Difference Between Biofuel and Biodiesel

Biofuel vs Biodiesel

Difference between biofuel and biodiesel has become a subject of interest as biofuels and biodiesel are drawing increasing attention as alternative substituents for fossil fuels used in vehicle engines. Petroleum derived energy sources are relatively expensive and they are derived from non–renewable energy sources, but biofuels and biodiesel are made from renewable sources and their contribution for the environment pollution is very low. If we can develop the methodologies for production of biofuels and bio diesel in an efficient way, this would be a good solution for the future generation.

What is Biodiesel?

Biodiesel is a form of fuel used in diesel engines. It is created by the chemical conversion of animal fats or vegetable oils. Pure vegetable oil also works well for engines, but it is relatively viscous and difficult to burn completely at ambient temperatures in modern vehicles. There are so many advantages in converting to biodiesel fuel.

• It readily mixes with petroleum in any ratio.

• It is made from renewable sources.

• It reduces the viscosity of pure vegetable oil.

• No modification is required to burn in modern vehicles.

• Lubricity of low sulfur diesel can be restored by mixing a little amount of (1%) biodiesel.

• It reduces the emissions of,Sulfur dioxide (SO2) by 100 %, soot emissions by 40-60%, Carbon monoxide (CO) by 10-50%, hydrocarbons by 10-50% and Nitrous oxide by 5-10% (The emission of Nitrous oxide varies depending on the engine tuning and the age of the engine.

Biodiesel is considered as a fuel and a fuel additive, it satisfies clean diesel standards. When it is mixed with biofuels, represents as “B2″, “B5″. “B20,” etc. the number indicates the percentage of biodiesel in it.

The most commonly used method for biodiesel production is called “transesterification,” which alter the chemical properties of oil using methanol. It is a simple method and gives glycerin as a byproduct.

Difference Between Biofuel and Biodiesel

What is Biofuel?

Biofuel refers to solid, liquid, or gaseous fuel consisting of or derived from biomass, which are recently living organisms or their metabolic byproducts such as manure from cows. Fossil fuel is also derived from the dead biological materials, but the process takes a long period. The original source for the biofuels comes from the sunlight. It stores in plants through the process of photosynthesis. There are various plants and plants derived materials used in biofuel production; sugar cane crops, wood and its byproducts, waste materials including agriculture, household, industry, and forestry are some examples. Bioethanol is a common example for a type of biofuel.

What is the difference between Biofuel and Biodiesel?

• Biodiesel is made from vegetable oils (palm oil, soybean oil) and animal fat. Biofuels are made from components other than petroleum derived products such as human and animal wastes, landfill gases, agricultural, and industrial wastes, etc.

• The resources for biofuel production are abundant in everywhere compared to the biodiesel production. However, compared to the fossil fuel production, resources are more available for both bio fuel and biodiesel production.

• Biodiesel is non-toxic and biodegradable, but some of the biofuels contain toxic gases.

• There are various impacts of the petroleum based industries such as social, economic, environmental, cultural, and medical. However, the impact of the biodies els and biofuel is comparatively less.


Biofuel vs Biodiesel

The implementation and the usage of biodiesel and biofuel is an alternative solution for the petroleum problem all over the world. Though it has many advantages, there are several limitations too. It is very difficult to reach the world oil demand if we only use biofuels.For example, B100 approximately contains less than 8% energy per gallon. Moreover, it is not compatible with some metals and plastics. However, it reduces the global warming and other emissions. Consumption of biofuelsis economical, they are made from renewable sources. Biodiesel is non-toxic and biodegradable.

Images Courtesy: Bio-diesel run bus via Wikicommons (Public Domain)