BioDiesel … the oily facts


The world over, there are specialists desperately seeking alternative fuels for the internal combustion engine, from plastic bottles to plants, everything is getting closely looked at for any potential offerings.

So here we are taking a look a little deeper into Biodiesel, with the facts and figures, including some processing plant options.BIODIESEL

Now, yes we know some of us who run those old mechanical diesels do not need to worry too much about specifics as we can just dump a bottle of cooking oil straight into the tank as long as we have some petroleum based diesel in there to mix it with.

However for those later more refined diesels, you may wish to read on ….


Biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement that is reducing dependence on foreign petroleum imports, creating jobs and improving the environment. Made from a diverse mix of feed-stocks including recycled cooking oil, soybean oil, and animal fats, it is the first and only EPA-designated Advanced Biofuel in commercial scale production across the country and the first to reach 1 billion gallons of annual production.

Meeting strict technical fuel quality and engine performance specifications, it can be used in existing diesel engines without modification and is covered by all major engine manufacturers’ warranties, most often in blends of up to 5% or 20% biodiesel. It’s produced at plants within the country.

With just over a decade of commercial scale production, the industry is proud of its careful approach to growth and strong focus on sustainability.

BIO-DIESEL-FUELIn the U.S. the biodiesel market has increased from about 25 million gallons in the early 2000s to more than 2.8 billion gallons of advanced biofuel in 2016. This represents a small but growing component of the annual U.S. on road diesel market of about 35 billion to 40 billion gallons. Although the Americans have embraced this fuel, here in the UK the growth is a little slower.

The U.S. fuel industry has established a goal of producing about 10 percent of the diesel transportation market by 2022.

Reaching that goal for the British transport industry would significantly lessen UK dependence on imported oil, reducing our trade deficit. At the same time, biodiesel’s growth would boost the UK economy, not just by creating jobs but also by reducing our dependence on global oil markets and vulnerability to price spikes.


UK TAX on Biodiesel …

Following a review in late 2006, HM Revenue & Customs has announced changes regarding the administration and collection of excise duty of biofuels and other fuel substitutes (Veg Oil). The changes came into effect on June 30, 2007. There is no longer a requirement to register to pay duty on vegetable oil used as road fuel for those who “produce” or use less than 2,500 litres per year. For those producing over this threshold the biodiesel rate now applies.

From 1 June 2014 Production or Usage of Any Biofuel (inc SVO, Bio-Diesel etc.), Substitute or Additive is limited to 2500 litres. You must be registered to use or produce greater than 2500 L of Biofuel, Substitutes or Additives. Records must be kept for all production volumes and methodology regardless of quantities produced


According to the figures, biodiesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by at least 57% and up to 86% when compared to petroleum diesel, making it one of the most practical and cost effective ways to immediately address climate change. In addition, biodiesel sharply reduces major exhaust pipe pollutants from petroleum diesel, particularly from older diesel vehicles. This is important because the EPA has consistently cited diesel exhaust primarily from older trucks, buses and other vehicles, as one of the nation’s most dangerous pollutants.

Biodiesel is produced using a broad variety of resources. This diversity has grown significantly in recent years, helping shape a nimble industry that is constantly searching for new technologies and feed stocks. In fact, industry demand for less expensive, reliable sources of fats and oils is stimulating promising research on next-generation feed stocks such as algae and camelina.


Technical Definition for Biodiesel (ASTM D 6751) and Biodiesel Blend:

Biodiesel, n – a fuel comprised of mono-alkyl esters of long chain fatty acids derived from vegetable oils or animal fats, designated B100, and meeting the requirements of regulation.

Biodiesel Blend, n – a blend of biodiesel fuel meeting regs with petroleum-based diesel fuel, designated BXX, where XX represents the volume percentage of biodiesel fuel in the blend.


How is biodiesel made?

Biodiesel is made through a chemical process called trans-esterification whereby the glycerin is separated from the fat or vegetable oil. The process leaves behind two products — methyl esters (the chemical name for biodiesel) and glycerin, a valuable byproduct usually sold to be used in soaps and other products.


Is Biodiesel the same thing as raw vegetable oil?   No!

Fuel-grade biodiesel must be produced to strict industry specifications (ASTM D6751) in order to ensure proper performance. Biodiesel is the only alternative fuel to have fully completed the health effects testing requirements of the clean air regulations . Biodiesel that meets ASTM D6751 and is legally registered with the

Fuel processors from Utah Fuels USA

Environmental Protection Agency is a legal motor fuel for sale and distribution. Raw vegetable oil cannot meet biodiesel fuel specifications, and is not a legal motor fuel that meets the diesel fuel specifications of ASTM D975.

For entities seeking to adopt a definition of biodiesel for purposes such as weights and measures, or for any other purpose, the official definition consistent with other laws and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) guidelines is as follows:

Biodiesel is defined as mono-alkyl esters of long chain fatty acids derived from vegetable oils or animal fats which conform to ASTM D6751 specifications for use in diesel engines. Biodiesel refers to the pure fuel before blending with diesel fuel. Biodiesel blends are denoted as, “BXX” with “XX” representing the percentage of biodiesel contained in the blend (ie: B20 is 20% biodiesel, 80% petroleum diesel).



Why should I use biodiesel?

Biodiesel is better for the environment because it is made from renewable resources and has lower emissions compared to petroleum diesel. It is less toxic than table salt and biodegrades as fast as sugar. Produced domestically with natural resources, its use decreases our dependence on imported fuel and contributes to our own economy.


Where do I get biodiesel?

A Fenland Biodiesel processor

Biodiesel is available nationwide. It can be purchased directly from biodiesel producers and marketers, or made by yourself.

For self manufacturing you need to be aware of taxation (as mentioned above) that is relevant to how much you produce. Then you need to look into your production equipment, of which there are many, a quick search on the internet will give many results. You would be looking between £1000.00 to £1500.00 for your hardware to get yourself up and running. One UK company Fenland Biodiesel Processors can supply you with varying size plants dependant on your needs, and numerous American companies will ship their products world wide.


For biodiesel outlets visit the Bio Diesel Filling Stations site.



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