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Fuel Considerations

automobile tailpipe

Is waste oil the same as biodiesel?

Raw vegetable oil or recycled greases (also called waste cooking oil) that have not been processed into esters are not biodiesel, and are not registered by EPA for legal use in motor vehicles. Because of the potential for increased emissions from a vehicle, it is considered unlawful tampering to convert a vehicle designed for diesel fuel to operate on waste cooking oil without EPA certification. To date, EPA has not certified any such conversions. These conversions may also violate the terms of the vehicle warranty.

Is my vehicle suitable to operate on biodiesel?

Check with your vehicle owner's manual and/or your vehicle manufacturer. Operating a motor vehicle not suitable to run on biodiesel may result in damage to your vehicle if biodiesel is used.

Any diesel car may run on biodiesel with little or no modifications. Adjustments may include rubber hose and gasket replacement and the replacement of fuel filters. In older cars (15 years or older) rubber hoses and gaskets will need to be replaced, since biodiesel has a tendency to degrade rubber. When biodiesel is first used, an increase in deposits within the engine system may occur, so more frequent replacement of fuel filters may be necessary.

Will using biodiesel void my vehicle's warranty?

You may void your warranty if the biodiesel you produce does not meet industrial standards. Again, check your vehicle owner's manual and/or the vehicle manufacturer regarding the use of biodiesel in your motor vehicle. Federal law prohibits the voiding of a warranty simply because biodiesel was used; it must be the cause of the failure. If an engine experiences a failure caused by biodiesel (or any other external condition, such as bad diesel fuel), it will not be covered by the manufacturer's warranty. The fuel should meet ASTM Exit EPA Disclaimer D6751 standards. Commercially produced biodiesel should meet the ASTM D6751 standard. Many commercial production facilities are BQ-9000® Exit EPA Disclaimer producers that have quality control systems in place to assure that the biodiesel meets the ASTM D6751 standard. More information about vehicle warranties Exit EPA Disclaimer is available from the National Biodiesel Board.

What are the registration requirements?

Biodiesel made solely for personal use is not required to be registered with EPA. For any biodiesel made for commerce, registration is required even for very low volumes. Organizations making biodiesel for their own use should contact EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality to see if they need to register. The following links provide more information regarding registration requirements:

What are the Renewable Fuel Standard requirements?

You are not required to assign Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) to your biodiesel batches if you make less than 10,000 gallons of renewable fuel each year. However, if you make less than 10,000 gallons of renewable fuel each year and want to assign RINs to your biodiesel batches, you must comply with the Renewable Fuel Standard.

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