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Diesel fuel is a type of fuel whose energy density and viscosity are higher than that of gasoline fuel. Generally diesel fuel, and thus diesel engines, are more fuel-efficient, because more energy is created per gallon of diesel than per gallon of gasoline. While diesel is more efficient, there are problems associated with its use, such as the fact that burning diesel fuel generates chemicals that can contribute to both smog and acid rain. Its advantages however, are prodigious; including the fact that diesel produces less carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide emissions. Also, while the traditional petroleum-based diesel, or petrodiesel, is problematic to the environment, there are potentially cleaner diesel fuel alternatives available, such as certain forms of biodiesel. When it comes to protecting the environment, the primary advantage of diesel over gasoline is the variety of methods that are available to produce it.
How Is Diesel Different From Regular Or Premium Gas?
Petroleum-based diesel is a heavier type of fuel than regular or premium gasoline, with a 10 percent higher density and energy output, or British Thermal Units (BTU) per gallon. Diesel fuel runs on the principle of compression ignition, in which the diesel engine uses hot compressed air to ignite the fuel which then powers the engine. Gasoline engines use a spark plug which ignites the fuel to power the engine. One advantage of diesel fuel is that chaotic ignition, also known as “knocks”, are less common in diesel engines than gasoline engines. Another advantage is that diesel fuel is more energetic, which means it produces more mileage per gallon than gasoline. One considerable disadvantage of using a diesel engine over a gasoline engine is that diesel fuel can become too viscous during cold weather. This can make it difficult to inject the fuel into the engine, thus making it difficult to start the vehicle.
How Does Diesel Affect The Environment?
When it comes to contributing to global warming, diesel produces more greenhouse gases than gasoline, but its fuel usage efficiency more than offsets this disadvantage. Diesel fuel, unlike gasoline, produces a high amount of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide. Nitrogen oxide, also called noxious emissions, contributes to smog and potentially carcinogenic particulates. It is a mix of nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide, the latter of which is highly toxic in nature. Sulfur dioxide can turn into sulfuric acid and contribute to acid rain. Diesel fuel also produces soot, which contributes to smog. The production of diesel fuel can also lead to spills, which can damage the environment and pose a risk to animals, although it is a lower risk than a crude oil spill. Even biodiesel is not completely safe for the environment in the event of a spill, because the fuel is oily and can mire fish or collect in fur and feathers, weighing them down and leaving them vulnerable to suffocation or attack by predators.
What Are Some Ways To Reduce Emissions?
One of the biggest problems with diesel fuel is its emissions of sulfur dioxide. Regulations passed in the United States and other countries require that diesel fuel be processed to reduce sulfur emissions. As a result, diesel fuel produced and sold in the United States must meet the Ultra-Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD) standards, which are continually updated by the government. Diesel particulate filters can also be installed onto existing vehicles to cut down on the release of particulate matter into the air. Biodiesel, especially diesel fuel made from used vegetable oil, is another potential way to reduce diesel emissions. Studies show that vegetable oil produces nearly 90 percent fewer emissions than petrodiesel and furthermore, its production results in little to no useless or wasted material. The Fischer-Tropsch method of biomass-based diesel production is another method of producing lower-emissions diesel fuel. Fuel produced by this process results in a further reduction of potentially carcinogenic particulate matter and smog emissions than regular petroleum-based diesel, as well as the complete lack of sulfur production.
How To Obtain Cleaner Diesel Fuel
Getting access to cleaner diesel fuel can be as simple as picking up used vegetable oil from restaurants or recycling used cooking oil from home. Used vegetable oil must first go through a filter in order to reduce its viscosity, as well as a strainer to remove particulates that accumulated in the oil during its use in the cooking of food. A growing number of gasoline stations around the United States and in Europe also offer biodiesel for motorists and trucks. In this case biodiesel comes in blends of either 100 percent biodiesel, B80 (80 percent biodiesel and 20 percent petrodiesel), B20 (20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent petrodiesel), or other combinations.
“I must say l'm delighted with the improvement from your chip, its on the standard settings and the difference in the car is amazing!!! I have a smile on my face every time I get in the car, and there is about 5-7mpg improvement. With the mileage l do, l can see myself getting my money back in no time at all. So if your a doubter like me, don't be because its one of the best things l've ever bought!!!”
Ian from Manchester
Audi A6 MK4 3.0 BiTDI 313
“A friend recommended one of your "gadgets" a year ago and being not-very-techno (but Scottish and keen to save money!) I bought one. The gizmo has TRANSFORMED the performance of my Land Rover Freelander 2 TD4 AND improved the fuel economy by a genuine 15%; so much so that I have bought another one for our Freelander 2 SD4 which is now a REAL Q-car! (And of course saves fuel...) I have never written a review before (though strangely I do read them and take notice of them, whilst half-believing that they are written by the owner's chums!) so to have made me pick up pen & paper so to speak - I MUST be delighted! Thanks for making technology so simple and so successful!”
Andrew from Lochwinnoch
Land Rover Freelander (2) SD4 190
“As do many, I took the 'if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is' approach to performance chips. But CHIP Express were recommended by an impeccable source who had had experience with their product on my model of car - a Citroën C6 with the 2.7 HDi twin turbo diesel. Following a first rate response to a query, the product has delivered in spades. Ten days and more than 1000 miles of mixed town, country, low and high speed driving later I am certainly getting more than 10% more from a gallon, and probably 15%, and the performance is markedly better. Low speed response is immediate and has eradicated what I took to be baked-in lag in a big automatic turbo diesel, and mid-range acceleration is silky smooth, including up inclines. A very good car has been turned into the excellent car I had hoped for all along.”
Simon from Ketteringham
Citroen C6 2.7 HDi 204
“Be assured, this is NO gimmick. Arrived yesterday (less then 24 hours after the order was placed) and fitted today. The fitting was easy especially with the photos and instructions sent with the chip. The first thing I noticed was the responsiveness of the engine from a standing start, no more lag. I then went on a 30 minute drive both motorway and sideroads and my average fuel consumption went UP from 33.3mpg to 38.7mpg. My motorway speed varied from 60 to 85mph and the sideroads from zero to 40mph. I am so pleased with the whole result. This is worth every single penny paid. Thank you!”
Edwin from Bridgend
Ford Kuga MK2 2.0 TDCi 163
“A good product and a good service deserves recognition: I fitted a CHIP Express unit to my Insignia. What an amazing bit of kit! My fuel economy and performance went way up and with the mileage I do was a Godsend! On a run to Aberdeen from Hull I returned an average of 62 MPG and I drive quite energetically! I've just taken up the trade in offer and saved a few quid on a new system. The Vauxhall has now gone with 125,000 trouble free miles and I have changed car to a Volvo S60 D3. I'm looking forward to fitting the Chip Express unit and reaping the rewards, thanks guys!”
Frazer from Skirlaugh
Vauxhall Insignia MK1 2.0 CDTI ecoFLEX 130
“I was a sceptic at first, then after reading the experiences others had been through I decided to give it a go. I bought a new 1.7 CRDI Sportage, not the 2ltr purely for better fuel figures. Whilst this engine pulls very well in standard form, and was returning 44-45mpg even during the first 500 miles I had to go down the CHIP Express route. Well, there is absolutely no point in forking out the extra 2 grand for the 2 litre model when you can get the 1.7 and spend much less to get 2 litre power figures. Excuse the cliché’s, but this car is transformed and by a big margin too. From what I can remember about my 2 litre test drive, my 1.7 now pulls better than the 2 litre version. The low-down grunt is remarkable and pulls like the proverbial train. Fitting took minutes and was effortless, the box was kept on factory settings, I feel there is no need to mess with it. Needless to say I am now a very happy boy and would without question take this route again. I would recommend this to any diesel Sportage owner. Many, many thanks for a remarkable product and a customer service that is rare in this country!”
Ron from Thetford
Kia Sportage MK3 1.7 CRDI 116