Biodiesel is an alternative fuel produced from domestically available renewable resources. While the term 'biodiesel' is often used loosely in the public domain to refer to things such as waste vegetable oil taken directly from deep fryers, there are strict quality standards that must be met for a fuel to properly be considered biodiesel. The criteria is laid out by the American Society for Testing & Materials under code 'ASTM D-6751'.
Biodiesel contains no fossil fuels itself but is generally blended with conventional diesel for use as a transportation fuel. Blends can range from 1 to 99%. The more common ratios are referred to as B2, B5, B10 and B20 (containing 2, 5, 10 and 20% biodiesel respectively).
The virtues of biodiesel use are similar to those of ethanol; reduced dependence on foreign petroleum and fewer greenhouse gas emissions. However biodiesel can also claim the highest fossil energy balance of any transportation fuel. Both the USDA and the DOE have taken into consideration all the energy used in getting biodiesel to the pump, and determined that for every unit of fossil energy used in production, 3.2 units of energy are produced.
PFL is an active participant in the brokering of biodiesel. Please contact us if you would like to receive our daily market report.
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