Biodiesel is an alternative fuel similar to conventional or ‘fossil’ diesel. Biodiesel can be produced from straight vegetable oil, animal oil/fats, tallow and waste cooking oil. The process used to convert these oils to Biodiesel is called transesterification. This process is described in more detail below. The largest possible source of suitable oil comes from oil crops such as rapeseed, palm or soybean. In the UK rapeseed represents the greatest potential for biodiesel production. Most biodiesel produced at present is produced from waste vegetable oil sourced from restaurants, chip shops, industrial food producers such as Birdseye etc
Biodiesel is simple to use, biodegradable, nontoxic, and essentially free of sulfur and aromatics. It can be used in most diesel engines, especially newer ones, and emits less air pollutants and greenhouse gases other than nitrogen oxides. It’s safer to handle and has virtually the same energy efficiency as petroleum diesel. In addition it has lubricity benefits that fossil fuels do not. Biodiesel blends as low as B2 have been found to significantly reduce the amount of toxic carbonbased emissions. With the soaring price of petroleum-based products, Biodiesel is becoming an increasingly affordable option relative to petroleum diesel. The use of Biodiesel helps reduce dependence on finite fossil fuel reserves. As an alternative energy source it is relatively easy to process and available – with machines like the BioCube™ – to all communities from rural communities in developing nations, to urban in developed countries. Scientific research confirms that Biodiesel exhaust has a less harmful impact on human health than petroleum diesel fuel. Biodiesel emissions have decreased levels of hydrocarbons and nitrited compounds that have been identified as potential cancer causing compounds.