Diesel, as we have all been told, is a fossil fuel which is produced from ancient plant matter that has undergone massive changes over several millennia of pressure and other special conditions. Bio-fuels, however, produce a similar product without needing millennia of special conditions. Bio-diesel in particular is growing increasingly popular as the supplies of fossil fuels run out. Producing bio-diesel requires large amounts of “biomass” – commonly known as plant matter – which is processed into diesel. This biomass for making biodiesel is sourced from commercial crops, some of which have been specially grown for the purpose. Sweetcorn is a common choice, as this crop produces a high yield per acre. Some crops for making biofuels are grown in Australia.
Biofuels are often marketed as being an environmentally friendly choice for powering your car. To a certain extent, this is true. Using bio-deisel will prevent the earth’s supply of fossil fuels running out and will prevent the need for invasive drilling. However, burning bio-diesel produces the same waste products as burning fossil fuel diesel – and we all know what diesel fumes smell like. Also, the crops grown for producing biofuels compete for agricultural acreage with crops grown for food and grazing for farm animals.
Bio-fuels other than bio-diesel exist. These include the use of methane and of ethanol for powering vehicles. The biofuel ethanol is available at some petrol stations within Australia already. The biofuels other than bio-diesel have the advantage that they produce fewer pollutants and that they can be produced from agricultural waste products rather than requiring specially grown crops.
We hope that helps answer the question ‘What is What is Bio-Diesel?’!
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