All About Biodiesel
Today we have a guest blog post by Jeff of Vegetableoilkent, explaining the basics of biodiesel. Thanks to Jeff for an informative post!
Biodiesel is made from vegetable oil or animal fat and when reacted with methanol and a catalyst, yields biodiesel and glycerin as a by-product. Which, incidently, you can make soap out of.
Sulphur dioxide emissions are eliminated because biodiesel contains no sulphur. Remember the acid rain problem we had killing off the trees and poluting the sea and rivers in the 80's: well that was concidered to be the sulphur dioxide introduced into the air from the exhaust pipes from cars and trucks (aided and abetted by power stations, jet airoplanes etc.) and fueled by petro-diesel which contains sulphur. The only problem was it helped the lubrication of the engines. The solution they came up with was to reduce the sulphur content by half and introduce, yes, you guessed it, biodiesel: 5% of it to make up what was lost. So, if you run a diesel powered car or truck and you run on petro-diesel, which is in most garage
forecourt diesel pumps, you are running on biodiesel already! Well 5% of it anyway.
Biodiesel, being that its produced from a plant and using it adds NO extra CO2 greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. There is CO2 in the exhaust outlet but it is offset by the vegetable oil plant taking in CO2 as it grows, which renders the CO2 emission as zero or carbon-neutral. Another polutant is the ozone-forming potential of biodiesel emissions and is nearly 50% less than petro-diesel emissions.