Biodiesel is considered an alternative fuel which is made
from either vegetable oil or animal fats (long-chain mono-alkyl
esters). Biodiesel is typically produced by chemically reacting
animal fat or vegetable oil with alcohol.
Biodiesel fuel is all about exclusivity, formulated only
for diesel engines. Does biodiesel provide any positive effects?
How exactly does it help the environment? In this article,
I plan to cover all of these questions and more.
You see, I believe that the future of diesel cars and vehicles
relies heavily on bio-diesel fuel. Don't be fooled into thinking
that we have an "endless" line of fossil fuels.
No, one day it is going to run out. Not only that, but gasoline
is very harmful to the environment and has the potential to
cause many health problems. It already has.
In fact, some of the biggest gross polluters on this earth
are not cars at all but diesel powered ships at sea, the kind
of ships that ironically carry petroleum or other heavy freight.
The next biggest gross polluters of fossil fuels are in fact
cars and other light vehicles.
Biodiesel vehicles aren't complex any more than your average
car. They are basically your standard diesel engines which
pump biodiesel fuel.
B100 is made up of 100-percent biodiesel. And then there
are several blends of biodiesel and petrodiesel including
B99 (99-percetn biodiesel fuel), B20 (20-percent biodiesel,
80-percent petrodiesel), B5 (5-percent biodiesel) and B2 (2-percent
The blends of less that 20-percent biodiesel fuel are meant
to be used in traditional diesel engines with little or no
modifications. You'll need to check with your engine manufacturer
to see if blends of 20-percent or less void the warranty on
Biodiesel Fuel Production
Biodiesel may be produced using the following feedstocks
or a mixture of some of the following feedstocks:
- waste veggie oil
- yellow grease
- chicken fat
Advantages of Biodiesel
- Clean: Biodiesel is cleaner that it's cousin (low sulfur
clean diesel) and reduces carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide,
and other harmful emissions that hurt the environment. Biodiesel
fuel is naturally oxygenated meaning it carries more molecules
of clean burning hydrogen and oxygen and fewer carbon atoms.
- Life expectancy: Biodiesel is thinner than regular diesel
and serves as a better lubricant thus, increasing engine life.
- Smell: If you have ever smelled biodiesel than you understand
how much better it is than regular diesel fuel.
- Renewable: This is probably the most attractive thing about
biodiesel fuel, which is the fact that it is plant-based (which
means it can be grown over and over again).
- Vegetable oil and used veggie oil are two popular products
commonly used to make homemade biodiesel fuel.
I wouldn't really consider these ideas "disadvantages"
because that wouldn't make much sense. They are just things
to think about not something which undermines those HUGE advantages
biodiesel fuel already has.
For one, you must realize that it biodiesel engines require
special handling in cold weather (additives can keep biodiesel
fuel from gelling) and educating yourself on the "how
to" aspect of it will prove very beneficial when the
time arises. Biodiesel fuel as has the tendency to absorb
atmospheric water if not used right away, so cars that tend
to sit and not be used for long periods may have issues with
this. Also, biodiesel engines have a tendency to deteriorate
any "non-synthetic" (rubbers) in your fuel system
parts (lines, seals, etc).
Finally, biodiesels produce less energy than diesel engines
so you may not have as much pulling power as you would like.
However, any of the advantages definitely outweigh the disadvantages.
Be ready to see some changes in the future in terms of biodiesel
car and vehicle production. You will see more and more cars
and trucks being run on biodiesel fuel. Biodiesel fuel is
non-toxic and not as flammable as gasoline.
The advantages are all there. Now it's time to take your
new biodiesel car out for a test drive.
B100 Biodiesel locator map: http://find.mapmuse.com/interest/biodiesel