a small, independent, woman owned
Eco-Store and Biodiesel Filling Station in San Mateo California that
sells locally made and sustainable “green” products and high quality
commercial biodiesel that meets B100 ASTM standards.
We strive to sell biodiesel made from only
recycled vegetable oil.
information “borrowed” from the divas at Biofuels Oasis
Biodiesel gels/crystallizes at around 32°F or higher depending
on what kind of oil/fats it was made from. Petroleum diesel fuel gels at
around 10°F. As fuel gels it becomes thicker, clogs your fuel filter, and can
cause power loss problems. Fuel stored in carboys will form white deposits at
the bottom. If it gets cold enough your whole tank or carboy will just be
white frozen biodiesel. If biodiesel freezes in your fuel lines and injection
pump your car will not start. This won’t cause damage; you just need to warm
up your vehicle (usually means getting it towed somewhere).
Blend in some petroleum
diesel to lower the gel point. The exact percentage needed to prevent
gelling will vary depending on they type of vehicle, the feedstock of the
fuel, and weather conditions. In the SF Bay Area a blend of 20% diesel
should be enough to get you through a cold spell. If you plan to go
someplace colder like Tahoe run at least 50% diesel, or just run diesel
to be safe.
Store extra fuel containers
in a warm location.
Heat or insulate outdoor
Some cars come equipped with
engine block heaters that can be plugged in overnight to help the car
start on cold mornings. If you don’t have an engine block heater you can
put an incandescent work light under the hood at night to keep the
engine compartment warm.
Park indoors if indoor
parking is available, if not, park where sun will hit your car early in
People who live in colder
climates can add heating elements and insulation to
the fuel system to prevent gelling.
When fuel gels it needs to
be brought well above the gel point temperature - probably 70 degrees or
higher - to return to a stable liquid state.
The passenger compartment of
a car parked in the sun can get warm enough to melt any gel in your
Put a carboy or a mason jar
full of biodiesel outside and look at it in the morning to get an idea of
what’s going on in your fuel tank. If there’s a white layer on the
bottom, you can expect problems.
Change your fuel filter if
you are experiencing power loss. Filing up with diesel can help if your
fuel filter is clogged and a replacement is not handy. Diesel is thinner
than biodiesel and will get through a partially clogged filter better
Park your car in the sun and
wait till the afternoon when it’s warmed up until driving.
Aim a blowdryer at the fuel
filter and fuel lines.
Pour hot water over the
filters and fuel lines. Do this carefully, avoiding electrical
Mechanics that are unfamiliar with biodiesel may misdiagnose
unrelated problems as being caused by biodiesel and perform unnecessaryfuel system
purges or other expensive “repairs”. We recommend locating a
biodiesel-friendly mechanic in your area before you need one. Dealers are
particularly notorious for “diagnosis by bumper sticker”. Get a second
opinion from an informed mechanic (VW) before allowing expensive work to be
100% recycled ASTM
and with a much lower cloud/gel point (cloud
point is now 32.6 degrees & cold filter plug point of 30 degrees!
Our pal and Autopia
member Alf Watt made a facebook page for us!Check it out by clicking the little icon