18 December 2001

John Deere has approved the use of soy-based biodiesel in its diesel engines. Blends of biodiesel can be used in all of its new diesel-powered products, as well as in older model tractors and engines.

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The maximum content of biodiesel in the blended fuels was not explicitly specified. After thorough testing and analysis, John Deere has developed the following guidelines to help ensure optimum use of biodiesel:

  • The biodiesel fuel must meet the ASTM PS 121-99 or DIN 51606 fuel specifications.
  • Biodiesel, by definition is biodegradable, so the higher the concentration of biodiesel in a fuel blend, the more susceptible the fuel is to degradation and water absorption. While rapeseed methyl ester (RME) concentrations up to 100% have been run successfully, concentrations of up to 5% biodiesel have shown improvement in fuel lubricity while minimizing the potential problems associated with fuel degradation.
  • Operators should keep storage and vehicle tanks as full as possible to prevent moisture. Storage tanks should be protected from extreme temperatures and extended storage of biodiesel fuel should be limited. Routine monitoring of the fuel’s water content is also recommended.

Following these guidelines will ensure normal warranty coverage on products fueled by biodiesel blends, said John Deere. For more information contact Barry E. Nelson, 913.310.8324,

Engine manufacturers have been traditionally vague about the impact of biodiesel on engines and their warranty policies in that respect. Biodiesel can be incompatible with certain materials used in engines and, in particular, in fuel injection systems. According to a common position developed by fuel injection manufacturers, blends of up to 5% biodiesel in petrodiesel can be used in existing engines without causing any problems. The common position also said that injection systems can be designed to operate on neat (100%) biodiesel.

Source: John Deere