What's Actually In Biodiesel?

by Matt OConnor - Date: 2007-04-20 - Word Count: 580 Share This!

Rising prices of energy fuels have prompted companies and individuals to search for low-cost sources of fuels for their machines and automobiles. One of the most popular alternative fuels is biodiesel, a fuel derived from vegetable and animal fats.

Biodiesel, in the strict chemistry sense, is made from alcohol esters that are processed from the oils of veggies such as soybeans, mustard seeds and rapeseeds. Tallow is also sometimes used. Making biodiesel is actually quite simple when you think about it. You just mix the vegetable oil with the alcohol compound like methanol or ethanol along with a catalyst that is hydroxide-based such as sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide.

Although there are many alternative sources of fuels that are emerging in the market, biodiesel is winning votes and creating quite a following. This is perhaps because of its versatility. So far, biodiesel is the only alternative fuel that can be used in engines without the need for any modification. The fuel has similar properties as that of the diesel, making it easy to use.

This is also the reason why the biofuel can be mixed with diesel for those who are reluctant to put their faith in the alternative. The most common mixture is called the b20, which is 20 percent biofuel and 80 percent diesel. And because it is more lubricating than petroleum diesel, it is gentler with engines, thus extending its life.

Biofuel is also winning votes among environmentalists. Having only natural ingredients, it has no emission that can potentially harm the environment. It complies with the Clean Air Act and is found to be safe to use. Countries who are producing their own biofuel are also able to cut their importation of fuels and at the same time increase their agricultural and industrial sectors.

Despite its wondrous properties, there are still few companies that directly sell biodiesel. This is perhaps because most are not yet convinced that biodiesel can have a market.

Still, there are websites that take advantage of the growing demand for biodiesel. Websites have begun to offer fuels at lower prices compared to those being offered in gas stations, catering to those who want to buy in bulk. Some are legitimate but others are not. Thus, buyers should be careful in buying biodiesel online as they can be scammed into buying something that does not actually exist. Below are some tips and advice that online buyers should adhere to.

Although some people in forums are also sellers of biofuel, the chances of being duped is bigger in forums than when you are ordering from a company with a legitimate business and a legitimate website. Buying from a person posts several disadvantages that can far outweigh the lower prices.

One thing is the quality of the product. How sure are you that the fuel is made from a factory and not at home? And if the person is indeed a legitimate employee of the company, it may be possible that the product may not have passed quality control.

At least by ordering from a company, you are assured somewhat of quality and legitimacy. Of course, you should also make sure that you have thoroughly researched the company and the products that it makes.

Buy from an established company

Despite the fact that biodiesel is new in the market, there are already companies that exclusively distribute the product. If you have to buy online, buy from these companies. This is especially true if you are buying in bulk and cannot afford to be involved in any scams.

Related Tags: biodiesel, biodiesel fuel

Find out so much more about biodiesel fuel at Matthew's info-packed website all about the planet saving stuff that is biodiesel

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