Biodiesel is fast coming up as a replacement for regular petrol diesel because of its image as a clean and renewable fuel. Already, many countries have expanded their domestic production of Biodiesel to lower their use and dependability on fossil fuels that are fast depleting from the surface of the earth.
There are many other good reasons to encourage the use of Biodiesel because of its less toxicity and lower emission of greenhouse gases as compared to regular petroleum diesel. Moreover, the Biodiesel can be blended in different concentrations for the fuel system and based on the modification of the engine. The fact that Biodiesel can be reused and recycled makes it an attractive proposition. However, despite those countless benefits, let’s have a look at some advantages & disadvantages of Biodiesel.
Advantages of Biodiesel
- Made from Renewable sources – As Biodiesel is prepared from crops, it is seen as a renewable energy source and is not limited like fossil fuels.
- Compatible with the existing diesel engines– The current diesel engines can easily run on Biodiesel with almost no or very little modifications to be made.
- Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions– A key advantage of using Biodiesel is the much lower amount of CO2 produced when using such fuels. It means lower global warming and higher protection for the environment.
- Local production and distribution– Unlike petrol or diesel, Biodiesel can be produced from local crops, and there is no need for the expensive import process to get the final product from other countries.
- Cleaner refineries – The process of making Biodiesel is a lot cleaner and safer when compared to oil extraction from underground. Oil extraction undergoes many stages of refining. However, no such procedures are required for Biofuel refineries.
- Non-Toxic and biodegradable– Another significant advantage of using Biodiesel is that there are considerable lesser pollutants and carbon output.
- Safer to handle– As the flashpoint for Biodiesel is higher when compared to petroleum diesel, it is much less combustible and is a lot safer to handle, store and transport .
- Higher efficacy and better fuel economy – Vehicles powered by Biodiesel are able to achieve a much higher fuel economy that means significant savings for the owner.
- Better health outcomes– Biodiesel is indeed safer for the environment and life on the planet because of the considerably lower air pollution caused by it. With lesser pollutants and less toxic pollutants in the atmosphere, it means better health outcomes.
Despite those significant benefits, there are some downsides of Biodiesel that you should be aware of.
Disadvantages of Biodiesel
- Low practicality in very low temperatures– As Biodiesel tends to gel in cold weather, it increases the viscosity of the oil. The best way to avoid this is by blending the fuel with winterized diesel fuel, especially for those living in colder climate regions.
- Clogged engine – Although Biodiesel tends to keep the engine free of dirt, there are chances that some dirt may get collected in the fuel filter. The solution lies in regular inspection and replacement of the filters.
- Quality of Biodiesel– There is an expected variation in the quality of Biodiesel because of the variety of biofuel crops and the production procedures. Thus, the resulting Biodiesel often varies in power and efficiency. Thankfully, one can improve the quality of biodiesel fuel with the help of blends.
- Distribution and production– Not all areas and countries find their land or climate suitable for growing crops to make Biodiesel. The infrastructure is still poor, and the problem can be sorted out with a boost to the organization and set up needed for the production and distribution of the fuel locally.
Thus, as you can see, while there are some disadvantages of Biodiesel, one can certainly look for solutions to overcome the downsides. After all, with the threat of global warming looming large over the planet and the faster-depleting fossil fuels, the world would have to look for a reliable and alternative source of fuel. And there, Biodiesel scores high with its many advantages.
What the world needs is boosting the technologies behind the production of Biodiesel and encouragement of more and more countries to adopt such technologies. Cooperation and knowledge sharing can play an important role here and help the world shift towards using biofuels and lower its dependability on fossil fuels.