Biofuel

Shave the edge off your business’s transport emissions by choosing biofuel blends of petrol and diesel.

Biofuel is an easy switch

Most petrol and diesel vehicles can run on biofuels – no modifications required. Biofuels sold by fuel retailers must meet government regulations so you can be confident about their quality.

  • Bioethanol is for petrol vehicles

    Bioethanol comes from whey, a dairy by-product. It’s mixed with ordinary petrol to make a bioethanol blend. Most new and many older vehicles can use bioethanol-blended petrol.

  • Biodiesel is for diesel vehicles

    Biodiesel comes from used cooking oil or tallow, a meat by-product. It’s mixed with ordinary diesel to make a biodiesel blend. All diesel vehicles can safely use a 5% biodiesel blend.

Sustainably produced biofuels produce fewer net greenhouse gas emissions than diesel or petrol.

Different blends for different engines

Bioethanol blends are often called E3 or E10

The numbers refer to the percentage of bioethanol in the blend – so either 3% or 10% biofuel.

You can put either blend in most new and many older vehicles. You can switch with regular petrol at any time – it’s no problem to mix them in your tank.

Bioethanol-blended petrol will work in almost any land-based petrol engine, from lawn mowers to generators.

  • The first time you use bioethanol-blended petrol, make it a big fill rather than a top-up. This will help to absorb any water that might be in your tank.
  • Fuel with a very high bioethanol content (such as E85) can only be used in flexible-fuel vehicles (also known as flex-fuel or duel-fuel). It can seriously damage a standard vehicle engine.
  • Don’t use bioethanol-blended petrol in marine or aviation applications unless the whole operation is specifically designed for it, and any required authorisation has been obtained.

Check if your vehicle can use petrol biofuel(external link)

 

Biodiesel blends are often called B5, B7 or B20

The numbers relate to the percentage of biodiesel in the blend. All diesel vehicles can safely use B5, which has 5% biodiesel, and many can use a 7% blend (B7).

You can use biodiesel blends in almost any diesel engine - including earth moving equipment, tractors, generators or boats.

You can switch between biodiesel blends and regular diesel at any time – it’s no problem to mix them in your tank.

Higher blends such as B20 and up to B100 (100% biodiesel) can be used in some large commercial vehicles such as trucks and buses, if a few simple steps are followed. Check with your vehicle or engine manufacturer and with a knowledgeable specialist about the blend that's suitable for your vehicles. You may need a written contract with the supplier to show you understand what you’re buying.

 

You might need to change your filter

Biofuels have stronger cleaning properties than regular petrol or diesel and can loosen dirt in the engine. If you haven’t changed your fuel filter for a while, change it after the first few fills of biofuel.

 

Not sure about using a blend?

Check your vehicle's handbook, or ask the equipment supplier. 

  • Gull

    Gull sells bioethanol (Force 10 and Force Pro for flex-fuel vehicles) and Diesel Max (with up to 5% biodiesel).

    Gull

  • GreenFuels

    Delivers tanks of biodiesel to any home, farm, wharf or work site in Canterbury.

    GreenFuels

  • Bioenergy Association

    Information about biofuels and other forms of bioenergy. The association promotes and coordinates the expansion of the New Zealand bioenergy sector.

    Bioenergy Association