Written by Brendan Prebo Tuesday, 08 January 2008 21:47
|Driving on Biodiesel|
|What is Biodiesel?|
|Biodiesel Versus Raw Vegetable Oil|
|Benefits of Using Biodiesel|
|Availability of Biodiesel|
With fuel pump prices above $3.50 a gallon, nearly everybody has become interested in breaking America’s addiction to oil. While hybrids are gaining popularity and hydrogen-powered fuel cells sound like a cool, futuristic idea, millions of people could benefit, right now, by choosing to use biodiesel in the vehicles they are already driving.
Biodiesel is a clean burning, alternative fuel produced from domestic renewable resources, such as vegetable oils and animal fats. 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 diesel engines with little or no modifications. It is simple to use, biodegradable, nontoxic, and essentially free of sulfur and aromatics.
Biodiesel produces less carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons and particulate matter than regular diesel does. By reducing tailpipe emissions, biodiesel is better for the environment.
Because it’s a renewable fuel, biodiesel also helps reduce global warming,. Most of the carbon generated when the fuel is burned is offset by the crops used to make the fuel when they are grown.
Since most of our biodiesel is produced here in the U.S. from plant oils grown by American farmers, it reduces reliance on imported petroleum and crude oil from countries that are politically unstable and often hostile towards the U.S.
Biodiesel is becoming more readily available across the country. Many of the same stations where we are used to filling up on traditional diesel are beginning to offer customers the option of refueling with biodiesel blends, such as B2, B5 or B20, which contain 2%, 5% and 20% biodiesel respectively.
The most common blend currently is B20hat’s 20% biodiesel and 80% petroleum diesel. However, lower blends are also becoming more popular as a way to restore lubricity in ultra low sulfur diesel. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, as little as 2% biodiesel, blended with the balance of petrodiesel, can restore lubricity in ultra low sulfur diesel.
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