What Is B5 Diesel Fuel? (Price, Properties, and How To Find)

It is an environmental fuel. One of the advantages of using B5 diesel is that it has a higher oxygen content than regular #2 diesel. This means that there should be lower emissions being let out into the air. In the end, it may not be that great for your engine’s lifespan.

B5 diesel fuel is mere #2 diesel or regular diesel mixed with 5% soy or some other vegetable substance. Those vegetable substances can be cooking oil, algae, animal fat, and canola. Because of the low bio contribution, this fuel is usually more expensive than the other biodiesel alternatives.

To learn more about this topic, just continue to read our article. It has the information you want to know about so you can decide if this is the fuel route you want to go. The problem is until you pull up to the pumps, you may not know which station is selling this version or the #2 pure diesel

What is B5 Diesel Fuel?


The B stands for biological ingredients or bio for short. The 5 indicates the percentage of this bio additive in the fuel. So B5 diesel has 5% of bio ingredients added to its content.

A B20 fuel would have 20% added to it. The main ingredient in B5 diesel is soybean oil and there have been warnings about using biodiesel from some manufacturers. Usually, almost any car or truck can work on B5 fuel.

It is the B20 and higher that you may have problems with. Mercedes Benz issued a warning some years ago about using B20 in their engines. They are supposed to have modified their motors to be able to handle B20.

Anything less than B5 biodiesel fuel is okay for all diesel engines as well. The reason you are seeing signs at the pump about the bio inclusion is to let you know in advance what type of fuel they are selling.

The distributors, etc., are supposed to be getting a $1 per gallon break in their wholesale price and it is up to the distributors and gas stations if they are going to pass that price break onto their customers. Some do and some do not.

What Properties Does B5 Diesel Fuel Have?

The best way to illustrate this issue is to provide a table that shows the differences in properties between regular diesel and B5 biofuel

Property Diesel B5
Heat value (MJ-kg-1) 45.28 45.135
Cloud Point (C-degrees) 18 13.7
Density at 15 degrees C (kg/m3) 853.8 827
Flash Point (C-degrees) 93 81.1
Pour Point (C-degrees) 12 9
Cetane Number 54.6 -

** information for this table taken from https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Properties-of-fuel-for-Diesel-and-B5_tbl2_282478961

That website has different articles you can click on to get further information and read about the different studies conducted on these two types of fuel. it is a toss-up as to which one is better but it seems that the Biodiesel option can cut down on emissions.

Diesel fuel is used in a wide array of vehicles covering all levels of transportation including supply chain, rail, and other applications beyond RV and vehicle use.

There was a need to reduce emissions to help protect the planet. That is what the government is doing with the requirements governing fuels and emissions.

Is Diesel #2 The Same as B5?


Not really. While Biofuel is made up of mostly diesel #2 fuel, there are some differences due to the presence of those bio-additives. One difference is the higher oxygen levels in the B5 fuels.

These higher oxygen levels can be more aggressive towards elements that are considered safe for diesel engines. But B5 fuel is considered less toxic than diesel #2 which makes it a safer option to use.

Another difference will be that you should experience less wear and tear running B5 fuel over pure #2 diesel. However, long-term studies on this topic have not been published at this time. It is hard to say if that will take place or not.

Those are just some of the effects the bio ingredients have on your diesel engine. When you look at the two fuels, the only difference between them will be those bio ingredients. They are basically the same fuel with minor changes.

Running B5 should not be bad for your diesel engine unless your car’s manufacturer warns against using any biodiesel fuel. But even Mercedes Benz has softened its stance towards biofuels.

The biggest difference you will see is at the pump. It costs more to refine biodiesel fuel so you should see this fuel sold at a higher price than regular diesel #2. But with gas prices very volatile at the moment, this may change in the near future.

Can Any Diesel Engine Use B5?

The answer to this important question is a simple ‘yes’. The B5 biodiesel’s bio content is so low, it should not harm your engine and still produce fewer emissions than if you ran pure diesel fuel.

From what we have read, the gas stations do not have to mention the Bio content when it is at 5% or less. They do if the Bio content is 6% or more. Also, it seems that almost all gas stations now sell biodiesel at the pump.

The question is do they still have diesel #2 at the pump and how much extra are you paying for the Biodiesel fuel? There are some problems that come with using this fuel alternative though.

1. It can grow mold if stored in a warm storage tank. However, if it is stored in a cold tank it can thicken and be hard to put into your fuel tank.

2. The high lubricating factor of biodiesel fuel can leave deposits in your fuel lines. This will, in turn, clog your filters and block fuel delivery. That situation can cause other problems as well.

That is probably why you have diesel motor owners looking for regular diesel fuel when they pull up to the pumps.

What Gas Stations Sell B5 Diesel


Shell was the first major gas station operator that came up in our search. They say they sell both regular and biodiesel t their gas stations across the country. Many websites talk about B20 and higher as those are advertised and have a location finder to help you locate them.

There is little mention of B5 because in some states the gas stations have been forced by government regulation to sell B5. Others do not advertise the fact they sell it because they are not mandated to advertise the type of fuel in their pumps if the bio content is 5% or lower.

What that means is that you may be getting biodiesel fuel and not realize it. According to one map, the states of Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois have the most biofuel gas stations in the country.

Many are not listed because they do not have to advertise if they have B5 or not. Older diesel engines may have problems with this newer fuel, while newer diesel engines may have problems with regular diesel fuel.

How To Find B5 Diesel

There are two ways to find one of these gas stations, well three actually. The first way would be to do an internet search and put in the specific gas station brand name to find out.

Those brand names would be Texaco, Shell, Sinclair, or a local or regional brand. They will have some information on this. The second way would be to call your local gas station and ask them.

They should be able to tell you if they sell B5 or not. Although some gas station attendants may not know. The final way is by word of mouth. Just ask someone who owns a diesel engine and see if they know where a gas station is selling B5 fuel.

When you are in a new town, this may be the best way to find out.

B5 Diesel Price


According to the latest charts (2022), it seems that biodiesel is more expensive than regular diesel. One chart had it priced at about $1.50 per liter for B5 and $.90 per liter for regular diesel.

Another chart did not list B5 but listed B20 and B99-100. The latter was about 8 cents more expensive than diesel prices and the former was about 30 cents less than diesel prices.

We just say diesel prices here for this chart because B5 may be included in that pricing for diesel prices. Remember, the gas stations do not have to say if they have B5 or not. So price comparisons may be deceiving.

Some Final Words

Whether B5 biofuel is a good thing or not remains to be seen. There are still some issues to work out before any marked gains or improvements can be tabulated.

While this fuel does lower emissions, it does come with some serious storage problems that may affect your engine in a negative way. You may have to change your oil filter more often when you use B5 fuel.

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