Biodiesel is a fuel which is registered as a fuel and/or fuel additive, via America’s EPA. This Environmental Protection Agency approval includes all forms of diesel which meet standard ASTMD675. These forms of fuel must also meet requirements in order to be classified as “feedstock neutral”.
To help you learn more about this type of fuel and its production process, we’ve compiled a detailed guide, which includes important facts, pros and cons and more interesting information about the power and potential that this diesel has. This guide will help you understand the value of this fuel source.
Biodiesel Production Facts and Information
This type of fuel is made from vegetable oils, as well as yellow greases, used cooking oil and animal-based fats. It is produced via a special process known as transesterification.
During the biodiesel manufacturing process, oils and/or fats will be changed into chemical matter. This chemical matter is referred to as long-chain mono alky esters. This scientific term is another name for bio-diesel. Biodiesel manufacturing also requires the addition of other ingredients, which act as catalysts for converting oils and fats to biodiesel fuel. These may include sodium hydroxide and/or potassium hydroxide, as well as Glycerin.
Now that we’ve talked about how biodiesel is made, let’s explore the pros and cons of this fuel type.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Biodiesel Fuel
This fuel type is rather unique when compared with rival forms of fuel. For example, it’s a healthier choice, as it meets the requirements of the 1990 Clean Air Act (which was amended in order to be stricter). However, like all fuel sources, it has pros and cons…
The key advantage of biodiesel is the fact that it’s renewable. This means that biodiesel production doesn’t deplete the earth’s natural resources the way that petroleum-based fuel production does. Since biodiesel creation involves the usage of oils and fats, it’s eco-friendly.
The world currently produces too many soybeans and these beans may be used to create bio-diesel, via their oils. More soybeans may easily be grown, hence the renewable feature of biodiesel fuel. In addition, soybeans are cheap, so biodiesel production is more cost-effective than other forms of fuel production. As you can see, biodiesel production is a great way to use a soybean surplus to great advantage, while also saving money.
However, the benefits of biodiesel production don’t stop there! This form of fuel is multi-purpose and this is another key benefit of making biodiesel fuel. To cite an example, this form of fuel may be mixed with other types of fuel and it may be used for an array of applications, such as powering up heating systems and diesel motors.
Systems which accept biodiesel fuel don’t typically need to be modified in order to work with biodiesel.
In addition, since biodiesel is one hundred percent free of sulfur, it keeps systems running longer. Sulfur is known to be damaging to certain system components, including catalytic converter parts.
Biodiesel is also quite lubricating, so it helps engines to function at peak performance over the long term.
Drawbacks of Biodiesel Fuels
The actual cost of biodiesel fuel is fairly high. It’s more costly than petroleum-based fuels and this may make it prohibitively-expensive for some end-users. In addition, energy is required in order to make this fuel via soybeans. This doesn’t even take into account the energy which is needed in order to plant, tend and harvest soybeans in the first place!
As well, biodiesel fuel has been known to damage rubber hose components in certain motors. Lastly, this form of fuel is renowned for clearing debris from motors – however, when this residue is separated, it may settle in fuel filters, which sometimes triggers clogs. To combat this issue, people who use biodiesel fuel in motors usually replace filters frequently.
Distribution may also be a problem. This fuel product is not as readily available as petroleum-based fuels and this may deter some people from switching to it, even though they want to. In the future, the distribution setup for this renewable fuel source may become better, which will promote more usage of the fuel.
Those who are considering biodiesel will benefit from performing a careful analysis of the pros and cons. By doing so, they’ll be able to decide whether or not this form of fuel will be a good investment. Much depends on the availability of the fuel, a corporate or personal budget and the machinery which will be powered up with fuel.
If biodiesel-compatible equipment is in place or will be purchased, and the fuel is available locally (or may be shipped to a location affordably), the advantages of choosing biodiesel may greatly outweigh the drawbacks.
Biodiesel Myths and Reality
Some people believe that biodiesel is just plain, raw veggie oil! This is a myth. It’s produced according to industry guidelines and includes other ingredients. So, it’s definitely not something that you should put into your favorite recipes. In addition, don’t confuse Biodiesel with Ethanol, as they aren’t the same thing, although many people believe that they are. Ethanol is different from biodiesel in that it may be created from different materials, such as corn husks or waste from vegetables.
Hopefully, our detailed guide has given you the inside scoop on what this form of fuel production is, while also providing you with lots of information about biodiesel and its features. By outlining these important facts, we hope to arm you with knowledge which helps you to make the right decision about whether or not this fuel type is really right for you.
Biodiesel works well in many applications, as long as machines are maintained carefully when this fuel type is being utilized. In addition, it doesn’t use up the earth’s precious, non-renewable resources. There are many wonderful reasons to opt for biodiesel versus typical petroleum-based fuels, so biodiesels may offer you plenty of benefits.
If you’re getting ready to invest in new engines, choosing machines which are designed to run on biodiesel will make it simple for you