What is Biodiesel? Will Biodiesel Replace Petrodiesel? 

Biodiesel is the product in which organic oils are converted into diesel fuel by reacting with base and alcohol. Petrodiesel, on the other hand, is still a widely used, petroleum-based fuel. Vegetable oils are composed of esters of saturated hydrocarbons consisting of glycerol and esters of fatty acids. As a result of the transesterification reaction, vegetable oils form biodiesel and glycerol. Since biodiesel and glycerol form two different phases, they can be separated by precipitation. In the conversion of liquid Triglycerides to esters due to the variation in their density, biodiesel has a molecular weight of one-third of triglycerides, and esters contain 10-11% by weight of oxygen, which causes better combustion compared to hydrocarbon-based diesel fuels [1].

File:Types and generation of biofuels.png - Wikimedia Commons
Schematic Representation of Biodiesel Production

Why All Countries are Looking For New Energy Source

Energy plays a key role in determining the economic development of any country. Fossil fuels have been an important source in meeting energy needs. However, the limited availability of fossil carbon, environmental problems, and its non-edibility have necessitated the development of a sustainable bio-based economy using eco-efficient bioprocesses and edible bio-resources [1,2].

File:Biofuel-energy-production.svg - Wikimedia Commons

Will Biodiesel Replace Petrodiesel?

Although biodiesel is seen as an attractive fuel source because it is edible and greatly reduces environmental problems, it cannot be seen as a serious competitor for petrodiesel. Even in the future, due to the limited amount of oily material, it is not expected to represent the main energy source. However, according to research, it is predicted that it can replace at most 15% of fossil fuels, showing that biodiesel can only be an option today or 10-15 years from now. The development of biodiesel not only for transportation fuel but also for heat generation and electricity requires consideration of the use of alternative biomass [2].

Biofuel Concept | Free SVG

Considering that the use of fossil fuels is increasing day by day, the increase in CO2 emissions is an unavoidable fact. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA,2016) report, energy consumption will increase by 71% worldwide between 2000-2030, and as a result, CO2 emissions will increase by 35%. In order to eliminate the negative effects of greenhouse gases as a result of fossil fuel consumption, renewable energy sources have been researched and it is seen that approximately 28% of the energy of these sources is consumed by the transportation sector and biofuels contribute 3% to this (Dewangan et al., 2018).

When we look at these data, even after 10 years, biodiesel will not be able to replace petrodiesel. However, the increase in CO2 emissions day by day and the limited number of underground resources still make it attractive to work on biodiesel.

[1] Zulqarnain; Ayoub, M.; Yusoff, M.H.M.; Nazir, M.H.; Zahid, I.;Ameen, M.; Sher, F.; Floresyona, D.;Budi Nursanto, E. A Comprehensive Review on Oil Extraction and Biodiesel Production Technologies. Sustainability 2021, 13, 788.

[2] Gincy Marina Mathew, Diksha Raina, Vivek Narisetty, Vinod Kumar, Saurabh Saran, Arivalagan Pugazhendi, Raveendran Sindhu, Ashok Pandey, Parameswaran Binod, Recent advances in biodiesel production: Challenges and solutions, Science of The Total Environment, Volume 794,2021,

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: