Making Lubricity Problems Slip Away with Biodiesel

See how biodiesel improves engine lubricity

Lubricity helps to protects engines from excessive wear and damage. With so many moving parts, including pumps and injectors, lubricating agents are critical to fleet performance. Lubricity often comes from the fuel that’s used in the vehicle. Simply put, a fuel that lacks lubricity doesn’t provide the necessary protection that help engines run smoother, cooler and more quietly.

Good News, Bad News

While the shift to ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) has been a positive move towards reducing emissions, it has resulted in a loss of lubricity for diesel engines. Why? Sulfur is what gives petroleum diesel its lubricating properties. By shifting to ULSD, the component that once helped increase lubricity of the fuel is significantly reduced, causing fleets to invest in lubricity additives.

Biodiesel is a Better Solution

  • Unlike petroleum diesel, biodiesel doesn’t rely on sulfur for lubrication. It’s the oxygen in biodiesel that gives the fuel its enhanced lubricity characteristics.
  • Increased lubricity can help lower maintenance costs by preventing wear to engine pumps and injectors.
  • Oxygen also gives biodiesel a higher Cetane number and aids in more complete combustion when compared to petroleum diesel.
  • Biodiesel enhances the lubrication of engines and is easily blended with petroleum diesel. Adding as little as 2% biodiesel gives engines the necessary lubricity required in the fuel — and higher blends add even more lubrication.
  • Biodiesel also outperforms ULSD by offering significant reductions in particulate matter, carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions. It is also produced from renewable feedstocks.
  • Overall, biodiesel does a better job at lubricating engines for better performance while providing a lower carbon solution. What’s not to like?

If you would like to learn more about how biodiesel works in a diesel engine, check out this video.





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