Before looking at the advantages and disadvantages of biodiesel, let’s quickly see what biodiesel is:
Biodiesel is a clean and renewable energy source produced from vegetable oils, animal fats, and recycled restaurant grease. You can use it directly, i.e. B100, or blend it with petroleum diesel. E.g., B20,B5,B50 etc.
Following are the advantages of biodiesel:
Produced from renewable resources
Biodiesel is produced from renewable resources and will not be distinct in the coming years like petroleum diesel. While manufacturing, It is made from waste vegetable oils, animal fats or used cooking oils from the restaurant, which does not cause pollution like petroleum diesel.
No modification require
One of the best advantages of biodiesel is using it in the existing diesel engine. It means there is no modification required, and it can use as a primary transport energy source. It can be used directly or by blending it with petroleum diesel. For eg: B5 variant is 5% biodiesel and 95% petroleum diesel, B20 20% biodiesel and 80% petroleum diesel.
Less greenhouse gas emission
Biodiesel burns clean, and it does not release greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide into the atmosphere when burnt like fossil fuels. Fossil fuels raise the temperature and cause global warming. On the other hand, biodiesel is safe for the environment.
Reduce foreign dependency on oil
Biodiesel can work as an alternative fuel and reduce our dependency on foreign suppliers for oil because it is produced from locally grown crops and extracted in local refineries. Fossil fuels like petroleum diesel are limited and may not fulfill our increasing demand in the coming years.
Biodegradable and Non-toxic
Biodiesel, when burnt, releases fewer pollutants and less carbon output in comparison to fossil fuels. Biodiesel is biodegradable and non-toxic.
Cleaner biofuel refinery
You cannot use petroleum diesel directly in the vehicles as extracted. Its refining is essential after removing it from underground. And while refining, it releases many chemical compounds, including benzene and butadiene, in the environment, which is harmful to animals, plants, and human life. Biofuel refineries use vegetable oil and animal fat to produce biofuel, releasing less toxic chemicals if spilled or released to the environment.
Positive economic impact
Biodiesel produces from locally grown crops, so increased demand leads to increased yields that employ thousands of people in the biofuel production plant. Moreover, it is environmentally friendly does not adversely affect health, and reduces expenses on healthcare products.
Biodiesel gives better mileage than petroleum diesel. This means vehicles run on diesel, run more miles per gallon, and achieve 30% fuel economy.
Better air quality
The most significant contributor to air pollution, greenhouse gas emission, is the consumption of fossil fuels, and it releases carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, volatile organic compounds, and particulate matter.
On the other hand, biofuels are derived from organic products and are biodegradable. It is considered an important way to limit greenhouse gas emissions, improve air quality, and burn clean without affecting the environment.
Improves engine life
Biodiesel helps make the engine work smoothly and effectively by increasing the fuel’s cetane number and fuel lubricity, improving engine life, and providing smooth running of vehicles.
Safer to use
The flashpoint for biodiesel is 130 degrees celsius, whereas, for regular petroleum diesel, it is 52degree celsius which is relatively very low. Thus this makes petroleum diesel more dangerous to transport, and biodiesel, on the other hand, is safe to transport.
Can reduce energy crises
Due to increasing demand, energy crises are a severe problem many countries face. But they were not taken seriously sometimes, which may lead to a third world war. But if countries start producing biodiesel will reduce the amount of oil being exported or imported from a country. Which, in turn, can balance the country’s economy and reduce the energy crises.
Disadvantages of biodiesel:
Variation in quality
There is variation in the ability to have power because it produces from various crops. Not all biofuel crops are the same, so there is variation in the quality of biodiesel production.
Not suitable to use in low temperature
It is not suitable for low temperatures because it gels in cold weather, but its gel temperature depends on the fat or oil used while producing. However, you can use it in cold weather by blending it with winterized diesel fuel.
Vegetable Oil Price Hike
An increase in demand for biodiesel may increase vegetable oil prices in some countries. Countries should have a good plan for tackling these kinds of problems.
Increased use of fertilizers
An increase in demand for biofuels will increase crops’ production, thus increasing fertilizers, resulting in soil erosion and land pollution. The solution is, farmers should take organic farming seriously it will be helpful to fight against soil erosion and land pollution.
Shortage of water
An increase in crop production can create pressure on local water resources. So the output of the crop in the area having water scarcity is not a wise idea but we can use advanced farming tactics to avoid this problem.
The distribution of biodiesel is not as wide as petroleum diesel. So there is a need to develop the infrastructure, boost its distribution process, and be adopted as a primary source to run the engine.
After looking at the biofuels advantages and disadvantages, You can see that the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. And whatever is the flaws can be taken care of by taking specific measures or adequately implementing them.
So it has all the features to replace petroleum diesel and can be used as th primary source to run vehicles.