The rising costs of fuel, and the impact of petroleum based fuels in the environment, are the reasons for the need and discovery of biodiesel. Biodiesel is basically a fuel that is used as an alternative fuel that is made using renewable resources like vegetable oils and animal fats. It may be produced from a variety of natural crops such as rapeseed, soybean, sunflower, hemp, canola, and last but not the least palm oil. Though it is claimed that biodiesel and raw vegetable oil are the same, it is not true. However, it is possible to manufacture biodiesel using the used vegetable oil found in restaurants
Chemical Formulation of BiodieselIf you look at it chemically, biodiesel is a mixture of mono-alkyl esters found as long chains of fatty acids. Biodiesel is usually made by chemically reacting lipids with an alcohol. Any organic oil you can find can be converted into fuel for a diesel vehicle through the use of a chemical catalyst and an alcohol, most commonly lye and methanol, which must be handled with care.
The process of making your own fuel is not difficult, but is somewhat intensive and takes about a week from start to finish. In the meantime, this process also removes free fatty acids found here. Biodiesel is a preferred petroleum source, as it burns much cleaner than conventional diesel fuel so therefore it is safer for bystanders to breathe. Moreover, during its manufacturing phase, biodiesel tends to produce reduced emissions than the emissions standard petroleum fuel emits.
Biodiesel is a fuel that is usually yellow in color with the shade of yellow changing from its source of production. This is a type of fuel that can be produced at home or purchased at petrol pumps selling alternative fuel with their standard fuel. If you make biodiesel at home make sure that it is stored just as you would store any other type of fuel.
As biodiesel is registered and approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, it is quite safe to use biodiesel as a form of fuel and its additive. When using biodiesel, you can use it in its pure form or by blending it with standard diesel fuel. Energy wise, you get the same amount of energy from biodiesel as you would from any standard diesel fuel.
Studies show that biodiesel outperforms gasoline, ethanol, and conventional diesel in reducing climate altering carbon dioxide emissions and in overall fuel-efficiency. Much of the world uses a system known as the “B” factor to state the amount of biodiesel in any fuel mix: fuel containing 20% biodiesel is labeled B20, while pure biodiesel is referred to as B100. Using 100-percent biodiesel (B100) eliminates all of the sulfur emissions associated with conventional diesel, cuts emissions of carbon monoxide and smog-producing particulate matter almost in half, and reduces hydrocarbon emissions by between 75 and 90 percent. Perhaps most significantly, using B100 reduces the emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas causing global warming by more than 75 percent. The industrial processes used to produce biodiesel are cleaner than conventional diesel processes, reducing emissions associated with the life cycle of the fuel by more than 80 percent. As a cleaner burning fuel, biodiesel is better for a car’s engine than conventional diesel, providing greater lubrication and leaving fewer particulate deposits behind. Biodiesel’s high ignition point makes it a safer fuel as well. Biodiesel is biodegradable and considered nontoxic. Taking an even bigger step toward sustainability, some drivers bypass fueling at the pump or ordering a drum from a supplier and make their own biodiesel from the waste oil produced by local restaurants, converting what would have been garbage into a usable product. In the long term, renewable energy experts differ on the upper limit of biodiesel’s possibilities as an industry, should biodiesel become wildly successful, it may be adopted as America’s primary choice for fuel.