Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Biodiesel - What Are The Benefits of This Alternative Fuel Source?

by: Rae Bennett

With the price of gas soaring and our country's dependency on foreign fuel, are you looking for an alternative fuel source? Biodiesel may be just that fuel source you are looking for.

What is biodiesel you may be asking? Biodiesel is an alternative fuel source made from vegetable oil. You can use this fuel in any vehicle that uses regular petroleum diesel fuel. There are places in some states that you can buy biodiesel fuel, but you can also make it yourself with a biodiesel kit.

This alternative fuel source has many benefits compared to petroleum. One benefit is the price. Biodiesel fuel can be produced for much less than its petroleum counterpart. If you are making it yourself, you will need to purchase a biodiesel kit. These can be gotten for a couple thousand dollars, you may be thinking "Wow, that's a lot of money." But if you think about it, once the savings over gas prices add up to the cost of the kit, all savings after that go straight to your wallet. This will definitely put a little breathing room into your budget. If you are not making biodiesel yourself, and are lucky enough to live in an area where there is a biodiesel station, your savings will add up a lot faster.

Another very important benefit of this fuel alternative is it is very environmentally friendly. It is completely biodegradable. Emissions are almost nonexistent. Biodiesel fuel burns clean and is nontoxic. This means not only does it help the planet but it is not harmful to humans as well. Since biodiesel also does not contain sulfur, its emissions do not contribute to acid rain. Using biodiesel fuel also reduces the cancer causing particulates from being released into the air.

One benefit closely related to the environmental issue is the fact that biodiesel is a renewable resource. This means it can be made over and over. It does not have to be pumped out of the ground. You need some more biodiesel fuel? Just plant another crop and you can make some more. This has a hidden advantage of allowing farmers to make their farms profitable again. This in turn helps the economy as well as the environment.

One other benefit of using biodiesel as an alternative fuel source is safety. The point at which biodiesel will catch fire is much higher than petroleum based fuel. This makes biodiesel much safer to transport and store. It also means if a vehicle that is using biodiesel is involved in an accident it is much less likely to explode. The safety issues alone make this a very attractive alternative fuel.

Biodiesel fuel has a lot of benefits as an alternative fuel source. So, are there any disadvantages to using biodiesel? The only one is if you have a vehicle made before about 1994, you will need to keep a close eye on the hoses of the fuel system. Biodiesel fuel can soften the rubber used to make the hoses. After 1994, most vehicles were made with synthetic hoses and this is not an issue. Another issue you should be aware of is the first few times you use biodiesel you may get a clogged up fuel system. This is because biodiesel fuel will clean out all the old gunk in your fuel system. It will pull all the residue left on the walls of your gas tank off, which in turn may clog up some of the lines. If you are aware of this and watching out for it you should not have any problems.

As an alternative fuel source, biodiesel is top notch. It is a renewable source, since it is made from vegetable oil all you do is grow another crop. This in turn allows farmers to make their farms profitable again (another hidden benefit). It is less expensive to produce, good for your wallet. It is environmentally friendly, not causing a lot of the problems as petroleum based fuel. It is also human friendly, less cancer causing issues, as well as breathing issues. It is also safer to transport and store. It also lessens our country's dependency on foreign oil, this would most certainly help our economy.

About The Author

Rae Bennett is author and publisher of, a site dedicated to providing information on a variety of subjects. For more information about this subject visit


At 11/08/2006 5:44 AM , Blogger Newsquoter said...

Rory Clarke of Rix Biodiesel says biofuels are one of the few renewable options available for use in transport:

Biofuels a key option for fuel-hungry road vehicles to reduce emissions and use of fossil fuels


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