Monday, July 27, 2009


Bio-diesel is the name of a clean burning alternative fuel, produced from domestic, renewable resources. Bio-diesel contains no petroleum, but it can be blended at any level with petroleum diesel to create a bio-diesel blend. It can be used in compression-ignition (diesel) engines with little or no modifications. Bio-diesel is simple to use, biodegradable, nontoxic, and essentially free of sulfur and aromatics.

How is bio-diesel made?

Bio-diesel is made through a chemical process called transesterification whereby the glycerin is separated from the fat or vegetable oil. The process leaves behind two products -- methyl esters (the chemical name for bio-diesel) and glycerin (a valuable byproduct usually sold to be used in soaps and other products).

Is Bio-diesel the same thing as raw vegetable oil?

No! Fuel-grade bio-diesel must be produced to strict industry specifications (ASTM D6751) in order to insure proper performance. Bio-diesel is the only alternative fuel to have fully completed the health effects testing requirements of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. Bio-diesel that meets ASTM D6751 and is legally registered with the Environmental Protection Agency is a legal motor fuel for sale and distribution. Raw vegetable oil cannot meet bio-diesel fuel specifications, it is not registered with the EPA, and it is not a legal motor fuel.

For entities seeking to adopt a definition of bio-diesel for purposes such as federal or state statute, state or national divisions of weights and measures, or for any other purpose, the official definition consistent with other federal and state laws and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) guidelines is as follows:

Bio-diesel is defined as mono-alkyl esters of long chain fatty acids derived from vegetable oils or animal fats which conform to ASTM D6751 specifications for use in diesel engines. Bio-diesel refers to the pure fuel before blending with diesel fuel. Bio-diesel blends are denoted as, "BXX" with "XX" representing the percentage of bio-diesel contained in the blend (ie: B20 is 20% bio-diesel, 80% petroleum diesel).

1 comment:

Bill Austin said...

Your site has won a Blog of the Day Award (BOTDA)

Your award will go live sometime on July 28, 2009

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Thank you,

Bill Austin