shovland at mindspring.com
Thu Aug 12 01:15:14 UTC 2004
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
</pdf_files/Production.PDF> 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 other products).
Is Biodiesel the same thing as raw vegetable oil?
No! Fuel-grade biodiesel must be produced to strict industry specifications
(ASTM D6751) in order to insure proper performance. Biodiesel is the only
alternative fuel to have fully completed the health effects testing
requirements of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. Biodiesel that meets
ASTM D6751 and is legally registered with the Environmental Protection
Agency is a legal motor fuel for sale and distribution. Raw vegetable oil
cannot meet biodiesel fuel specifications, it is not registered with the
EPA, and it is not a legal motor fuel.
For entities seeking to adopt a definition of biodiesel for purposes such
as federal or state statute, state or national divisions of weights and
measures, or for any other purpose, the official definition consistent with
other federal and state laws and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM)
guidelines is as follows:
Biodiesel is defined as mono-alkyl esters of long chain fatty acids derived
from vegetable oils or animal fats which conform to ASTM D6751
specifications for use in diesel engines. Biodiesel refers to the pure fuel
before blending with diesel fuel. Biodiesel blends are denoted as, "BXX"
with "XX" representing the percentage of biodiesel contained in the blend
(ie: B20 is 20% biodiesel, 80% petroleum diesel).
Why should I use biodiesel?
Biodiesel is better for the environment because it is made from renewable
resources and has lower emissions </pdf_files/emissions.PDF> compared to
petroleum diesel. It is less toxic than table salt and biodegrades as fast
as sugar. Since it is made in the USA from renewable resources such as
soybeans, its use decreases our dependence on foreign oil and contributes
to our own economy.
Where do I get biodiesel?
Biodiesel is available nationwide. It can be purchased directly from
biodiesel producers and marketers </buyingbiodiesel/guide/default.shtm>,
petroleum distributors </buyingbiodiesel/guide/default.shtm>, or at a
handful of public pumps </buyingbiodiesel/guide/default.shtm> throughout
For more information on the general and technical definitions of biodiesel,
the distinction between the two and why those distinctions are important,
click here </resources/definitions/default.shtm>.
For additional information on biodiesel see:
Fuel Fact Sheets </resources/fuelfactsheets/default.shtm>
Biodiesel for Kids </pdf_files/kids_sheet.pdf>
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