Tough out there isn’t it? The recession beginning circa 2008 was a massive hit to the economies of the world – and more importantly, the confidence of the affected economies. The problems still haven’t been resolved as proven by the fact that much of the world is now back in another recession; couple that with the highest fuel prices ever and you’ve got a huge number of unhappy motorists on your hands.
They are now searching for alternative fuel sources to help cut bills and maybe even do their ‘bit’ for the Earth. One of the most popular and well-publicised forms of alternative fuel is biofuel – but how can you make your car suitable?
Well, firstly, the most popular form of biofuel is the biodiesel. Trying to put this fuel into a petrol-powered car will result in an epic failure about 100 metres down the road – so best to choose your pump accordingly. When the biofuel was first introduced a few years ago it was claimed it was ‘carbon-neutral’, but it’s now claimed to actually be just as polluting as typical fossil-fuels due to the crops – of which the fuel is made from – potentially having been grown on a site where a rainforest once lay, or have been sprayed with greenhouse-gas excreting fertilisers.
Thankfully, modern biofuels are claimed to have been regulated, so in theory they’re now a far more ‘green’ and viable alternative to your typical fossil-fuel. For petrol drivers, it’s not really an option as yet – unless you fancy shelling out a lot of money to convert it to run on bio-ethanol (E85). But for diesel drivers, the world truly is your oyster with regards to biofuels.
A conversion to run on neat vegetable oil can cost around $1,500 for a diesel engine, which at first does sound shockingly expensive but when you realise the price of a gallon of vegetable oil is a tiny fraction of that of a gallon of diesel, it starts to make sense. It shouldn’t take too long for the cost-benefit equation to balance out.
If this doesn’t tickle your fancy, you can buy ‘ready-made’ biodiesel at some fuel-stations, but be aware than biodiesel blends over 5% may not be compatible with your car. So if saving money is your game, saving the world – in theory – is what you wake up in the morning for, then switching to biofuel may be the move for you.
It isn’t the only form of ‘green’ motoring out there, but as an easy way to save a bit of cash and do your bit, biofuel – especially biodiesel – is extremely attractive, indeed. Just remember that biodiesel comes in three mixtures: B5, B30 and B100. And bear in mind that biofuel-powered engines need their filters changing far more regularly than fossil-fuelled engines to avoid corrosion.
So there you have it; Biofuel really is a viable alternative in a climate that has fuel prices which seem to rise every day.
Will you take the plunge or are the clever hybrid systems and electric cars more appealing? Whatever you choose, it does seem that it’s only a matter of time for the traditional fossil-fuel burners.
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