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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Biodiesel: the Use of Vegetable Oils and Their Derivatives As Alternative Diesel Fuels

item Knothe, Gerhard
item Dunn, Robert
item Bagby, Marvin - RETIRED, USDA/ARS

Submitted to: American Chemical Society Symposium Series
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: March 28, 1996
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: Biodiesel, i.e. derivatives of vegetable oils suitable for use as alternative diesel fuels, is receiving increasing attention. Biodiesel is competitive with conventional diesel fuel in terms of performance in a diesel engine and fuel economy and offers environmental and health benefits due to the reduction of most emissions. It is also a renewable, domestic resource. Some problems remain to be overcome when using biodiesel which are related to economics, combustion, some emissions, lube oil contamination and low-temperature properties. This article discusses all relevant aspects of biodiesel.

Technical Abstract: Vegetable oils and their derivatives (especially methyl esters), commonly referred to as "biodiesel," are prominent candidates as alternative diesel fuels. They have advanced from being purely experimental fuels to initial stages of commercialization. They are technically competitive with or offer technical advantages compared to conventional diesel fuel. Besides being a renewable and domestic resource, biodiesel reduces most emissions while engine performance and fuel economy are nearly identical compared to conventional fuels. Several problems, however, remain, which include economics, combustion, some emissions, lube oil contamination, and low-temperature properties. An overview on all aspects of biodiesel is presented.

Last Modified: 5/5/2015
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