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Biodiesel | Answers from Our Experts

Cleaner, alternative fuel sources are in high demand right now. Sustainable sources are being looked to more than ever to replace harmful fuels that contribute to worldwide pollution. Biodiesel is a type of fuel that is being used more often to try and spare our increasingly polluted atmosphere. Since 1984, it has been an alternative fuel source that is much safer for our planet.

If you are unfamiliar with biodiesel fuel, you likely have some questions. At MNOP, we are often asked to explain how this type of fuel works, why it matters, and how it performs. Keep reading to discover the answers to our most frequently asked questions about this clean fuel source. Even if you already know a bit about this fuel type, you may just learn a thing or two from our experts.

For a quick overview, visit our Biodiesel Benefits Page

Biodiesel fuel pump station in Oregon.

Our Top FAQ’s About Biodiesel


⇩What is Biodiesel?

Biodiesel is a term used to describe a clean, alternative fuel that is made from renewable resources. It is petroleum-free, but it is often blended with petroleum diesel to create what is known as a biodiesel blend. This fuel is non-toxic, biodegradable, aroma-free, and sulfur-free. It can also be used in compression ignition engines without major modifications.

⇩How is Biodiesel Made?

Biodiesel is made from a broad mixture of resources, including animal fats, cooking oil, and soybean oil. It is created using a chemical process known as transesterification. During this process, glycerin is separated from fat or vegetable oil, leaving behind two products called methyl esters and glycerin. Glycerin is used in common products like soap, and methyl esters is the chemical name given to biodiesel.

⇩Which Type of Biodiesel is Best?

The industry standard in the United States for biodiesel is ASTM D6751. This stands for the American Society for Testing and Materials D6751 and specifies that the compound is 100% biodiesel. Most biodiesel fuels, however, are blended with standard diesel fuel for retail sale purposes.

⇩How Well Does Biodiesel Perform?

In terms of power and torque, biodiesel fuel performs similarly to low sulfur diesel. Overall, it is a successful alternative fuel that offers similar performance without any major modifications to a vehicle’s infrastructure or engine.

⇩How Does Biodiesel Perform in Colder Weather?

Regardless of whether you use biodiesel of standard diesel fuel, both can potentially ‘gel’ or cloud. Diesel blends are typically the best fuels to use since they tend to stand up to cold weather the best.

⇩Is Biodiesel Compatible with My Vehicle?

When low sulfur diesel became more popular, most vehicle manufacturers switched their components to be suitable for biodiesel. However, it is important to note that you should contact the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) for specific information about your vehicle. Pure biodiesel gases can cause the natural rubber components in certain cars, so it is important to double-check with the OEM before using a pure or nearly pure biodiesel gas.

⇩What are the Environmental Benefits of Biodiesel?

One of the best perks about biodiesel is it doesn’t require new land for production. It is readily available from many sustainable and diverse sources. In addition to saving land space, here are some statistics on biodiesel that speak to its positive impact on the environment:

-Reduces lifecycle greenhouse gases by 86%
-Lowers particulate matter by 47%
-Reduces hydrocarbon emissions by 67%


⇩How Much Biodiesel is Produced Each Year?

In the United States alone, biodiesel production spans across more than 125 plants that collectively produce over 3 billion gallons of fuel. In terms of economic benefits, the industry supports over 60,000 jobs nationwide. Production also generates billions of dollars in gross domestic product (GDP) every year.

⇩What is Bioheat?

Bioheat is often discussed in connection with biodiesel fuel. Bioheat is a blend of ultra-low sulfur heating oil and biodiesel that offers a clean alternative for home fuel sources. Depending on how you currently heat your home, you may consider looking into bioheat blends as a smart, alternative fuel source.

⇩Where Can I Get Biodiesel Fuel in Oregon?

This type of fuel is widely available in Oregon. In 2009, Oregon’s Renewable Fuel Standard mandated that all diesel fuel must have a minimum of 2% biodiesel. In 2011, this minimum was increased to 5% to a blend commonly known as ‘B5.’ B5 is the standard in the state of Oregon, with the exception of diesel used by marine engines, railroad locomotives, and home heating oils.

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MNOP | Fuel Products | Portland, Salem, & Eugene

Marc Nelson Oil Products provides high-quality fuel and gasoline across Portland, Salem, Eugene, and surrounding cities. At MNOP, we believe that all of our clients should have access to the right fuel at the right time. We work around-the-clock to ensure that your fleet has the products it needs. We are the fuel company in the Pacific Northwest you can trust. Our high-grade oils, lubricants, and fuels are always available to you and your fleet. If you have any questions or want to order a specific product, give us a call.

MNOP carries a variety of lubricants, industrial oils, greases, transmission oils, engine oils, and other high-quality fleet products. Additionally, you can count on MNOP to offer cleaning chemicals like fuel additives, solvents, and more. Our fuel and gas selections include regular 87 & 92, non-ethanol 97 & 92, and diesel. If you need racing fuel or other related products, we can also help. We carry methanol, fuel containers, specialty lubricants, and other performance chemicals.

One of our specialties at MNOP is working with clients to set up fuel cards. Fleet owners and managers in Portland, Salem, and elsewhere in the Willamette Valley come to us for assistance with establishing and maintaining cardlock accounts. Check out these great pages to learn more about cardlock:

FAQ’s About Cardlock
Cardlock Benefits for Fleet Owners
How Fleet Managers Can Obtain Cardlock

For more information, check out our resources on our Blog Page.

If you have additional questions, contact our team at MNOP today. Our outstanding and dependable customer service is unmatched. Give us a call at (503) 363-7676 or toll-free at (800) 523-7676.

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We strive to make our customers as happy as possible by being the best supplier we can be and consistently exceeding their expectations. Our goal is to make our customers happy! Stop by and see us at any of our 11 locations in Oregon. We're proud to serve Gresham, Hillsboro, Salem and beyond!
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1977 Claxter Road NE, Salem, OR 97301
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