What is Biodiesel?
One question we hear a lot at Green Energy Biofuel is 'What is biodiesel?' Biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement that can be used in existing diesel engines without modification. This clean alternative fuel is biodegradable, nontoxic and, best of all, it's a domestic fuel. Biodiesel is made from a diverse mix of recycled sources including recycled cooking oil, agricultural oils, and animal fats called feedstock.
The feedstock and recycled oil are then processed through a chemical reaction to produce the chemical compound methyl ester. This compound is commonly referred to as biodiesel for its distinct similarities to petroleum diesel. These similarities allow biodiesel to perform the same combustion duties of petroleum diesel in a diesel engine.
Biodiesel: A Positive Alternative
- Biodiesel is produced in nearly every state in the country, and Green Energy is one of only two locations producing biodiesel in South Carolina.
- Compared to diesel fuel made from petroleum, biodiesel produces fewer air pollutants, such as particulate matter, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, hydrocarbons, and air toxins. These benefits make biodiesel an excellent fuel for marine engines because it reduces the negative environmental impacts that boats have in our waterways.
- The U.S. has produced 4.6 billion gallons of biodiesel since 2005, which has displaced petroleum diesel fuel and reduced life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions by 56.2 billion pounds.
- Biodiesel has a positive energy balance, producing 3.2 units of energy for every unit of energy used in production. In contrast, petroleum diesel produces 0.89 units of energy for every unit of energy used in production.
- This is the first and only US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designated biofuel being produced on a commercial scale across the country.
- The modest increase in biodiesel throughout the industry puts biodiesel on course for steady, sustainable growth in the coming years.
Calculate the Benefits of Biodiesel
There are many benefits of recycling waste cooking oil in the biodiesel industry. With 1 gallon of waste cooking oil, we can make 1 gallon of biodiesel. Most of our customers have about 50 to 75 gallons of waste cooking oil each month, but some are up to 300 gallons per month.
Of the gallons of waste cooking oil collected, about 15% is waste or water. So 1 gallon of collected waste oil equates to about .85 gallons of biodiesel.
In addition to earning money from waste cooking oil, recycling waste cooking oil also has many environmental benefits. Some of these include less carbon emissions and less carcinogens released into the atmosphere.
The National Biodiesel Board website offers detailed information on the benefits of biodiesel. Biodiesel.org also has useful information about the biodiesel industry and benefits of biodiesel, including an Emissions Calculator providing an average reduction in emissions.
Questions about biodiesel? Contact us!