. Warranty coverage up to a B20 level is offered by select manufacturers under specific conditions.

The Engine Manufacturers Association has issued a technical statement indicating a 5 percent biodiesel blend (B5) should not cause engine or fuel systems problems. A number of automobile manufacturers also endorse lower biodiesel blends for use in their vehicles. As biodiesel is more widely tested and used, manufacturers will be in a better position to support the use of higher blends.

Check with your vehicles' user guide.

Biodiesel as heating fuel

Biodiesel can also be used as a heating fuel in oil furnaces and boilers. Although there is limited experience with the use of biodiesel as a heating fuel, no significant adverse effects from using biodiesel in low-level blends in furnaces and boilers have been reported from initial trials. Biodiesel is available as a heating fuel in a few locations, but it is not yet widely available across Canada.