Biodiesel is a type of green fuel that is made out of vegetable oil or animal fat and can be used in any type of blend with the petroleum based fuel. There are many vehicles that run on biodiesel nowadays and there is conscious effort taken by people to buy cars that can run on biodiesel and also opt for it. The oil reserves in the world are diminishing and we need to reduce the dependence on the fossil fuels and therefore biodiesel that is made purely out of vegetable products or animal fat was developed and is now widely in use. For a file to be called as biodiesel it has to meet the strict industry specification that have been set. Biodiesel is available in its pure form or as a blend and is now widely available across the US and Europe in particular.
For retail diesel fuel marketplace the biodiesel is available in different blend and the type of blend is represented by using the alphabet “B” which depicts the amount of biodiesel that is present in the blend. The common types of biodiesel blends used are
- B100 – this is biodiesel in the purest form and is nothing but 100% biodiesel
- B20 – this is a blend in which there are 20% biodiesel present and the remaining 80% is petrodiesel
- B5 – In this blend there will 5% biodiesel and 95% petrodiesel
- B2 – This blend will have 2% biodiesel and 98% petrodiesel
The reason for such lower percentages of biodiesel in the blends is to allow regular vehicles to use them without having to make any modifications to the vehicle. So if you want to use B20 or a blended fuel less than that in your vehicle, then you will not have to worry about making changes to your vehicle as can be used just like normal diesel.
How Is Biodiesel Made?
To make biodiesel a chemical process called transesterification is used which will separate the glycerin from the vegetable or fat oil. The process will give you two products, glycerin that can be used in soaps and other products and methyl esters which is nothing but biodiesel. Methyl ester is the chemical name for biodiesel and this is the process that is used to make biodiesel across the world. There are also ways to make biodiesel using used cooking oil and there are many types of equipment that are now available to help people make biodiesel at home by using the oil that was used for cooking.
The use of biodiesel has greatly increased over the years and now we have a wide range of vehicles that are using biodiesel. In many countries the governments have stresses on using biodiesel for public transport vehicles and there are many rail networks that use biodiesel for their diesel engines. Biodiesel is also widely used in generators and other equipments that require diesel and as the number of retail fuel outlets that sell biodiesel are increasing so are the ways in which biodiesel is used. There are many new models of cars, buses and trucks that are now being sold that runs exclusively on biodiesel and this is definitely the right step in reducing our dependence on fossil fuels.