Biodiesel Fuel – What are they?

If you have been interested in reducing the United States’ dependence on foreign oil and how petroleum has been running out, then biodiesel fuel may be for you. Perhaps you know somebody with a car that runs on biodiesel and know a little bit about the product, or maybe this is all new to you. As long as you drive with a diesel engine, you can use biodiesel to power your vehicle–however, you are probably already using just a little bit because many motorists’ fuel contains a little bit of biodiesel content already. Read on to learn more about how biodiesel could be for you!

Did you know that biodiesel used to be frequently brewed inside homes? It was in the early 1990s that the biodiesel fuel industry seriously began to take shape. Soon enough, biodiesel plants opened up in the United States, and one of these first plants used recycling used cooking oil to turn it into biodiesel. Nowadays, not only individuals but public vehicle fleets want to use this fuel.


How Biodiesel is Made

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

Issues with Biodiesel

It is essential that biodiesel fuel is stored at the right temperature; if you are storing it yourself don’t have it sit in a very cold temperature as it may thicken. Likewise, storing it in a warm storage tank can make it grow mold.

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

Biodiesel Fuel’s Future

Biodiesel is seriously becoming one of the world’s fastest growing fuels and is becoming easier to find as time goes on. Millions of people have already tried it out and have been satisfied with the product. A problem biodiesel users will encounter is ensuring that there are enough fats and vegetable oils produced to satisfy the demand.

Article Courtesy : Akins Dodge

About Thomas Young

Thomas Young is a former car mechanic, engineer and audio specialist. Thomas has transformed his wealth of automotive knowledge into becoming one of the premier sources for anything automotive news related. A fan of story-telling, and the history of the automotive industry, as well as the engineering aspects.

View all posts by Thomas Young →

Leave a Reply