Biodiesel and You
Alternative fuels can seem a bit too weird or Hollywood for some people. The idea
of using a fuel source that is all natural and not petroleum based can seem almost risky. Some past
alternative fuel sources have left much to be desired. However, biodiesel fuel is an alternative that is
considered by many to be the alternative fuel of the future.
Biodiesel is a clean burning fuel that is made from renewable resources. What this means
is that unlike petroleum based fuels, biodiesel fuel does not pollute the air nor come from resources that can be
depleted. In fact, biodiesel does not even require major processing and can be made by you,
Biodiesel fuel is made from vegetable oil, alcohol and lye. These are all renewable
resources that you can use to fuel your vehicle.
The alternative fuels of the past were not practical. The vegetable oil alternative fuels that had been
tried required special engines or modified engines in order to be used. For the average person this was not
an efficient nor reasonable idea. Biodiesel can be used in a regular diesel engine without such
modifications. This means any type of diesel engine from your vehicle to farm equipment.
Biodiesel costs about 70 cents per gallon. That is a far cry from the cost of petroleum
based fuels and a good reason why biodiesel is starting to catch on as an alternative fuel source. There are
a few gas stations that offer biodiesel, but the main ways to get it are from the manufacturer or to make it at
home. However, the demand for biodiesel is causing more and more stations to supply it.
The process of making biodiesel is not very difficult. The ingredients used can be found at a hardware
store and the equipment is basic kitchen tools. Biodiesel is made by mixing lye with antifreeze which causes
the formation of sodium methoxide. When sodium methoxide and vegetable oil are mixed it creates glycerin and
biodiesel. By separating the glycerin and biodiesel an alternative fuel is born.
The glycerin is not just a byproduct. It is useful, as well. Glycerin is a main ingredient in
soap. So, the process of making biodiesel does not produce any harmful or useless byproducts such as
traditional fuels do.
Biodiesel is a major breakthough in alternative fuel. It is useful, efficient and
clean. It does not produce harmful chemicals that are released not the air and harm the environment, which
can not be said of traditional fuels. It is easy to make and use, which can not be said of any other fuel,
traditional or alternative.
Biodiesel is an amazing discovery that can really revolutionize how people think about fuel and
make them less dependent upon harmful and costly petroleum based fuels.
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