Case IH Supports Biodiesel
With proper protocols, Case IH supports 100% biodiesel (B100)
medium- to high-horsepower tractors, combines, windrowers, sprayers and cotton pickers. B5 can be used in all Case IH engines
. When supplies are available, Case IH equipment ships from the factory with a biodiesel blend in the tank.
Biodiesel from soybean oil has the obvious advantages of increasing demand for home-grown soybeans while reducing dependence on fossil fuels. But how do they perform? Biodiesel blends, especially B2 and B5, appear to be good alternatives to pure diesel fuel and improve lubricity and emissions.
The U.S. Department of Energy says that:
- 100% biodiesel (B100) contains about 8% less energy per litre than No. 2 diesel
- Pure B100 can reduce power and torque by 7 - 12%
- B20 blends will lose only 1 - 3% in power, torque and fuel economy
- B5 or less will “not cause noticeable differences in performance compared to No. 2 diesel”
Biodiesel used in Case IH engines must meet the appropriate requirements of U.S. standards for on and off road diesel applications, specifically:
- ASTM D975-08a specifies requirements for B5 blends
- ASTMD7467-08 is a new spec that covers finished fuel blends of between B6 and B20
- ASTM D6751 for B100 has updates to improve the quality of biodiesel in the marketplace (European standard EN14214)
When using blends greater than B5 (B6 - B100), certain handling and maintenance requirements come into play, and customers are advised to speak with their dealers for the specific recommendations covering their biodiesel blend of choice.
Biodiesel is a diesel fuel replacement manufactured from vegetable oils, recycled cooking greases or oils or animal fats. Soybeans are a primary source for biodiesel.
Currently, commercial biodiesel production and distribution is located primarily in the Midwestern United States. Farm equipment manufacturers, including Case IH, endorse the use of it, and various regulatory agencies even require biodiesel use. In Minnesota, a state directive mandates that all diesel fuel sold there contains at least 2% biodiesel.
Biodiesel is often blended with diesel fuel by fuel distributors.
- The most common blends are B2, B5 or B20
- Pure 100% biodiesel (B100) can also be used in some diesel engines
To determine the maximum biodiesel blend appropriate for your machine, review the product sections of this Web site.
As an organic material, diesel fuel is a food source for various types of microbes that feed and grow at the fuel/water interface. Water works its way into storage systems from humidity, condensation, etc.
Because on-farm fuel supplies are used fairly quickly (rather than stored unused for months), algae and other types of organic growth haven’t been much of an issue with pure diesel fuel.
However, biodiesel is a richer food source:
- More highly oxygenated
- Presents more interfaces with water
- This microbial activity creates sludge that can plug filters
Also, biodiesel can have a cleaning effect that loosens accumulated sediment in storage tanks and equipment tanks. Although the U.S. Department of Energy says that “B20 is sufficiently diluted so that most (cleaning effect) problems are insignificant,” field reports indicate this is a possibility even with the B5 blends, especially if your fuel storage and handling systems are old or have not been carefully maintained.
"Best Practices" for Success
There are only a few basic “best-practice” procedures to keep in mind to successfully use biodiesel. Essentially, it comes down to the basics: Use clean fuel. Keep it clean.
- Purchase your biodiesel blend from a trusted fuel supplier
- Treat your storage tanks for moisture with a moisture-dispersant
- Use of a biocide is recommended
- Add or upgrade in-line filters with those that are biodiesel compatible
- Add a fuel/water separator
- Take steps to minimize in-tank condensation, by keeping tanks topped off
If your on-farm fuel storage system is due for replacement, adopting biodiesel can be a good reason to do so. Take similar steps to clean and protect equipment fuel systems. Be prepared to replace fuel filters more often, especially in the early stages of your biodiesel blend usage. Fuel filters for current diesel engines are very efficient, but they cannot do their job if they become overloaded with contaminants.
Use biodiesel from a trusted source that is a BQ-9000 accredited producer or certified marketer/distributor. Pre-blends are recommended over on-farm blending, which can result in a non-homogenous mixture. In addition:
- Use storage tanks that are clean and free of sediment
- Avoid copper, brass, lead, tin and zinc in tanks and fittings
- Minimize water forming through condensation by keeping tanks topped off
- Use a biocide in primary storage tanks
- Add fuel filters and water separators on your primary storage tank
Follow recommended maintenance schedules for equipment fuel filters and water separators. Expect to change filters more frequently, especially during the early stages of biodiesel blend use.
User Guide for Blends of B6 through B20
Follow the General Guidelines and avoid storing biodiesel in on-site fuel tanks for longer than three months. In addition:
- Check your engine oil level daily; If the oil level increases, contact your Case IH dealer
- Use B6 through B20 only if the outside temperature is greater than 16 degrees F (-9 degrees C)
- Clean up biodiesel spills immediately to avoid paint damage
- Avoid storing equipment more than three months with biodiesel in the fuel system, due to potential fuel stability problems associated with biodiesel
- If necessary, run the engine on pure diesel fuel for 20 - 30 minutes to flush the biodiesel out of the system
The oil and filter change interval for electronic Case IH engines using a high pressure common rail fuel system is reduced to 300 hours. See your operator’s manual.
User Guide for Blends Greater than B20
For biodiesel blends greater than B20, follow the guidelines for blends B6 through B20 and the following additional requirements.
Use greater than B20 blends only if the outside temperature is higher than
41 degrees F (5 degrees C)
Keep biodiesel storage tanks protected from direct sunlight or frost
The use of biodiesel blends greater than 20% (B20) requires greater attention to fuel quality and handling, and additional vehicle maintenance and service
In some cases an update kit is necessary to make your machine greater than B20 compatible
Visit your Case IH dealer, who will provide the details of all the special requirements for your equipment using blends greater than B20.
Biodiesel blends are more prone to microbial growth than straight diesel fuel. Case IH dealers carry fuel treatments that prevent:
- Microbial growth
- The resulting slime that can clog filters
These include Fleetguard’s® Fleet-tech™ Microbicide and a Valspar fuel additive (part number B50546, 16 ounce, or part number B50547, 23 ounce).