Biodiesel as an Alternative Fuel

Topics: Petroleum, Biodiesel, Diesel engine Pages: 3 (790 words) Published: January 28, 2013
As time goes on, humans are discovering new ways to improve their means of living. Whether the upgrade affects us financially, socially, or if it helps the Earth, or better health and education, things are changing. Multiple enhancements in fueling one’s car have risen. Gas has become pricey, and the controversial argument that oil will one day perish are factors that have led people to find other alternatives. Biodiesel is an efficient alternative fuel, for the reason that biodiesel is a safe, eco-friendly, and affordable option.

Biodiesel is a clean burning alternative fuel. It is renewable and generated from a variety of vegetable oils and animal fats, not raw vegetable oil. Raw vegetable oil cannot be utilized because it has not undergone the process of transesterification. Transesterification is a process in which oils and fats are obtained organically and are combined with alcohol with the help of a Catalyst to form esters. Biodiesel can be used either in its pure form of 100% biodiesel, or can mix with petroleum as a biodiesel blend (ex: B20, 20% biodiesel, 80% petroleum diesel).

Biodiesel began in the 1890s with Rudolph Diesel. Diesel thought early diesel engines could run on pure vegetable oils and believed there would be a grand benefit to those living in poor areas where there was no petroleum. The modern biodiesel that is derived from the transesterification process did not surface until the 1930s in Belgium. But today’s biodiesel really began in Europe in the late 1980s. The early diesel engines ran on many substances, until vegetable oil seemed to be an efficient alternative. That is when Rudolph Diesel got to work and researched vegetable oil, concluding farmers could make their own fuel. However, Diesel died a short while after and petroleum became found in many forms. There was abundance of petroleum and in low cost, so the diesel engine was changed to match diesel petroleum fuel. The petroleum diesel spread quickly and biodiesel was ignored....
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