What is Biodiesel Process?
Biodiesel is made from renewable resources like vegetable oil or waste products such as fish oil and can be blended in any ratio with mineral diesel (gasoline) for use in most diesel engines. However, car manufacturers advocate using blends up to 20% biodiesel (B20). Only some German car manufacturers offer adaptation sets for 100% biodiesel use. There are only a very few pump stations left nowadays that still sell 100% biodiesel.
Biodiesel or FAME is biodegradable and has a lower CO2 footprint than ordinary diesel. Except for NOx, the tailpipe emissions are also favourable. Because of its higher flash point it is safer in use and storage than mineral diesel. Long term storage of biodiesel and other biofuels however, needs special attention. Biodiesel is strongly hygroscopic and can absorb moisture from the air, giving rise to all kinds of problems.
Fungi and bacteria can and did cause problems in big storage tanks while in the presence of condensed water. Polymerization due to oxidation is another common problem with biodiesel. The resulting gums do clog the fuel filters rather quickly.
Methanol fumes can also be formed as a result of decomposition or polymerization of biodiesel and can lead to higher risk levels of explosions in combination with static electricity. Static electricity build-up must be prevented by proper grounding and other precautions.
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