Biodiesel has various beneficial effects besides saving you a lot of money at the pump. Cars and trucks driving on fossil fuel-derived gasoline and diesel produce around 22% of CO2, one of the prime greenhouse gases.
Yes, biodiesel reduces carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, hydrocarbons, as well as benzene and air pollutants causing respiratory difficulties.
You don’t see the signature black exhaust smoke from your biodiesel driven vehicle as you do with regular diesel.
Instead your exhaust is clean and smells like French fries. Well… some people may not see THAT as an advantage!
Biodiesel also lubricates your engine better than regular diesel does.
Drive further on biodiesel. As biodiesel is oxygenated, the combustion process is more complete in the diesel engine compared to using regular diesel. Therefore biodiesel is more energy efficient.
Biodiesel making sure has some great advantages.
Biodiesel. How is it made?
It’s not new. Rudolf Diesel built the first prototype diesel engine that ran on coaldust, in 1893. He was particularly interested in running an engine on vegetable oil! “Cheap” oil and its readily available by-product from petrol refineries –diesel fuel-was what we got stuck with – until now.
Rudolf Diesel’s dream is alive. And you’re not using some crackpot technology.
Biodiesel production is a rather simple biochemical reaction involving alcohol and “raw materials” like grease, fats or oils.
A refining process removes the glycerin from the materials. This must be done as glycerin can harm your engine. All current diesel engines (built after 1992) can use biodiesel without modification.
Biodiesel can be used pure or as a blend with regular diesel and no modifications to the diesel engine need be made. 20-80% blends will still make significant contributions towards reduction of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere.
More people are turning to biodiesel every day and the US Department of Energy has acknowledged biodiesel as a legitimate alternative fuel. It is being sold at some Australian pumps too.
In Australia big trucking companies are only now trialling (imported!) biodiesel.
"Bio-Willie" Nelson and "Mermaid" Daryl Hannah have given biodiesel the public profile in the US to give it its momentum.
Listen to Daryl Hannah yourself here.
Of course you may want to burn straight vegetable oil instead of making biodiesel yourself.
Just fill up at your local restaurant for waste cooking oil!.
But some sources say you do need to convert your engine to do that, costing you around US $1,500 to $3,000.
Commercially sold biodiesel has to conform to high standards. Biodiesel production at home is still new although thousands of people are now doing this.
Caution in the production process must be taken as biodiesel making involves some hazardous chemicals.
Aim for the highest standard and make up your own mind whether this is right for your vehicle or not.
Biodiesel production resources
After looking at a number of biodiesel production resources here are three that each give you all required knowledge about biodiesel production, your own biodiesel making.