With our environment becoming more sensitive each day, ways to create more sustainable forms of energy is quickly becoming more important. As part of the ongoing effort of sustainable materials, biodiesel has become one of the more popular options to help prevent further damage from non-sustainable energy. While many have heard of biodiesel fuel, often there is confusion about what it is exactly.
What is Biodiesel Fuel?
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, biodiesel fuel is defined as a renewable, biodegradable fuel that is manufactured domestically from vegetable oils, animal fats, or recycled restaurant grease. The ingredients in the fuel range from soybean oil or canola oil. Because it does not depend on petroleum, biodiesel fuel can be made and used across the nation, reducing the need for the wasteful ingredient.
What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages?
While there are some disadvantages to using biodiesel fuel, it is generally the more popular choice, because of its sustainable properties and its ability to be blended with petroleum diesel, or the ingredient used in standard diesel fuel. Additionally, biodiesel fuel can be used in almost all engines, and work well with newer engines in particular. Overall, the use of the fuel has grown because of the benefits on the environment.
Like any other fuel on the market, there are some disadvantages to using biodiesel fuel. Because of the ingredients and time it takes to create the fuel, it is currently more expensive than standard petroleum diesel fuel. Additionally, because of the ingredients that are used, biodiesel fuel is generally not suitable for cold temperatures, making it more difficult to use in the winter months.
The Rise of Biodiesel Fuel in the United States
Since hitting the U.S. market a decade ago, biodiesel fuel has continued to grow in popularity, not only because of its more sustainable properties, but it also reduces the need for imported materials that are needed for regular fuel. In 2016 alone, 2.8 billion gallons of advanced biodiesel fuel was created and used across the United States.
A blend or the combination of the biodiesel fuel and petroleum diesel is commonly used in the United States, but how is it used across the country? Blends are a very common type of fuel that is used in government vehicles, including school buses, mail trucks, military vehicles, and garbage trucks. There are different levels of blends that can be used in diesel engines, but the type of blend that is being used depends on the age and durability of the engine itself.
Like other forms of sustainable energy in the United States, biodiesel fuel has its advantages and disadvantages. As it continues to grow in popularity for its uses, the United States could see a substantial increase in its uses in the coming years.