“Biodiesel is a renewable, biodegradable fuel that is manufactured from vegetable oils, and animal fats.”
Read on to know what is biodiesel, how is it produced and what are its advantages.
What is Biodiesel?
Biodiesel is an alternative clean-burning renewable fuel similar to conventional diesel. It is produced using animal fats, vegetable oils, and waste cooking oil. Due to its biodegradable nature, it is used as a replacement for fossil diesel fuel. It can also be mixed with petroleum diesel fuel in any proportion.
Important Features of Biodiesel
Below are certain features of the fuel like:
1) Biodegradable and Renewable Fuel.
2) Safer to use and has low toxicity compared to fossil diesel fuel.
3) Lower exhaust emission rate than normal diesel fuel.
4) As per ASTM D 6751 quality parameters, the quality of diesel is analyzed.
5) Using biodiesel doesn’t require any diesel engine modification.
Also Read: Biofertilizers
Biodiesel is produced from tallow, vegetable oil or animal fat, and waste oils. There are three stages of this transformation of oil and fats to biodiesel.
a) Transesterification of the oil in which it is base-catalyzed.
b) The direct acid-catalyzed transesterification
c) Finally conversion of oil to fatty acid and then the formation of biodiesel.
The production of biodiesel involves a chemical reaction. This chemical reaction is known as transesterification.
Transesterification is the chemical process, which converts natural fats and oils into Fatty Acid Methyl Esters (FAME) or Biodiesel. Some of the major sources of suitable oil (to make biodiesel) come from crops like palm, soybean or rapeseed. High-quality biodiesel is made from rapeseed, but nowadays most of the biodiesel is produced from waste vegetable oils obtained from chips shops, restaurants, and industrial food producers.
Benefits of Biodiesel
Biodiesel has the following benefits:
1) Biodiesel and Biodiesel blends are used in almost all diesel engines and vehicles.
2) It is a carbon-neutral liquid, which means that combustion of biodiesel never produces the net output of carbon in the form of carbon dioxide like other mineral diesel.
3) In 2007, British Royal Train ran its train with 100% biodiesel fuel.
4) Used as heating oil – In many commercial & domestic boilers, biodiesel is also used as heating fuel.
Also Read: Fossil Fuel
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