Weighing Biodiesel Pros and Cons

Much has been said about it and we need to weigh the facts about biodiesel pros and cons. Biodiesel is the alternative source of energy that uses vegetable oils and animal plants as raw materials. This process is called transesterification. Biodiesel was first used by Rudolf Diesel in the 19th century. He firmly believed in it but the petroleum fuel industry ignored him. They continued to market petrodiesel and rake huge profits. The effects were bad for the environment. The whole world is now looking on the prospect of using biodiesel as substitute for petrodiesel.

Here are some biodiesel advantages:

• Biodiesel produces less smoke and smog. They emit less new carbon monoxide and dioxide. The gases they release during the combustion of the engine are the same gases that came from the air. Biodiesel are manufactured from plants. Plants thrive on carbon dioxide and get their food from the air.

• Biodiesel have efficient lubricity properties. Biodiesel can lubricate the fuel injection systems of the vehicles, thus removing sediments on the pumps walls. The vehicle that runs in this fuel has long engine life.

• Biodiesel gives off minimum particulates during the combustion process. This will result to more clean air and ultimately healthier people and less respiratory illness.

• It takes a shorter time to ignite biodiesel. In doing so, the combustion process is more efficient and complete.

• Biodiesel can help boost the economy. Importing foreign oil means eating up our dollars. If we start to produce our own fuel, local farmers will have more work to do and employment will rise.

• Here are abundant sources. Waste vegetable oil can be recycled to produce biodiesel. This can be obtained from local eateries and restaurants. Algae, a fast multiplier can be cultured in ponds linked to sewage treatment organisms. This will reduce pollution while creating fuel.

• Transferring to biodiesel will not need major alterations in the system of distribution. Locally produced biodiesel can be sold at filling stations.

The following are the biodiesel disadvantages:

• Biodiesel may be more expensive to produce. Growing vegetables like peanuts, soya, palm, canola and other sources of vegetable oils need large tract of lands for their cultivation. Lands used for food production will be lessened because of this.

• Biodiesel has solvent properties and can degrade the rubber hoses which are utilized on older engines.

• Many forms of biodiesel turn to gel on low temperature. In this case scenario, it cannot perform effectively. Transporting it to places that has higher temperature is costly and will need more fuel.

• Some vehicles that run on petrodiesel need to be modified. There are models that are biodiesel ready and there are some that are not. Some gasoline stations have pumps that need readjustment to suit the biodiesel.

• The process of manufacturing biodiesel requires energy. There is a big possibility that producing biodiesel will need more energy to produce and less fuel to generate.

• Biodiesel emit nitrogen oxide. Every combustion procedure emits a kind of gas. Biodiesel is no exception.

• There are no large scale producers of biodiesel at the moment. Most biodiesel are processed by individuals for personal or business use. Biodiesel meant for large consumption is not available yet.

Knowing all the pros of biodiesel and biodiesel cons we can now address some of the problems. To prevent high costs of production, the use of cheaper raw materials must be encouraged. Studies have been made to produce oil from algae. To prevent it from turning into gel, a special blend of biodiesel must be produced. B20 is the blend that is composed of 20% biodiesel and 80% diesel. It is the ideal blend. Most engines will no longer need modification if it ran on this blend. Biodiesel kits are cheap and can be set up in your garage or basement. Do-it-yourself kits teach you step-by-step procedures to complete it.

There are positive effects of biodiesel in the environment. Using biodiesel will make the air we breathe a cleaner one. Using biodiesel will keep our environment greener. Crops will be planted and harvested. Idle lands will be cultivated and be of great use to mankind. The use of biodiesel will give us a better place to live in.