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What is biodiesel? Biodiesel is a diesel fuel substitute produced from renewable sources such as canola and soya bean. Chemically, it is defined as the mono alkyl esters of long chain fatty

What are the advantages of Biodiesel?

  • it is a renewable fuel, unlike fossil fuels, which will eventually run out in the not too distant future!
  • it results in increased regional employment
  • if spilt in a waterway, the fuel will be 95% biodegradable within 30 days
  • it has the same toxicity as table salt so is safer to handle
  • it has an increased flashpoint compared with diesel, so is safer
  • it is classed as a non-hazardous so is easier to transport
  • it has less emissions in almost all categories compared with petro-diesel
  • it reduces dependence on foreign oil
  • it retains more of your foreign exchange earnings at home

What can you make biodiesel from?

One of the great advantages of biodiesel is that it can be made from so many different products. In the future, countries will simply use the feed-stocks most suited to their environment. The most common forms
of feed stocks used now are canola (Europe) and soya bean (USA), but
there are over 350 other crops that can also be used. These include
coconut, palm oil, mustard seed, sunflower and jatropha (which is
becoming more widely farmed as it grows in areas where it is difficult
to grow anything else). But you can also make biodiesel from tallow
(animal fats), fish oil, seaweed and algae. In fact, in an extraordinary
show of dedication to the project, the skipper, Pete Bethune, underwent
liposuction, and the fat (all 100ml) was used to make a small amount of
Biodiesel for Earthrace!

Can Biodiesel run in any vehicle?

Yes, as long as it’s fuelled by diesel, Most biodiesel is sold as a blend, where the fuel is between 5% and 20% biodiesel, and the balance from conventional diesel. This is a safe option and most engine
manufacturers support this move. Care must be exercised when you first
start running biodiesel, however. Older vehicles may need some fuel
lines or O-rings replaced to run higher (or pure) blends of biodiesel.

Which countries are currently using Biodiesel?

Most countries in Europe today have made biodiesel blends compulsory. Between 3% and 5% biodiesel is blended with every litre of diesel fuel they sell. With time, they are gradually increasing these percentages.
Biodiesel can also commonly be purchased as a 20% blend, or as 100%,
which is what Earthrace runs on. Some countries have used biodiesel as
their lubricant additive as they have reduced the sulphur content in
petro-diesel. Many countries such as Africa, Asia and South America have
active and growing biodiesel programmes underway. Saudi Arabia, for
example, is planting crops of Jatropha which will in the future be used
as an energy crop, reducing net carbon dioxide emissions by up to 75%.

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Comment by Carolyn Bailey on August 14, 2010 at 9:00
Great video, Blackpanther, thanks! I know there was a product here ~ Kecap Manis (sweet soy sauce), which was in the news for containing palm sugar recently.

I'll look into this and educate myself on it ASAP. :)
Comment by blackpanther on August 14, 2010 at 7:39
OF COURSE, it's not only for biodiesel that orangutans are killed, but more generally for all kinds of products using palm oil, as this excellent video from greenpeace shows it.....
Comment by blackpanther on August 14, 2010 at 7:36
Comment by Carolyn Bailey on August 13, 2010 at 13:04
Thanks, Blackpanther.

There has been a lot of talk about palm oil here as well, for many years. I spoke with Pete briefly about biodiesel and he said there were good and bad sources. I haven't looked into this enough really to comment yet, but I promise I will. Thanks for bringing it to my attention!

Comment by blackpanther on August 11, 2010 at 2:29
Comment by blackpanther on August 11, 2010 at 2:27
Comment by blackpanther on August 11, 2010 at 2:24
Comment by blackpanther on August 11, 2010 at 2:15
the only "ethical" palm oil comes from south america, and is used in organic food
Comment by blackpanther on August 11, 2010 at 2:09
I agree with Ronald, biodiesel is a very bad thing, as it causes the forests to be destroyed to plant soy or other plants!
biodiesel is one of the major cause of the disparition of great monkeys, chimpanzees, together with the palm oil trees.
Carolyn, we cannot promote this type of diesel, as it causes the disparition of animals!
and in Europe, animal rights activists and ecologists are strongly opposing its use.
In France, we don't use it.......
Comment by Ronald on August 1, 2010 at 0:30
Bastarts bio fuel promoptors Eco-fuel Kills The Orang-utans - World


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