Tuesday, November 08, 2005


Biodiesel is fuel made from renewable resources such as vegetable oils or animal fats. It is biodegradable and non-toxic, and has significantly fewer emissions than petroleum-based diesel when burned. Biodiesel functions in current engines, and is a possible candidate to replace fossil fuels as the world's primary transport energy source.

With a flash point of 150°C, Biodiesel is classified as a non-flammable liquid by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. This property makes a vehicle fueled by pure biodiesel far safer in an accident than one powered by petroleum diesel or the explosively combustible gasoline. Precautions should be taken in very cold climates, where biodiesel may gel at higher temperatures than petroleum diesel.

Biodiesel can be distributed using today's infrastructure, and its use and production is increasing rapidly (especially in Europe, the United States, and Asia). 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 produce than petroleum diesel, although this differential may diminish due to economies of scale and the rising cost of petroleum.


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