The raw materials used in biodiesel are either plant or animal fats and oils that come from America. Instead of sending a trillion dollars out of the country we could recycle that money right here, not only enriching the common American citizen but reducing our large trade deficit.
Biodiesel is made from used or unused (virgin) fats and oils. These fats and oils are converted to fatty acid methyl (or ethyl) esters. The esters are either combusted by them selves (B100) or blended with conventional diesel fuel, once blended biodiesel will not come out of solution unless the internal fuel temperature exceeds the cloud point.
B20 and B2 are the most common blends. A B20 blend balances property differences with conventional petroleum diesel, performance, emission benefits, and costs. It also requires no infrastructure or equipment modifications. Using blends higher than B20 requires replacement of some gaskets, hoses, and elastomers. A B2 blend is most often used as a lubricant; biodiesel has a natural lubricating quality. This could become a more significant blend because of the 2006 Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel law going into effect. Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel requires a lubricating additive.
Biodiesel contains oxygen. This allows the fuel to burn more completely. A B20 blend will reduce hydrocarbon and particulate matter emissions 20% to 40%. Biodiesel does not contain any sulfur. The utilization of a B20 blend will reduce sulfur dioxide emissions by 20%. Sulfur dioxide combines with water in the atmosphere to form acid rain.
The Cetane number is a measure of drivability. Higher cetane numbers promote good cold start properties, quieter operation and minimize white smoke.
B100 contains 8% less energy per gallon than Petroleum diesel No. 2. A loss of fuel economy will occur using a B100. Using a B20 blend will decrease fuel economy by 1%, using a B2 blend will not reduce the fuel economy at all.
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