Biodiesel can help extend the longevity and cleanliness of your diesel engine. The injection system of many diesel engines relies on the fuel to lubricate its parts. Biodiesel provides excellent lubricity to the fuel injection system. By blending biodiesel in amounts as little as 5%, the lubricity of ultra low sulfur diesel can be dramatically improved, and the life of an engine’s fuel injection system extended.
Though it is uncommon for the average person to come into direct contact with fuels, occasional spills do occur, and the impact of the fuel on plants and animals must be considered. Biodiesel is safer to handle than petroleum fuel because of its low volatility. Biodiesel has a flash point of over 266 F, meaning it cannot form a combustible mixture until it is heated well above the boiling point of water. It is rare that fuel is subjected to these types of conditions, making biodiesel significantly safer to store, handle, and transport than petroleum diesel. In fact, the National Fire Protection Association classifies biodiesel as a non-flammable liquid.
The role of the biodiesel industry is not to replace petroleum diesel but to extend the usefulness of petroleum. The ultimate goal is to build stronger, more self-sufficient communities and help create a balanced energy policy. Biodiesel is a fuel that can be created from local resources. It’s production and use can provide a host of economic benefits for local communities. In a community-based model of biodiesel production, locally available feedstocks are collected, converted to biodiesel, then distributed and used within the community. This model keeps energy dollars in our community instead of sending them to foreign oil producers and refineries outside the country.
Per a recent market study, the production and use of biodiesel promises to bring $24 billion to the U.S. economy between 2005 and 2015, assuming biodiesel growth reaches an annual production of 650 million gallons of by 2015. The study also projected that biodiesel production will create 39,102 new jobs in all sectors of the economy. Additional tax revenues from production will more than pay for the federal tax incentives provided to the industry, keeping $13.6 billion in the U.S. that would otherwise be spent on foreign oil.
Biodiesel is the only alternative fuel to successfully complete the EPA’s rigorous emissions and health effects study under the Clean Air Act. Biodiesel emits significantly fewer emissions of carbon monoxide, particulate matter, unburned hydrocarbons, and sulfates than petroleum diesel fuel. Additionally, biodiesel reduces emissions of carcinogenic compounds by as much as 85% compared with petrodiesel.
Biodiesel has been proven to be much less toxic than diesel fuel, and is readily biodegradable making it less likely to harm the environment. If an accidental spill occurred, it would cost less to repair damges and clean up. In both soil and water, biodiesel degradeds at a rate 4 times faster than regular diesel fuel, with nearly 80% of the carbon in the fuel being readily converted by soil and water borne organisms in as little as 28 days.
Biodiesel can be made from many different oils and fats, including many waste products. The use of used cooking oils as a biodiesel has made making proper collection and recycling of these oils more cost effective, and has lowered the volume of these oils destined for sewers and landfills.