Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel: A Critical Comparison

Author
item Knothe, Gerhard

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 15, 2009
Publication Date: November 15, 2009
Citation: Knothe, G.H. 2009. Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel: A Critical Comparison [abstract]. 2nd International Congress on Biodiesel, Munich, Germany.

Technical Abstract: Several types of fuels can be obtained from lipid feedstocks. These include biodiesel and what is termed renewable diesel. While biodiesel retains the ester moiety occurring in triacylglycerols in converted form as mono-alkyl esters, the composition of renewable diesel, hydrocarbons, emulates that of petrodiesel. Accordingly, the properties of these two fuels show similarities and differences closely resembling the similarities and differences between biodiesel and conventional, petroleum-derived diesel fuels. However, one of the most significant differences between biodiesel and renewable diesel is the production process, including the energy balance. While it is known that the energy balance of biodiesel is positive by a ratio of about 3:1, little to no information is available about the energy balance of renewable diesel, however, it appears to be a more energy-intensive process. A summary of factors affecting the energy balance of these fuels, including glycerol, will be given and a comparison of these fuels should focus on fuel properties and production-related aspects.

Last Modified: 10/22/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page