by Robert Sanborn on Thu, Jan 17, 2008, who was a member of the STLE Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers for 15 years.
Many farmers and large users of diesel fuel have gotten on the band to manufacture their own bio-diesel and save money on fuel costs. Universities are even running seminars to teach individuals how to make bio-diesel. Bio-diesel is obviously going to have a steady future, however with any new product serious problems can arise and that is what this article is about. Using bio-diesel at no more than 20% and even less in winter causes no serious problems. However, users putting in more than 20% bio-diesel are asking for big problems.
You may think B100–straight bio-fuel you need to realize that the properties of this fuel are quite different than that of diesel fuel. When B100 is used, there is a much greater tendency for fuel to find its way into the crankcase, creating a much larger amount of fuel dilution. Fuel dilution is very serious as pre-mature bearing failure can take place causing major expense in an overhaul.There is also a greater likelihood of gellation at low temperatures due to excess fuel dilution.
Historically, there have been problems with methyl esters in engine oil attacking certain bearing materials, primarily copper-lead. With this in mind corrosion is a very huge concern to engine oil formulators. If you are using B100 or pure bio you will need stronger corrosion protection, way more pour point depressants, increased anti-foam additives, and probably some way to emulsify water since that will create even more problems in the crankcase. If you are going to use B100 I recommend a high TBN oil package of at least 10 TBN like SFR 100 with its ability to protect against corrosion and it will emulsify with water so that critical engine parts will stay protected.
SFR 100 is an oil fortifier formulated to be used at 1 ounce per quart of motor oil. In addition, and most importantly you must use a diesel fuel additive with cetane improver and increased detergents like SFR’s all season multi-functional diesel fuel conditioner. B100, though having great lubricity, has very poor detergent ability to keep injectors clean.
In conclusion, if you are going to use B100 in your diesel engines, make sure you use an oil fortifier in addition to a multi-functional diesel fuel conditioner or you might experience a major engine failure prematurely, which will cost you all that you saved in using the B100 in the first place and even more. Be smart and protect your B100.