Biodiesel Advantages & Disavantages

Created by: Ruth Moore & Halie Krohe


  • Positive Energy Balance

    • net energy balance 2.8

  • Cheap Feedstocks

    • Biodiesel can turn used oils, greases, and fats into fueling product

      • examples: cooking oil and greases- these are fairly inexpensive

  • GHG Reduction

    • GHG stands for greenhouse gas; it is a gas located in the atmosphere that absorbs solar radiation (ex: carbon dioxide, methane, ozone, and fluorocarbons)

      • This is the reason for the greenhouse effect.

    • The reduction of GHG can reduce hydrocarbons by 20%, carbon monoxide by 11%, and particulate matter by 10%

  • Biodegradable

    • nontoxic and biodegradable

    • Small biodiesel spills have very few environmental impacts

  • Economic Benefits

    • More money would be acquired because of the uses of greases, fats, and oils

  • Home Heating

    • Biodiesel can be used in homes for heating which environmentally friendly

  • Third World Benefit

    • Because of the location of many third world countries in warm climates, palm and jatropha trees are built. These crops are high in oil

    • Their large supplies would increase exports to developed countries and they would also have enough oil for their own country

      • This would spark their economies financially


  • Gelling

    • Biodiesel can gel and thicken in cold weather conditions

  • Automotive Breakdowns

    • Many filters have been clogged by biodiesel because of the release of deposits that are attached to previous pipes into biodiesel.

    • When old deposits of the fuels are released, then the clogging no longer occurs

  • Poor Quality

    • Producers struggle to meet ASTM 6751 quality when making biodiesel because of the difficulty to remove all impurities and water during the washing and refining processes.

  • Reduced Fuel Efficiency

    • Fuel efficiency is the capacity of an engine to obtain energy from fuel

    • According to the EPA, the use of biodiesel can reduce fuel efficiency by 1-2%

  • More expensive

    • Biodiesel blends are more expensive than diesel because of the lack of biodiesel.

  • Unavailable

    • There are only about 1,000 filing stations that carry biodiesel in the United States. The main sites these filling stations are located in the Midwest, especially through Illinois, Indiana, and Minnesota

  • Highly Combustible

    • highly flammable because of the chemicals used to create it.