I was very disappointed to hear this, as I have been just starting to read about the process of making biodiesel. What was said here so far is at least enough to make me sit up and take notice. I did a "Google" search of "International diesel biodiesel fuel" and came up with the following, a statement, undated, from International concerning the use of "biodiesel" in it's engines. I'm a little new here so if I do this right here is the address: http://www.internationaldelivers.com...df/dyk300i.pdf
And, again, if I do this right, here is it's contents:
DID YOU KNOW
. . . how to use bio-diesel fuel in International® engines? A new position paper issued by
International Engine Corporation Engineering describes what fuel blends are appropriate, emissions
benefits, operating guidelines, potential problems, etc. A copy of this paper is attached for you to share
with your customer who may be interested in using bio-diesel fuel.
International Engine previously suggested a maximum blend of 5% Biodiesel blend stock to 95% diesel
fuel. Our position caused some concern from customers who had been using a 20% blend prior to that
letter. In order to qualify for DOE Energy Policy Act (or EPACT) alternative energy credits, a B20 (20%
blend stock, 80% diesel fuel) is typically required. Use of B20 Biodiesel can earn fleet energy credits,
in which one energy credit can be substituted for one light duty alternative fuel vehicle. The main
purpose of EPACT is to reduce foreign dependence on crude oil and to develop renewable sources of
energy. The ASTM has approved a provisional specification (PS 121-99), for 100% Biodiesel and the
full standard is expected to be finalized in the Spring 2001. Biodiesel has been registered with the
USEPA as a fuel and a fuel additive under section 211(b) of the Clean Air Act.
Many customers are concerned as to whether the International Engine warranty is voided by the use of
Biodiesel. International Truck and Engine Corporation neither approves nor disapproves of the use of
Biodiesel fuel in its engines. However, its warranty covers only problems resulting from defects in
engine material and/or workmanship and is not affected simply by the use of Biodiesel fuel.
Nonetheless, the warranty may be voided if an engine problem is attributable to the use of Biodiesel.
International engines have undergone rigorous testing under a variety of conditions with diesel fuels
conforming to USEPA guidelines. Biodiesel is not one of the fuels International has tested. Accordingly
any statement by International Truck and Engine Corporation about Biodiesel would be purely
speculative. In sum, the use of such fuel is totally at the customer’s discretion.
Biodiesel fuel knowns
The Biodiesel neat (100%) blend stock typically is a vegetable-based methyl ester (VOME), however
tallow methyl esters from animal fats have been suggested for use as well. Blend stocks conforming to
PS 121-99 appear to have good lubricity and cetane numbers. Several International customers are
currently using B20 biodiesel, reportedly with good success to date. Year round operation using B20 in
climates such as New Jersey and Florida have been reported as well. Biodiesel can be blended with 1D
fuel for winter operation. Published literature suggests most regulated emissions such as hydrocarbons,
carbon monoxide, and particulate mass tend to be reduced with the use of B20 Biodiesel fuel, while
NOx emissions may slightly increase. This may be due to higher oxygen levels in the B100 blend stock.
Diesel oxidation catalysts (DOC’s) may exhibit improved conversion efficiency with the use of Biodiesel,
however, the long term effect of Biodiesel with DOC’s is not yet understood. Potential problems with
the use of Biodiesel Fuel Based upon some of the published literature, stability of Biodiesel fuel is
questionable, thus it may have a propensity to degrade over time. B20 Biodiesel fuel degrades at a rate
twice as fast as 100% petroleum based diesel fuel. The degradation is accelerated by the presence of
oxygen, water, heat, and impurities. The degradation of the Biodiesel may form corrosive products like
acids, which may have a negative effect on fuel injection equipment. Of main concern are applications
which are not used regularly, such as stand-by generators or seasonally used equipment like
agricultural implements. Fuel degradation can also result in microbial growth (algae and bacteria) in fuel
storage tanks, and can then sludge up fuel injection equipment. Filter plugging and sediment in the fuel
injection equipment can also occur.
Other potential problems include:
• Chemical reaction of methyl ester with some elastomers, which can cause fuel leaks at o-rings and seals.
• Coking and blocking of fuel injector orifices, causing poor atomization of fuel.
• Increased viscosity, causing poor cold temperature fuel flow characteristics, and poor fuel spray
atomization. Rotary fuel injection pumps could potentially seize if fuel viscosity was exceptionally high
(B100). Cloud point temperature tends to be higher. B20 flow properties will increase approximately 5° F
as compared to 100% petroleum based fuel.
• Abrasive solids from processing can cause fuel system wear.
• Potential for slight reduction in power and fuel economy due to lower energy content per mass unit of
B100. This would probably be invisible to the user of B20.
For increased chances of success, customers who wish to use Biodiesel in International
Engines should: Use high quality Biodiesel blend stock which conforms to ASTM PS 121-99
Use high quality diesel fuel that meets ASTM guidelines (D975) at minimum. The Engine Manufacturers
Association has a premium diesel fuel specification (FQP-1A) which is designed for improved winter
performance and lubricity. The minimum cetane number should be 45.
Maximum blend guidelines: 20% B100 blend stock to 80% petroleum based diesel fuel by volume.
Ensure complete mixing.
Avoid long term storage of Biodiesel fuel to prevent degradation. Treat storage tanks for water regularly,
and for microbial growth as well. B100 in water degrades 85-88% in 28 days, approximately the same
rate as for Dextrose (a test sugar used as the positive control when testing biodegradability).
Avoid prolonged periods of engine idling whenever possible. This not only wastes fuel, but also could
promote engine deposits due to low engine operating temperatures.
When operating in winter climates, use winter blended diesel fuel. If Biodiesel is still to be used in
winter months, make sure that the cloud point is adequate. Fuel heaters may improve performance.
Perform regularly scheduled maintenance as dictated by the engine operation and maintenance manual.
At this point in time, there is no evidence to suggest decreased maintenance intervals when using a
good quality B20.
These recommendations on use of Biodiesel in International Engines are not provided to extend or
supplant warranty limitation noted earlier. Again, use of Biodiesel in International engines is noted solely
at the discretion and risk of the customer.
Scott Peterson – Application Engineer, Engine Group firstname.lastname@example.org
1) SAE Off-Highway Engineering Dec 2000 pp 14-17 The Biodiesel Choice.
2) ASTM PS 121-99 Provisional specification for Biodiesel Fuel (B100) Blend Stock for Distillate fuels
3) SAE 95-0054 Emissions and Performance Characteristics of a 4 stroke Direct injected diesel
engine fueled with blends of Biodiesel and low sulfur diesel fuel.
M.L. Poulton 1994 Alternative Fuels for Road Vehicles
Joint FIE Manufacturers Statement, June 2000, Fatty Acid Methyl Ester Fuels as a Replacement or
Extender for Diesel fuels.
Sorry for the long post, but I thought it important that those of us contemplating making and/or using our own diesel fuel at this difficult time be as informed as possible. Nobody would like this to be "doable' more than I!