UK farmers run tractor with 100 percent biodiesel

Biodiesel blends up to 20 percent can be used safely in most equipment.
Biodiesel blends up to 20 percent can be used safely in most equipment.
Two British brothers, Philip and Michael Bates, are running one of the tractors on their farm using 100 percent biodiesel produced using their own crop.

The brothers are hoping to prove that high-quality biodiesel can be used as farm equipment fuel in its own right, rather than as a 5 percent additive to conventional diesel. With the use of a biofuel conversion kit installed on the filtration system, the tractor's engine can run effectively and reliably on the biofuel, they said.

In the U.S., biodiesel has been around as a fuel additive for several years, but equipment manufacturers have not approved using 100 percent biodiesel.

John Deere, the largest farm equipment manufacturer, was the first off-highway engine manufacturer to recommend and factory-fill biodiesel in North America back in 2005, when a 2 percent biodiesel mix was standard.

Since then, the company has approved biodiesel concentrations up to a 20 percent blend (B20) in petroleum diesel fuel in John Deere engines through Tier 3/Stage III A models, including all non-emissions-certified engines.

Biodiesel blends up to B20 can be used only if the biodiesel (100 percent biodiesel or B100) meets ASTM D6751 (U.S.), EN 14214 (EU) or equivalent specification.