Facts about biodiesel

by Peter Kay on January 11, 2012

Biodiesel is a renewable energy source mixed usually with petroleum diesel in order to produce a greener fuel that at the same time can help us reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. Below are some interesting facts:

  1. Biodiesel is a green fuel and the only one so far in the US that has managed to pass the Health Effects Testing requirements (Tier I and Tier II) of the Clean Air Act (1990) with results indicating that biodiesel is biodegradable, non-toxic and poses no threat to the peoples’ health. Thus it improves the air quality and the health of the communities.
  2. Biodiesel is quite popular in Europe and during 2009 around 9 million metric tons biodiesel were produced in it which is essentially two thirds of the total global production. Its leading nation in biodiesel production and usage is Germany and the EU has set a goal that by 2020 10% of the fuel used to be biodiesel.
  3. In the USA the production Biodiesel production during 2010 was around 315 million gallons.
  4. Producing biodiesel from soybeans has a positive effect on world’s food supply since during their processing into biodiesel only the soybeans oils is used for biodiesel allowing for the protein that is left to be used for nourishing humans or livestock.
  5. According to the National Biodiesel Board 1 bushel of soybeans produces 1.5 gallons of biodiesel and 48 pounds of protein rich meal.                  
  6. Biodiesel is considered to have the highest energy balance among transportation fuels reaching 3.2 units level of back energy. This means that we get more energy produced by it than we use to producing i.e. planting, harvesting, and transporting it.
  7. There is no need to alter your vehicle’s maintenance schedule if you are using biodiesel as fuel.
  8. The chemical process that results to biodiesel is called transterification in which vegetable oil or fat that can be used as biodiesel are separated from glycerin.
  9. The level of biodiesel blend is indicated by the first letter of the fuel i.e. B and the percentage of biodiesel used. Thus a B5 biodiesel fuel means that 5% of the fuel is biodiesel and 95% of it is petroleum diesel.
  10. Biodiesel can be used in most diesel vehicles for up to a B20 blend with no significant impact on the engine’s performance. In testing that has been performed it seems that the levels of fuel horsepower, consumption, haulage and torque are similar to the ones of using pure petroleum diesel. In addition biodiesel provides better lubricity for the engine than conventional diesel fuel.

About the Author

Peter Kay

Peter is a data analyst with over a decade of experience in environmental data analysis. He is a renewable energy sources supporter with his main areas of interest being biomass and energy recovery methods such as waste to energy. Peter is an editor in www.renewablegreenenergypower.com and most of his article can be found under the biomass/biofuels category. He is also a contributing editor in www.greenenergysavingtips.com where you can find useful information and tips on how you can help the environment and save money at the same time. You can connect with Peter @ Google+

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