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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Advantages and disadvantages of Biodiesel

Currently there are different advantages and disadvantages of producing Biodiesel as an alternative energy source. The key benefits of using Biodiesel are: (a) Environmental Benefits, (b) Engine Life, and (c) Economic Considerations.[i]

Environmental Benefits

Burning Biodiesel releases carbon that has just been taken out of the atmosphere by plants, so the CO2 released doesn't add to global warming. It is practically free of sulphur and carcinogenic benzene. It is the only alternative fuel to have completed the health effects testing requirements of Clean Air Act (explained in the following section). [ii]

Engine Life

The lubricity is much higher as compared to diesel which in turn reduces engine corrosion and increases performance and longevity of the engine. The diesel fuel injection system relies on the fuel for the lubrication of its closely fitting parts. The lubricity of ethanol is low so it degrades the lubricity of the diesel fuel. [iii]

Economic Considerations

Economic benefits of a Biodiesel industry would include reduction in healthcare costs due to better air quality and greenhouse mitigation. [iv]

On the other hand, the Biodiesel industry has several disadvantages. The limitations facing Biodiesel are: (a) Continual engine performance, emissions and durability testing in a variety of engine types and sizes is needed to develop increased consumer and manufacturer confidence, (b) The technical problems of using Biodiesel include winter operability, clogging of filters and degradation of rubber hoses and seals. (c) Development, coordination, verification, and publication of a scientifically developed engine based on ASTM Biodiesel Fuel Standards.

In addition, there is lack of complete information on several critical parameters and further studies are needed to reduce the cost of processing, develop low cost feedstocks, produce a resource inventory, and identify potential markets in order to balance cost and availability with the primary uses where Biodiesel benefits can be maximized. [v]



[i] Biodiesel-Is It A Solution To The Renewable Energy Market In North America? by Shreyas Rajan. Date Published: 7 Jun 2006.

[ii] Biodiesel-Is It A Solution To The Renewable Energy Market In North America? by Shreyas Rajan. Date Published: 7 Jun 2006.

[iii] Biodiesel-Is It A Solution To The Renewable Energy Market In North America? by Shreyas Rajan. Date Published: 7 Jun 2006.

[iv] Biodiesel-Is It A Solution To The Renewable Energy Market In North America? by Shreyas Rajan. Date Published: 7 Jun 2006.

[v] Biodiesel-Is It A Solution To The Renewable Energy Market In North America? by Shreyas Rajan. Date Published: 7 Jun 2006.

1 comment:

Mike said...

Good plan! Let's use our food supply to power our SUV's and "friend of OPEC" pickup trucks.

DUH!