What is biodiesel?
First off, biodiesel (in and of itself) is not biofuel. Although biofuel is used as a feedstock to create biodiesel, “biodiesel” is defined as any renewable fuel created from used cooking oil, waste vegetable oil, and/or animal fats. Biodiesel is often blended to conventional petroleum based diesel to create a cleaner and less expensive energy source, but can be used on its own to create a pure biodiesel.
What is biodiesel made from?
In the United States most biodiesel is made from the following products:
- vegetable oil
- used cooking oil
- yellow grease
- waste vegetable oil
- animal fats
What domestic automobiles use biodiesel?
All newer model diesel vehicles can use up to 5 percent biodiesel (or B5) from stock when blended into conventional diesel under the specifications governing diesel fuel. With that being said, some newer model diesel engines can even use up to a 20 percent biodiesel (or B20) blend from stock. There are also biodiesel conversion kits available that will enable most diesel engines to run off 100% biodiesel (or B100).
What are some of the advantages of using biodiesel over petroleum based diesel?
- Biodiesel is biodegradable, not toxic, and free of most sulfur and aromatic chemicals.
- It can be used in most newer diesel engines, and burns off far less air pollutants than petroleum based fuels.
- It’s safe and easy to handle, and has the same energy efficiency as petroleum diesel.
- Biodiesel blends as low as 2% (or B2), and reduces the amount of toxic carbon-based emissions emitted into the environment.
- Biodiesel is less expensive than petroleum based fuels.
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