I Love Green

RV Cleaner and Greener with Biodiesel


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Red Biodiesel pump
Biodiesel pump

Can you be an environmentalist and an RV enthusiast simultaneously? It's a question with no simple answer. At the heart of RVing is exploration and appreciation of nature - RV owners typically purchase their RVs in order to see and appreciate beautiful natural areas, with National Parks being at the top of the list. But RV's are large, suffer poor fuel mileage, and inflict environmental damage when they are driven. So what's a conflicted RVer to do? How can you limit the amount of damage you cause to the environment when you drive an RV?

One solution is to use biodiesel. Biodiesel, as defined by National Biodiesel Board, is a renewable fuel for diesel engines derived from natural oils like soybean oil. When the biodiesel fuel is combined with petroleum it produces a fuel that is compatible with diesel engines. Thus, biodiesel blends can be used in diesel engines with little or no modifications. This means you may be able to use biodiesel in your RV (be sure to check with your engine manufacturer before you do). While the technology is still evolving, the environmental benefits are unquestionable - renewable fuel (meaning fuel that is comprised of naturally occurring, theoretically inexhaustible sources of energy, such as soybean oil) and reduced emissions.

According to Biodiesel.org, "the exhaust emissions of sulfur oxides and sulfates (major components of acid rain) from biodiesel are essentially eliminated compared to diesel." Additionally, the use of biodiesel substantially reduces unburned hydrocarbons - pollutants that create smog. Further, biodiesel reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 78 percent when compared to petroleum diesel.

Contrary to popular opinion, biodiesel is not raw vegetable oil. Rather, fuel-grade biodiesel must be produced to strict industry standards in order to ensure proper performance. Raw vegetable oil, on the other hand, isn't registered with the Environmental Protection Agency and is not a legal motor fuel.

Biodiesel is also advantageous in that it can be used in most existing diesel engines, with blends up to 20%, with minimal impact to engine performance. Typical blends offered at gas stations are B2, B5 and B20. B2 is blend of 2% biodiesel and 98% diesel and B5 is a blend of 5% biodiesel and 95% diesel and B20 is a blend of 20% biodiesel and 80% diesel. Although not every gas station offers biodiesel, you can find a list of gas stations that offer biodiesel on biodiesel.org.

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1 comment(s) so far...

Just beware...If you run biodiesel yor milage will drop and the vehicle will run sllguish with no pick-up when you accellerate. I ran a tank full through my truck and never again. It my be good for the Farmers to use in tractors, but on the highway it is not.

By nc travler on 7/30/2013 8:36:13 AM
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