Biodiesel and cold NE Ohio March weather

Posted By on March 9, 2007

Biodiesel at 30* FThinking winter was nearly over, I topped off my VW Jetta TDI with B99 (100% biodiesel / 1% petroleum diesel) this past week prior to leaving on a regular drive to northeastern Ohio. Unfortunately I didn’t realized that snow was in the forecast or that low temperatures were in the offing. In fact, the low was 11 degrees in Akron on Wednesday night. Nervously on Thursday morning I peeked under the hood to see what the ‘clear’ fuel line looked like — nothing unusual that I could tell?

Thankfully the engine started, so I gingerly headed for my appointment keeping my eye open for places to pull over just in case my fuel filter clogged and starved the engine … all was well. It wasn’t until I stopped that I remembered the B100 sample kept in the ashtray … or whatever the ‘catch-all’ tray is called nowadays. The sample test tube had already warmed a bit, but it still had significant clouding. (photo) I estimated that my biodiesel percentage was about 50/50; I consider myself fortunate not to have been sitting on the side of the road. From personal observation, untreated fifty percent soy-based biodiesel is too high of a percentage to use when temperatures dip into the low teens.


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  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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