If you thought that vegetable oil is only meant for cooking, you are wrong! Did you know that it can actually be used as a fuel? Yes! Besides this the fact that biodiesel does not prove to be hazardous to the environment gives it an edge over petroleum based fuels.
What is biodiesel?
This is basically fuel that is obtained from vegetable oils like soy. However, some people also make use of animal fats. The chemical process used for making biodiesel is called trans-esterification. This process divides the oil into alkyl esters and glycerine. The alkyl esters are used as fuels. The glycerine can be used to make soaps.
Why is biodiesel better than commercial diesel and gasoline?
The best part about biodiesels is that it is biodegradable. It does not emit any toxic substances in the environment. As compared to petroleum-based diesel, biodiesel producesless carbon dioxide emissions. The carbon dioxide emissions are less than 60% as compared to the petroleum based fuels.
What are the reasons for using biodiesel?
- Production is easy Biodiesel is made from raw agricultural materials. Therefore, we can easily produce it. Therefore, there is no question of a shortage of biodiesel.
- Cost factor One thing that we can be rest assured is that with better technology the production of biodiesel will increase in a big way. As a result, the prices will also decrease. On the other hand, the same cannot be said for petroleum diesel. Therefore, in the future biodiesel will surely be a cost-effective option as compared to fossil fuels.
- Easy to use One need not make any major changes in the engine and infrastructure of the vehicles. Most of the engines and vehicles can make use of biodiesel with ease. The pumping, storing and blending of biodiesel is very easy. When one uses biodiesel for the very first time it can cause fuel filter plugging. This is due to the release of the fuel tank deposits. After the initial period, one can easily keep switching between the two types of fuels without making any changes.
- Better power and performance The horsepower, torque, mileage in the case of biodiesel and biodiesel blended with petroleum diesel is found to be pretty good. Biodiesel has lower energy content as compared to petroleum diesel and therefore, the performance may be slightly less than conventional fuel. But people who have used biodiesel claim that there is a very little noticeable difference in the power and performance of biodiesel as compared to petroleum diesel.
- Good lubrication The degree of lubrication by the fuel will depend on the lubricity of the fuel. Biodiesel is found to have very good lubricity. Better lubrication helps in improving the life of engines fuel injection system.
- A cleaner option Biodiesel helps in decreasing emissions significantly; this includes particulate matter like black smoke. With the reduction in particulate matter, biodiesels help in reducing pollution and do not pose any health hazards.
- Less toxic Since biodiesel is obtained from vegetable oils it is non-toxic. As per research reports,table salt is also more toxic as compared to biodiesel. Therefore, biodiesel does not have any negative impact on marine and animal life. Biodiesel is biodegradable in both soil and water at a faster rate as compared to petroleum diesel.
- Safer to handle Biodiesel is a safer to handle and therefore, it is easy to store,transport and transfer biodiesel. Chances of accidental ignition are also less.
Biodiesel is a cost effective and safer option as compared to conventional fuels. If more and more people start using this biodegradable form of fuel then it will surely help in keeping the environment clean and green.