All biofuels are fuels that are made from organic waste and it a more environmentally friendly way of producing and using fuels. Biodiesel is a term that is used very often in green communities and it is any biofuel that is equivalent to diesel.
Biodiesel is one of the biofuels we are further developing in order to replace the fossil fuels we rely on every day. It is a viable option, but as with all things, biodiesel still has its disadvantages and problems that need to be overcome.
At the moment, biodiesel is an expensive alternative and, in order to produce biodiesel from agricultural crops, more land will be needed. The moment we decide to switch over to biodiesel on a big scale, land used for crops will be needed to supply the needs of biodiesel.
This in itself might not seem such a big deal, but when looking at food production needs, this agricultural land is vital.
Costs are further pushed up by the fact that biodiesel requires special storage and transportation. Biodiesel cannot be stored at too low of a temperature because its chemical properties causes it to become cloudy and, if temperatures are too low, biodiesel becomes a gel-like substance. This means that outdoor storage in cooler climates is not an option.
For the same reason, biodiesel cannot be transported through pipelines and will have to rely on railroads and trucks for distribution. This increases the cost of biodiesel even further.
Also, because of biodiesel’s sensitivity to temperatures, it can influence the steadiness of an automobile’s acceleration at low temperatures where vehicles running on diesel fuel may not. Issues have also been raised as to how biodiesel will affect engine durability.
Fuel economy is also another problem when it comes to the use of biodiesel. It is estimated that a vehicle will get about 10% less miles out of a gallon of biodiesel than conventional fuel and, biodiesel also emits what is called nitrogen oxide.
Furthermore it is believed that because of Biodiesel’s solvent properties, many filters within the vehicle will need to be replaced. Biodiesel also has the power to loosen deposits left behind by conventional fuels. This might cause these deposits to move and result in the clogging of filters and fuel lines.
Yes, there are still many problems and disadvantages when it comes to the use of biodiesel, but once we are able to either overcome these problems or replace the idea with something better, the pressures we put on the environment and the carbon footprint we so willing stomp into the earth will reduce.
In the end, is it not all worth it?