Balance between ecology and economy
Our Western economy strongly depends on mineral oil. Virtually all oil used today originates from fossil oil. Think only of the oil needed for transport, packaging and goods production.
The demand for oil will only increase in the future. The expected economic development of countries such as China or India will add to this increasing demand. Oil prices are bound to rise even further, due to the growing depletion of fossil oil sources.
The development of alternative – durable – energy sources is necessary to meet the future demand for oil. Another incentive to increase the share of durable energy derives from the necessity to reduce carbon dioxide emission, in view of the greenhouse effect. This will prove essential for the next generations.
What is biodiesel?
Biodiesel is a durable fuel that can be used in all diesel engines without any adjustments to the fuel system. Biodiesel is made from vegetable oils, residual fats and animal fats. To name a few raw materials: rapeseed oil, sunflower oil, chicken fat and lard. Even used cooking oil (UCO) is a suitable raw material. These oils and fats are esterified into biodiesel.
To read more about the production process, go to ‘technique’ or click here.
In the media, biodiesel and PVO are often confused. PVO stands for pure vegetable oil, such as rapeseed oil, or salad oils that can be bought at supermarkets. If you would want to use PVO in your diesel engine, adjustments to the fuel system cannot be avoided. The conversion of a private car costs about 2.500 euros. For a lorry or truck, one should count on double that amount.
By contrast, biodiesel is esterified PVO. A chemical conversion enables the production of biodiesel. This fuel can be used pure or in any proportion to fossil diesel in all diesel engines.
Ecological advantages of biodiesel:
• carbon dioxide (CO2) emission is neutral
• biodiesel is biologically degradable
• sulphur emission is minimal (next to nil)
• biodiesel contains no carcinogenic aromatics and is safe to use
• low soot emission (solution to the fine dust problem)
• biodiesel cost price does not depend on (rising) oil prices
• biodiesel production generates employment at the local level
• due to the better lubrication properties of biodiesel, the diesel engine’s life span is extended
If you would like more information on biodiesel, please check our page links.