How Much Does Biodiesel Reduce Air Pollutants?
Biodiesel fuel almost eliminates the air pollution caused by petroleum based fuels. Toxins that can cause cancer are virtually cut to zero by the use of biodiesel fuel instead of regular diesel fuel. There is far less sulfur in biodiesel fuel, so the smell is also greatly reduced. Some have even reported a pleasant smell from the combustion of biodiesel, such as that of doughnuts or French fries. There is also less soot from biodiesel combustion than with petroleum fuels.
Pure biodiesel emits over 40% less carbon monoxide than diesel fuel. A mixture of 20% biodiesel fuel and 80% diesel fuel still emits over 12% less carbon monoxide than diesel fuel alone. Hydrocarbons are more than 56% less with pure biodiesel than diesel fuel. The 20% biodiesel, 80% diesel fuel mixture (B20) reduces hydrocarbons by 11%. Pure biodiesel (B100) reduces particulates by over 55%. Furthermore, B20 reduces particulates by 18%. Air toxics with B100 (pure biodiesel) were up to 90% less than with pure diesel fuel. B20 still reduced air toxics by up to 20%.
Since the carbon dioxide that is produced by the combustion of biodiesel fuel is reabsorbed into the earth as it biodegrades, it does not create an excess of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This excess of carbon dioxide has been blamed for climate change associated with the use of petroleum based or fossil fuels.
Biodiesel fuel is made from vegetable fats and alcohol. They are totally non toxic, quickly and fully biodegrades and every product used to make biodiesel is a fully renewable resource. Environmentally speaking, it is the perfect fuel source. It is so non toxic that you could drink it, although it does not taste very good.
If biodiesel is so wonderful, you begin to wonder why everyone is not using it. Biodiesel reduces the power of the vehicle by about 10%. It also gets about 10% worse fuel economy. So, you have to fuel more often, you do not go as far on a tank of fuel and the vehicle has less power.
Many consumers and owners of diesel powered vehicle fleets are not willing to make these sacrifices. Using a blend of biodiesel and diesel fuel can help compensate for some of these downfalls. As fuel costs rise and fossil fuel sources are depleted, more diesel vehicle owners will probably be willing to make the switch.