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Energy Quote

It is time, as a matter of pride, as well as a matter of national security, for the United States of America to lead the world in the energy revolution, and not lag behind Japan or Germany.

Senator John Kerry

Biodiesel

A Brief Description:

Biodiesel refers to a diesel-equivalent, processed fuel derived from biological sources. Though derived from biological sources, it is a processed fuel that can be readily used in diesel engined vehicles, which distinguishes biodiesel from the straight vegetable oils (SVO) or waste vegetable oils (WVO) used as fuels in some modified diesel vehicles.

Chemically, transesterified biodiesel comprises a mix of mono-alkyl esters of long chain fatty acids. The most common form uses methanol to produce methyl esters as it is the cheapest alcohol available, though ethanol can be used to produce an ethyl ester biodiesel and higher alcohols such as isopropanol and butanol have also been used.

Biodiesel can be distributed using today's infrastructure, and its use and production is increasing rapidly. Fuel stations are beginning to make biodiesel available to consumers, and a growing number of transport fleets use it as an additive in their fuel. Biodiesel is generally more expensive to purchase than petroleum diesel, but can be made at home for much cheaper than either. This differential may diminish due to economies of scale, the rising cost of petroleum and government tax subsidies.

30 Jan 2007 11:55:46

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