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Autopia is 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.

 

 

 

 

SF Bay Area Biodiesel

 

 

Below is information “borrowed” from the divas at Biofuels Oasis

 

 

Cold Weather

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).

 

Prevention:

  • 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 storage tanks.
  • 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 the morning.
  • People who live in colder climates can add heating elements and insulation to the fuel system to prevent gelling.

Solutions:

  • 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 carboys.
  • 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 than biodiesel.
  • 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 components.

Uninformed Mechanics

Mechanics that are unfamiliar with biodiesel may misdiagnose unrelated problems as being caused by biodiesel and perform unnecessary fuel 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 performed.

 

 

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! That’s cold)

 

 

 

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Contact us:  info@autopiabiofuels.com