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Biodiesel Production Method - Its Advantages and Disadvantages

BY: Amna Adnan | Category: Agriculture | Submitted: 2010-07-21 22:57:59
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Article Summary: "Biodiesel is considered to replace the petroleum fuel because of its less cost and easy preparation. It has some advantages and disadvantages. Biodiesel fuel can be obtained from the vegetables like soy beans and corns..."

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Biodiesel fuel can be obtained from the vegetables like soy beans and corns. It replaces the petroleum diesel and is used in the diesel engines. Biodiesel is a renewable resource and does not cause much pollution like the petroleum fuel. It is also used with the petrol or heating oil or can be used alone. The use of biodiesel in the vehicles reduces the pollutants from the environment.

Production of Biodiesel:-

1) In case of the waste vegetable oil, it is first cleaned by filtering. Filtering removes the dirt, overcooked food and other unnecessary components from the oil. Presence of water is also not good that is why it also removed from the oil because water causes the triglycerides to hydrolyze. Salts of the fatty acids are produced as a result which do not allow the production of oil.

2) The cleaned oil is titrated with a base solution. Through this way, the concentration of the fatty acids is determined in the oil. Fatty acids can be either esterified into biodiesel that is a chemical reaction takes place between two reactants or removed through the process of neutralization.

3) Addition of base starts the process of esterification because base acts as a catalyst. When this base is added into the alcohol, it is continuously stirred so that it dissolves properly in the solution.

4) When the reaction takes place, it does not only produce the biodiesel, but other substances like soap, glycerin, amount of water and alcohol is also present in excess. These by products should be separated from the biodiesel.

5) Glycerin is density is greater than the biodiesel; this property is broken to remove the glycerin from the reaction mixture. Similarly soap is also removed or converted into acids.

6) After the removal of all byproducts. Biodiesel can be obtained in the pure form.

Advantages and Disadvantages:-


1) By using the biodiesel as a fuel, the environment will not be affected in a negative way. When a car will be running on biodiesel, it will release smoke without any harmful components and so the environment will be clean of any pollutants.

2) As the prices of the petroleum are going on hike, it will be beneficent to use biodiesel as it is very cheap that a person can make it even at home.

3) There is no need to modify the engine when using biodiesel.

4) Petroleum can be extracted from only a particular source, but there are a number of sources from which biofuels or biodiesel can be obtained. They may be some crops like corn or soybeans, manure, and some other byproducts.

5) To use fossil fuels, it takes so many resources and time but as crops are grown every year, so manure of the crops can be obtained every year and biofuels can be produced from it.

6) Biodiesel does not produce any waste products because it itself is produced from the waste products. So by using this oil, the environmental garbage will be reduced.

7) As there are certain steps involved in making the oil pure, so there are no chances that biodiesel will damage the car's engine.


1) Though biofuels produce energy but the energy level is less than the energy produced from the petroleum oils. To meet the required energy level, great quantity of biofuels will have to be used.

2) Biofuels are less costly but if to meet the required energy level then high initial investment will be required because making of power plants needs a lot of money.

3) If the requirement for food crops increases to produce biofuels then it might also possible that it affects the prices of other food crops that they might also get expensive.

4) To produce great amount of water is required. If the crops are used as biodiesel then they will be produced in large amount and as result a lot of water will be used. It may reduce the water quantity from the planet earth.

5) Production of biofuels results in the bad smell because it is produced from manure and other wastes of the crops. It can be harmful for the car engine.

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