Biodiesel is literally diesel fuel from natural sources. It burns like regular petroleum diesel (in fact, much better!) but without the environmental pollution of petroleum diesel. It is made from renewable sources such as virgin or used vegetable oils and waste animal fat.
Oils and fats are converted into biodiesel with flow and combustion properties very closely approximating those of conventional petroleum fuels by a simple rebuilding process of its molecular chains. This process is called transesterification where the oils and fats are reduced to the desired esters and free fatty acids are removed.
The biodiesel chemical process can be summarized as follows:
Vegetable Oil/Fat + Methanol = Biodiesel (Methyl Ester) + Glycerine
Safety. Biodiesel is non-flammable, and in contrast to petroleum diesel, it is non-explosive, with a flash point of 150°C for biodiesel as compared to 64°C for petroleum diesel.
Biodegradable and non-toxic. Being a "natural" fuel, it is biodegradable and non-toxic. According to the National Biodiesel Board, biodiesel breaks down 4 to 5 times faster than mineral diesel. Hence in case of any spillage of biodiesel into water systems, the environmental impact is minimal.
Meets the strictest diesel emission standards in the world. Biodiesel is naturally almost free of sulphur (max. 0.001 percent and thereby at the limit of its detectability). And because the biodiesel molecule contains more than 10 percent of oxygen, the oxygen leads to an improved combustion and thereby to substantially less soot. If biodiesel is used to fuel all transport vehicles, smog will become a thing of the past.
Closed carbon cycle. Biodiesel reduces emissions of carbon monoxide by approximately 50% and carbon dioxide by more than 75% because the carbon in biodiesel emissions is recycled from carbon that was already in the atmosphere, rather than being new carbon from "dino fuel" that was locked in the earth's crust until we dug it out.
Biodiesel is good for the engine. It has superior lubricity and significantly reduces engine wear. Due to this highly valuable quality, biodiesel is often used as an additive to petroleum diesel fuel. In addition, biodiesel has a higher cetane rating than petroleum diesel, and therefore ignites more rapidly when injected into the engine. This gives more power to the engine.
Can be blended with petroleum diesel. Biodiesel can be mixed with petroleum diesel in any ratio due to their similar chemical structure. The mixture is stable and cannot be separated by mechanical means.
Available today and works immediately. The technology is simple, well developed and Vance Biodiesel is available today for use in today's diesel engines.