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Frequently asked questions

  • About Z Bio D

    • What's the difference between diesel and biodiesel?

      Biodiesel is manufactured from renewable feedstocks such as vegetable oils or animal fat, via a chemical reaction known as transesterification. Diesel is a hydrocarbon derived from petroleum crude oil.

    • What is Z Bio D?

      Z Bio D is a fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) biodiesel produced from tallow, which is an inedible by-product from New Zealand's agricultural industry.

      Biodiesel is typically sold as a biodiesel / diesel blend. A B5 blend of Z Bio D will be sold at the pump (a blend of up to 5% biodiesel with mineral diesel), and commercial customers who have compatible vehicles can also higher blends by arrangement.

    • Why do you say "up to" 5%?

      Biodiesel is typically sold as a biodiesel / diesel blend. The Z Bio D B5 blend is up to 5% biodiesel but may be slightly less by miniscule amounts. This is to ensure that we comply with New Zealand fuel specifications for diesel, which allows for a maximum of 5% biodiesel blended with ordinary diesel.

  • When & where is it available?

    • Why is Z Bio D only available in the Upper North Island?

      We are currently planning to supply the area around the Wiri Plant and the blending facilities; which is the Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions where the bulk of New Zealand’s fuel demand is generated. Ideally, we would like to develop other plants and terminals to bring biodiesel to all of New Zealand, but this will depend on customer demand.

    • Where can I buy Z Bio D?

      Z Bio D B5 will be available to customers in the Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions, including at all Z truck stops and service stations in this area.

    • Where can I get Z Bio D for my business?

      The range of biofuels available will be from the standard B5 with up to 5% biodiesel through to higher blends such as B20 (20% biodiesel blended with ordinary diesel), which will be available by prior order. Z Bio D will be available at Z service stations and truck stops in the Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty regions.

      Ask your account manager how you can get Z Bio D or contact our customer service team on 0800 474 355.

  • Can I use it in my engine?

    • How do I know if my vehicle can take biodiesel?

      Diesel vehicle manufacturers generally approve the use of diesel fuel containing up to 5% biodiesel in their diesel vehicles. Z Bio D B5 is a blend of up to 5% biodiesel with mineral diesel.

      The New Zealand Fuel Specification classifies mineral diesel blended with 5% biodiesel as standard diesel. This means there’s no need for you to make any modifications or other changes to your vehicle, or undergo any new changes to your vehicle’s maintenance schedules.

      Don’t just take our word for it, biodiesel is already commonly used across Europe and the Motor Industry Association of New Zealand also states that biodiesel blends of up to 5% are generally acceptable for diesel vehicles, provided that the biodiesel component complies with requisite biodiesel standards, and that the B5 blend meets New Zealand diesel fuel standards. Z’s biodiesel will meet all of these standards.

      If you’re a business customer who would like to use a higher biodiesel blend, please first check with your vehicle manufacturer whether a higher biodiesel blend ratio would be approved for use in your vehicle.

    • Will B5 give the same amount of energy?

      For a B5 (up to 5% biodiesel with mineral diesel) blend, any difference in energy output (when compared with mineral diesel) is negligible.

    • My car’s fuel flap for my tank says do not use biodiesel, so I’m assuming I can’t use Z Bio D?

      Although some European vehicles, such as some Audi, Skoda, Volkswagen and Subaru models have these stickers, what they are referring to are blends higher than 7%.  As Z Bio D is only 5%, it's fine - we've double checked this with the vehicle manufacturers. You can find more information in your car owner’s manual.

    • Is biodiesel good for my car?

      Yes, your vehicle won't notice any difference switching between Z Bio D and ordinary diesel. Biodiesel improves lubricity and will help reduce friction and wear on fuel system components compared to ordinary diesel.

    • Is Z Bio D okay to mix with ordinary diesel? Can my vehicle switch between ordinary diesel and biodiesel?

      Yes, your vehicle won't notice any difference switching between biodiesel and ordinary diesel. You can do this any time, so it's safe to fill up with Z Bio D whether or not your tank is empty.

    • What engine system components benefit from lubricity?

      Diesel fuel injection pumps are lubricated primarily by the fuel itself. The lubricating properties of diesel fuel are important especially for rotary and distributor type fuel pumps. In these pumps the moving parts are lubricated by the fuel as it moves through the pump and not by the engine oil.

      Other diesel fuel systems which include unit injectors, injectors, unit pumps and in line pumps are partially fuel lubricated. Low lubricity fuels may cause high wear and scarring and higher lubricity fuel (like Z Bio D) may provide reduced wear and longer fuel injections system component life.

    • What are the risks of B5?

      We’re very confident in the quality of Z’s biodiesel. As Z Bio D meets the same specifications as mineral diesel under the New Zealand Engine Fuel Regulations, we don’t foresee any risks associated with the use of B5 that you wouldn’t already need to take into account if you were using regular mineral diesel.

      What's more, the Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA), an international member body representing internal combustion engine makers, does not expect B5 biodiesel to cause any engine problems, so long as the B100 used for blending meets the European biodiesel standard (EN14214). We've made sure our B5 meets this as well as New Zealand standards.

    • Will Z stand behind its biodiesel if something does go wrong with my vehicle?

      As with all Z fuels, we will stand behind Z Bio D blends, which will meet the fuel specifications set out in New Zealand legislation. If our biodiesel is found to have fallen short of New Zealand’s strict engine fuel specifications and something goes wrong with your vehicle, we would absolutely stand behind our promise of quality biodiesel.

  • What are the benefits?

    • Why should I use biodiesel?

      Biodiesel is better for the environment than ordinary diesel, with almost 4% less carbon emissions per tank. Replacing 20 million litres of mineral diesel with our biodiesel will save 37,000 tonnes of CO2e from New Zealand's carbon footprint each year, without our customers or anyone else apart from us having to do anything additional or change behaviours.

      Biodiesel burns more cleanly than ordinary diesel; this creates less particulate matter in exhaust emissions - even at a B5 level (the main biodiesel blend available). Biodiesel also improves lubricity and will help reduce friction and wear on fuel system components compared to ordinary diesel.

      In addition, it reduces New Zealand’s reliance on imported fossil fuels.

      In short, it’s a high quality fuel that does the same job as diesel, except it’s better for the environment and better for people because of the reduction in carbon and particulate emissions.

    • Will switching to Z Bio D help my business?

      Using Z Bio D can help demonstrate to your staff, customers or other stakeholders that your business is taking action towards reducing your environmental impact.
      In today’s competitive market, your sustainability credentials may help you stand out from your competition. Made locally in Wiri, Auckland, you are also showing you are supporting Kiwi-made products.

    • How is the carbon emission reduction calculated?

      Our carbon reduction estimate is based on the CO2 emissions estimated for the life cycle of ordinary (mineral) diesel from upstream production through to use in an engine (well to wheels) and the plant production to engine use life cycle (farm gate to wheels) for tallow biodiesel.

      The combustion for tallow biodiesel is zero rated, as the carbon already exists as part of the carbon cycle. Emissions from ordinary diesel combustion are counted as the carbon has been extracted from under the ground and introduced into the carbon cycle.

      Emissions for tallow are counted from the point when tallow is created as a by-product of the meat industry (and excludes upstream agricultural emissions). Our calculations estimate a 3.7% reduction in carbon emissions for our B5 blend.

    • How is a 5% biodiesel better for the environment or helping with sustainability?

      Compared to mineral diesel using Z Bio D means you will be doing your bit to reduce New Zealand’s carbon and greenhouse gas emissions by almost 4%.

      At full production, replacing 20 million litres of mineral diesel with our biodiesel will save 37,000 tonnes of CO2e from New Zealand's carbon footprint each year. That’s the equivalent of removing almost 17,000 medium sized diesel cars from NZ roads. Not only that, biodiesel burns more cleanly than ordinary diesel, this creates less particulate matter in exhaust emissions – even at a B5 level (our standard biodiesel blend with up to 5% biodiesel).

      We are also helping to do our bit for the environment and local community by finding a local use for inedible tallow – a by-product of the New Zealand meat industry. So while 5% may not seem like a large number, it is still progress; and small steps lead to giant strides.

  • How is Z Bio D made?

    • What is the testing regime before it goes to market?

      There is an extensive testing regime. Every batch of biodiesel manufactured will be fully and independently tested to confirm compliance with the relevant legal specifications in New Zealand, as well as stringent European Biodiesel specifications before it is released.

      The product is tested at every stage of the manufacturing process, and the final product is batch-tested before it leaves the plant, and again at the terminal.

      Once it leaves the manufacturing plant Z Bio D blends will be subject to the same robust quality assurance regime as all Z’s fuels. So you're in safe hands.

    • What does the manufacturing process Z uses for making biodiesel involve?

      Z Bio D is a fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) biodiesel. FAME biodiesels are manufactured from fat or oil by chemical process called transesterification. Tallow reacts with methanol in the presence of a catalyst to make the FAME. the crude biodiesel is then further refined using ion exchange columns and a sophisticated distillation column that produces a very high quality biodiesel that is fit for purpose.

    • Are there any extra care or maintenance requirements for managing biodiesel?

      No, Z Bio D B5 works just like ordinary diesel, so for normal use, the same storage, handling and use requirements that apply for ordinary diesel also apply.  For long term storage, over six months, we recommend a fuel monitoring programme is put in place.

  • Why have you used tallow?

    • Why tallow? Did you consider any other biofuel input options?

      Yes, however tallow was clearly the best option because it met our requirements of being locally available at scale and not competing with food production.

      At Z we have been deliberate about the criteria we developed before choosing inedible tallow. It had to be a material that we can source locally, that does not compete with food production, and that does not require the creation of additional processes or impact on the environment. We also carefully looked at how sustainable our biodiesel would be from a “well to wheels” perspective (meaning the lifecycle from when it is sourced to when it you fill up at the pump). Tallow ticked all these boxes.

    • Does using tallow mean animals have to die?

      We are not in any way creating additional demand for animals. We use inedible tallow in our biodiesel which is an existing by-product of the New Zealand agricultural industry that would otherwise be shipped overseas for use in manufacturing soap, candles and some biofuel production. We are helping to do our bit for the environment and local community by finding a local use for this existing by-product.

    • Will we reach a point where there is simply not enough tallow to make Z Bio D? I’ve heard the dairy industry is looking shaky so it might contract supply.

      There isn't enough tallow to completely replace New Zealand's diesel demand but there is more than enough to supply the Wiri plant, as well as a further 2-3 plants of a similar capacity if there is enough demand for biodiesel to build more. When the biodiesel plant is at full production, it will take only about 12% of NZ's total tallow supply to produce 20 million litres of biodiesel.  If scaled up to 40 million litres it will take 24%. So there's enough security of supply for the current plant as well as for meaningful expansion.

  • What is B20 and who uses it?

    • What is B20 and is it right for me?

      B20 is a blend of 20% pure biodiesel with 80% mineral diesel. As it’s a higher blend ratio, B20 is not suitable for all vehicles, and is not available at retail sites. However, if you’re a business that’s looking to seriously reduce your carbon emissions from transport fuels, please speak to your account manager or call us on 0800 474 355 to find out if this could be the right option for you.

  • What else is planned?

    • Does producing biodiesel mean Z will move away from fossil fuels altogether? If not, why not?

      Not yet, because there isn’t yet a viable option at scale that can replace fossil fuels altogether. There’s not enough feedstock for us to be able to produce enough biofuel to meet all of New Zealand’s fuel demand, and we are also constrained by what the majority of New Zealand’s current vehicle fleet can run on (currently no more than 5% biodiesel).

      We’ve always said that we’re a transport energy company, not a fossil fuels company, which is why we are always exploring ways to reduce New Zealand’s dependency on fossil fuels. This is a step in the right direction, but we’re not there yet.

    • Do you have any other biofuel projects in the pipeline?

      We are keeping a watching brief on second generation technology that can turn wood waste into biofuel. In the wider alternative transport energy space, we are rolling out more electric charging stations across our service station network.

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