Energy saving

Biodiesel solution or problem?

The scientific community is strongly divided. On the one hand we see the supporters of the biodiesel who extol it as a less polluting solution than fossil fuels, on the other hand, there are numerous scientists who see biodiesel an even greater threat than oil.

The ideal would be to exploit the used cooking oil, destined for landfill or worse, ending up in the drain pipes, transformed into biodiesel and ready to power cars or to heat our homes. Theoretically this transformation could be reality, but it is not what happens. The biodiesel it is less polluting than classic fossil fuels but does not come from cooking oil, rather its derivation is based on the exploitation of land, the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, often derived from petroleum.

If we consider exclusively the combustion process of the biodiesel, the benefits in terms of emissions are tangible, but, if we consider the entire life cycle, there are many doubts that arise. With the production of the biodiesel the phenomenon of land grabbing it has further intensified. Western countries go to exploit the territories of remote areas.

The biodiesel it is extracted from the processing of plants such as corn and soy. The rich companies producing this biofuel, therefore, they need huge expanses of land. These lands are taken from the communities living in remote countries. Even if we didn't want to consider the ethical side, for the cultivation of land for biofuels, there are other facets. A spread of the biodiesel would increase the land cultivated for this purpose and therefore also deforestation and, fatally, with the demand, the price of the biofuel.

The biodiesel it is produced by the reaction of vegetable oils with methyl alcohol obtaining, in addition to Diesel-Bi, glycerin - which is resold to the cosmetic / pharmaceutical sector as a secondary product-. This transformation is necessary as vegetable oils do not have the characteristics suitable to replace diesel fuel. According to the EIA (Energy Information Administration), in 2011 the biodiesel it was made mainly from soybean oil and rapeseed oil.

Photo Credit |

Video: All about diesel and biodiesel (October 2020).