The biodiesel: chance for our planet

What is Biodiesel Fuel?

Perhaps you know someone with a vehicle that runs on biodiesel, or maybe this is all new to you. As long as you have a diesel engine, you can use biodiesel to power your vehicle–however, you are probably already using a little bit because many motorists’ fuel contains a little bit of biodiesel content already. Continue reading to learn more about how biodiesel could be for you!

Biodiesel’s Early Days

Did you know that biodiesel used to be frequently brewed inside peoples’ houses? It was in the early 1990s that the biodiesel fuel industry really began to take shape. Soon enough, biodiesel plants opened in the United States, and one of these first plants used recycled cooking oil to turn it into biodiesel. Nowadays, not only individuals but public vehicle fleets want to power their vehicles with biodiesel.

The Creation of Biodiesel

Biodiesel is frequently made from a mixture of animal fats, soybean oil (a very popular source used in the United States), canola oil and recycled cooking oil; not the same thing as raw vegetable oil. What has to happen in the process of creating the fuel is that glycerin needs to be removed from the vegetable or animal fat through a “transesterification” process. Then, you have two different products to work with: glycerin and methyl esters (the chemical name for biodiesel).

Problems with Biodiesel

It is important that biodiesel fuel is stored at the correct temperature; if you are storing it yourself don’t have it sit in a very cold temperature as it could thicken. Likewise, storing it in a hot or warm storage tank can make it moldy. This is what may happen according to the Service manager at Buchanan Auto Park, a Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep & RAM car dealer in Waynesboro, PA.

Also, if you elect to use biodiesel for the first time with a diesel engine, you will want to be aware of how biodiesel is a solvent, meaning that it’s capable of loosening deposits stuck in the fuel tank and in fuel lines. This might sound good, but then the deposits could find their way to the fuel injectors, fuel filters and the fuel system’s other parts. In fact, this is an issue that is more common with old vehicles than newer ones, because higher mileage generally means greater deposits. You also might want to be cautious of biodiesel if your car uses very new high-pressure fuel-injection technology. This issue relates primarily to 100% biodiesel fuel, so in essence if you use a low biodiesel blend you could count on being in the clear when driving.

Biodiesel Fuel’s Future

Biodiesel is definitely becoming one of the planet’s fastest growing fuels and is becoming easier to find as time passes. Millions of people have already tried it out and have been satisfied with this product. A problem biodiesel users will encounter is ensuring that there are plenty of fats and vegetable oils produced to satisfy the demand. Biodiesel fuel may be for you if you are interested in cutting down this country’s impact on foreign oil.