Introductory information about biodiesel
What is Biodiesel?
Biodiesel is the name of a clean burning alternative fuel, produced from
domestic, renewable resources. Biodiesel contains no petroleum, but it
can be blended at any level with petroleum diesel to create a biodiesel
blend. It can be used in compression-ignition (diesel) engines with little
or no modifications. Biodiesel is simple to use, biodegradable, nontoxic,
and essentially free of sulfur and aromatics.
How is biodiesel made?
Biodiesel is made through a chemical process called transesterification
whereby the glycerin is separated from the fat or vegetable oil. The process
leaves behind two products -- methyl esters (the chemical name for biodiesel)
and glycerin (a valuable byproduct usually sold to be used in soaps and
Can I use biodiesel in my existing diesel engine?
Biodiesel can be operated in any diesel engine with little or no modification
to the engine or the fuel system. Biodiesel has a solvent effect that
may release deposits accumulated on tank walls and pipes from previous
diesel fuel storage. The release of deposits may clog filters initially
and precautions should be taken. Ensure that only fuel meeting the biodiesel
specification is used.