Converting Diesel to Biodiesel and the Effects of Diesel Blends to the Environment
Much has been said about converting diesel to biodiesel. Petroleum diesel is the fuel manufactured from fossil fuel. Biodiesel is the fuel derived from vegetable oil and animal fats. Diesel emits carbon dioxide and mixes it in the air that we breathe. Biodiesel is made from vegetable. Vegetables need carbon dioxide for its existence, thereby purifying the air.
On the other hand biodiesel can not be stored in low temperature whereas diesel can perform even during cold weather.
More and more people are getting interested on how to convert diesel to biodiesel. This started from the oil scare in the seventies and became a big deal due to recent events like the increasing oil prices, greenhouse gases, and environment factors. There is a big trend for biodiesel these days. The whole world is conducting studies in this regard.
Converting diesel to biodiesel is not feasible. The only possibility is that the two fuels can be mixed to a blend. Petroleum diesel has properties that allow other fuels, in this case biodiesel, to mix with them. The two fuels can be blended at any ratio.
Blends of biodiesel mixed with petroleum diesel can be designated thru a system. The letter B called the B factor represents the percentage volume of the biodiesel in the blend. Keeping this in mind, when you see an indication of B50 biodiesel, it means that the blend has 50% biodiesel and 50% diesel.
The following blends are available in the market:
o B100 is 100% biodiesel
o B20 is 20 percent biodiesel and 80 percent diesel
o B5 is 5 percent biodiesel and 95 percent diesel
o B2 is 2 percent biodiesel and 98 percent diesel
B20 biodiesel is the standard biodiesel blend and diesel blend that can be used safely by regular diesel engines. This enables a diesel engine user to use this blend. A diesel blend with less than 20 percent biodiesel content can be utilized by diesel-powered equipments with little or no amount of modification. Some companies offer warranty coverage for the blends of B6 to B20. Biodiesel in its purest form, B100 can be used by engines if they have been properly modified.
Biodiesel blends can increase the lubricating properties of petroleum diesel engines. biodiesel fuel contains a higher cetane number than petroleum fuel. Cetane has the ability to measure the capacity of the diesel fuel to autoignite the engine. This is the counterpart of the octane number of gasoline. Fuels with higher cetane numbers produce shorter delay in ignition periods than lower cetane fuels.
Low levels of alternative fuel blends decrease the use of fossil fuel and can therefore contribute greatly to the greening of the environment. Research proves that biodiesel can reduce emissions from diesel engines, modified or not. To illustrate this, B100 fuel that is made from soya bean oil will greatly reduce the carbon dioxide emissions by 78% as compared by petroleum diesel. However the biodiesel will emit nitrogen oxide which will contribute to the smog formation. Biodiesel researchers have been addressing this problem by fuel additives. B5 has a higher price than regular diesel so the President gave a tax incentive that will lower the price of the biodiesel. The biodiesel fuel is the best alternative source of fuel.