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Hello experts, i'm reading the barrus shire canal boat 14 35 engine manual, and it says , DO NOT USE BIO DIESEL, is that the same as red diesel ???, a bit confused with all the types of diesels with have these days,and would that apply for a Barrus Shire 1202 engine too?? excuse my ignorance please and thank you

Asked by: jean-marc bedos  | 3.29am, Thursday 10 August

WW says:

Red diesel is not the same as biodiesel. Biodiesel (or FAME) is produced from crops by treatment of vegetable oils with methanol and potassium hydroxide, to produce shorter chain methyl esters of a similar composition to diesel and glycerol as a waste product. It is reasonably easy to make biodiesel from waste cooking oils, etc. but this isn't recommended for use in marine engines. Red Diesel is a derivative from crude oil (as fossil fuel).
However road diesel (white diesel) which is sometimes dyed red and sold as red diesel (because it is cleaner) is up to 5% biodiesel by volume- however this would be fine with your engine, as all engines made and sold within the EU (since 2004) have to be cable to cope with a blend of biodiesel up to 7%.
Pure biodiesel can cause issues with some engines, particularly with seals- ironically, biodiesel is an especially good solvent, so as well as attacking some seals, it does tend to remove deposits in the fuel system, particularly the high pressure side, which can lead to injector issues! For this reason, many engine manufacturers won't allow high-percentage biodiesel mix or pure biodiesel. Commercial biofuels are probably fine, there is a concern with home-made biofuels, which are definitely not pure enough for modern engines!
Most red diesel is slightly less refined (i.e dirtier) than road diesel- some boatyards have, in the past, been guilty of selling lower-quality (and lower cetane value) hlight heating oil (gasoil) as red diesel- this is far less likely to happen these days.
So, if you get your red diesel from a reputable boatyard or fuel boat, then your engine will be fine. Buying from a place with a good turnover of fuel (such as a hire fleet base) is often a good choice.
Hope that helps! It hasn't helped that in the past boatyards have sold fuels wrongly... and used different terms- and confused people!

Mark Langley  | 9.33AM, Thursday 10 August

Readers say:

thank you very much for your reply, it all makes sense now, you have given me really good advice and i will take great care to use them , great stuff not confused any more, happy cruising !.

jean-marc bedos  | 3.30PM, Thursday 10 August

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