A list of the Solutions to the Disadvantages of Biodiesel.
All the Disadvantages that biodiesel has, has easy solutions too.
An easy solution to stop your biodiesel from gelling in cold weather is to use a fuel heaters. Before starting up use an electric fuel heater powered by the vehicles battery to get the Biodiesel in the tank up to the correct tempreture and then once the vehicle is running use an inline fuel heater that uses the exhaust heat from the engine to heat the biodiesel. Using the heat generated by the engine will make your engine more energy efficient than a conventional compression ignition diesel engine that lets the heat generated go to waste.
When you are using a Biodiesel Blend you will also improve the cold weather properties of the fuel. A B20 blend (20% biodiesel and 80% petrodiesel) will have the same gelling point as straight petrodiesel. There is also a few products on the market that you can add to your straight Biodiesel to significantly reduce the gelling point thereof.
This is probably the easiest problem to solve. All you need to do is add 1% of petrodiesel to your biodiesel. Basicly you make a B99 Biodiesel Blend. 1% of Petrodiesel is toxic enough to stop the growth of all mold. It's doubtful that anyone will keep Biodiesel so long that it will grow mold.
When using Biodiesel in your vehicle your Nitrogen Oxide emissons is on average about 10% higher for B100 and between 2% higher and 2% lower for B20 than with conventional Petrodiesel. NOx is a contributing factor in the localized formation of smog and ozone.
The solution to this disadvantage is simple. Because biodiesel contains no sulfur you can use Nox Control Technolies which is impossible to use with petrodiesel because of the sulfur content. Some companies has also successfuly developed additives that can be used to reduce biodiesel's Nox Emissions.
Biodiesel can decrease the Horsepower of the engine, but only if the Biodiesel that is used is of an inferior quality. This could be because of the water content of the fuel or if the fuel that is used is not properly washed and dried. Water in the fuel will reduce the heat of combustion which will result in less power, more smoke and harder starting.
This problem will not exist when you use High-Quality Biodiesel, so make sure your Biodiesel supplier is making biodiesel that measure up to the Standards set for Biodiesel. ASTM D6751 in the USA and Canada, EN14214 in Europe and SANS1935:2004 in South Africa.
Some also recommend that you adjust the timing of your engine because of Biodiesel's higher flashpoint.
Biodiesel does tend to soften and degrade the natural rubber and elastomer compounds found in some engines and the purer the Biodiesel the quicker the degration will be. This problem was solved by Engine Manufacturers worldwide when we started using low sulfur diesel. Engine manufacturers had to change the material they used to make fuel hoses and fuel pump seals to accomodate this switch. These new components are also suitable to use with Biodiesel without any softening or degration. Older engines where the fuel hoses and seals are still made from natural rubber and elastomer compounds will still have a problem with degration and softening. Consult your OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) or Mechanic about the material of your Fuel hoses and Fuel pump seals.