Biodiesel: Fuel Your World!

A sustainable way to drive

What Is Biodiesel & How Does It Work?

Biodiesel is a fuel used in place of petroleum made of agricultural & vegetable oils, animal fats, and recycled food grease. A process called transesterification makes these materials into usable vehicle fuel. It's often used in blends of biodiesel and regular petroleum fuel, known as B2, B5, and B20.

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Where & How Is Biodiesel Used?

  • Replaces situations where workers may be exposed to diesel exhaust for long periods

  • Used in school bus fleets to prevent inhalation of harmful emissions

  • Used in locomotives that face restricted use unless emissions can be reduced

  • Works as a fuel additive - as little as 1% biodiesel mix could increase lubricity (greasing that reduces friction) of diesel fuel by up to 65%

  • Replacement for harmful petroleum-based lubricants


  • Domestically produced

  • Uses renewable resources

  • Compatible with most diesel engines

  • Produces less air pollutants in general

  • Reduced greenhouse gas emissions (B20 reduces by 15%)

  • Biodegradable (can be decomposed with natural bacterias and substances)

  • Non-toxic

  • Safer to handle than other fuel sources

  • Creates 78% less carbon dioxide emissions

  • Eliminates sulfur oxide and sulfate emissions

  • Combustion of biodiesel provides 56% reduction in hydrocarbon reductions

  • Reduces carbon monoxide and soot much more frequently than common petroleum-based fuels

  • Reduce carcinogen properties of diesel fuel by 94%

  • Lubricates (greases) better than petroleum-based fuel

  • Conventional diesel fuel may leave deposits/sediments in fuel lines, storage tanks, etc., whereas biodiesel dissolves these sediments and creates no new deposits while cleaning

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Materials Needed for Production/Use

- Vegetable oil/animal fat/waste

- Peanut, sunflower, cottonseed, mustard seeds

- Soybean oil and “yellow grease” from palm, canola, soy, etc (most common materials)

- Methanol

- NaOH or KOH catalysts (speed up process of making fuel)

Cost, Maintenance, and Longevity

How much does biodiesel cost?

$2.41/gallon (B200)

$3.21/gallon (B99-B100)

How is biodiesel maintened and how long does it last?

  • Very suitable for diesel engines

  • Very safe to handle and transport

  • Is as biodegradable as sugar

  • 10 times less toxic than table salt

  • Requires only very high temperatures in order to burn

  • 20 million gallons/year

  • Capacity to make 50 million gallons/year


Biodiesel users may experience lower gas mileage and lower engine function in cold weather, and should check to see if biodiesel is right for their vehicle. Failure to do so may void the engine warranty and cause engine damage. High level blends have not been fully investigated yet. Cost may vary.