Bioethanol is for petrol vehiclesBioethanol 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 vehiclesBiodiesel 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.
- Make your first fill with bioethanol-blended petrol a big one, to absorb any existing free 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 dual-fuel). It can seriously damage a standard vehicle engine.
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 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.
You might need to change your fuel 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.
If you’re not sure about using a biofuel blend, check your vehicle’s handbook or with the equipment supplier.
GullGull sells bioethanol (Force 10 and Force Pro for flex-fuel vehicles) and Diesel Max (with up to 5% biodiesel).
Bioenergy AssociationInformation about biofuels and other forms of bioenergy. The association promotes and coordinates the expansion of the New Zealand bioenergy sector.