biodiesel, renewable diesel, SAF

Renewable Diesel, Biodiesel, SAF: What’s the Difference?

Currently there are three types of biofuel being produced in the U.S.-biodiesel, renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).


Biodiesel is a renewable fuel that can be manufactured from vegetable oil, animal fats, and recycled restaurant grease as well as soybean, corn and canola oils.Biodiesel’s properties are similar to conventional biodiesel.Biodiesel is typically blended with conventional diesel for optimal performance (B5 (5% biodiesel) up to B100 (100% biodiesel)). All vehicle manufacturers allow blends up to B5 and 80% approved blends up to B20.

Older vehicles (prior to 1994) contain hoses and gaskets that can break down with heavy used of blends at B20 and higher. Cold weather performance can be an issue for some vehicles although there are workarounds such as lower blends such as flow improvers.

Renewable Diesel

Renewable Diesel is manufactured by different processes than biodiesel and is becoming the preferred fuel primarily because renewable diesel is chemically identical to regular diesel and can there be used at 100% concentration(not blended) in regular diesel engines. This is why it is sometimes referred to as a “drop-in diesel”.

Renewable diesel is more environmentally friendly than biodiesel, performs better in cold weather and can be transmitted in existing pipes and stored in existing facilities. Renewable diesel does not require any modifications to the vehicle which burns it regardless of the age and make of the vehicle.

Sustainable Aviation Fuel

SAF can be produced from a number of biomass sources the best of which given its carbon footprint is yellow grease (waste vegetable oil and animal fats).  It is a fuel used to power jet aircraft. Jet engines burning SAF produce fewer carbon emissions than conventional aviation diesel. SAF can be blended at up to 50% with traditional jet fuel. Any aircraft can use SAF blends. It has the potential to reduce the carbon lifecycle by up to 50% compared to the traditional jet fuel it replaces.

There are other benefits to biofuels such as a higher cetane number, additional power but overall it is the dramatic reduction in the total carbon footprint that makes these biofuels so important.

D&W Alternative Energy collects used cooking oil from restaurants in New Jersey and Eastern Pennsylvania and recycles it to make biodiesel. Give us a call to pickup your restaurant’s used cooking oil.

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