Report: Enabling biofuels - risks to vehicles and other engines

Enabling Biofuels - Risks to vehicles and other engines, a report prepared for the Ministry of Transport by Transport Engineering Research New Zealand (TERNZ), April 2006

Transport Engineering Research New Zealand Limited (TERNZ) is a research organisation providing high quality independent research services to the transport industry.

There is considerable international experience over quite a long period with the use of biofuel blends with relatively few recent reports of any negative impacts on vehicles and engines. A key issue for New Zealand is the relatively large proportion of the vehicle fleet that is made up of Japanese domestic market vehicles which have been imported as used vehicles. Japan does not currently use biofuel blends to any significant extent and thus compatibility is not guaranteed.

Two types of biofuel are considered. The first is ethanol blends with petrol to be used as a substitute for petrol. These blends are usually designated as Exx where xx represents the proportion of ethanol in the blend. Thus E5 represents a petrol blend containing 5% ethanol. The second type of biofuel is a blend of biodiesel blended with mineral diesel and used as a substitute for mineral diesel. These blends are similarly designated as Bxx where xx represent the percentage of biodiesel in the blend. Biodiesel can be manufactured from a number of different feedstocks ranging from vegetable oils to animal fats. The biodiesel proposed for use in New Zealand will be derived from tallow.


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