Sunday, May 16, 2010

A Teensy Glance at Biodiesel

Might be heading down to Universiti Malaysia Pahang this week for a day for a biodiesel seminar!!! I am trying to be positive about this, it can't be as dreary as it sounds right?? More importantly, it gives me something to do and learning is never a bad thing! Plus, it gets really boring when all your buddies have gone back for the hols....

Now what do I know about biodiesel?

Briefly, biodiesel refers to a vegetable oil or animal fat-based diesel fuel consisting of long-chain alkyl (methyl, propyl or ethyl) esters. Biodiesel is typically made by chemically reacting lipids (e.g., vegetable oil, animal fat) with an alcohol.

Wikipedia (haha!) also tells me that biodiesel is meant to be used in standard diesel engines and is thus distinct from the vegetable and waste oils used to fuel converted diesel engines. Biodiesel can be used alone, or blended with petrodiesel.

Biodiesel can be categorized in this manner:

* 100% biodiesel is referred to as B100
* 20% biodiesel is labeled B20
* 5% biodiesel is labeled B5
* 2% biodiesel is labeled B2

Apparently, the higher the % of biodiesel, the more eco-friendly the fuel is.

This article says that biodiesel can release up to four times more energy than petrol and diesel, adding that it is also more eco-friendly, and emits less carbon monoxide.

However, UN experts seem to think, lo and behold, that it's a CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY to make biodiesel out of food crops which could escalate the problem of food shortages all over the world. They point out that someday science can make it possible to make biodiesel out of agricultural waste.

In plain English, biodiesel is the more eco-friendly alternative to regular ol' diesel. It has its pros and cons and I expect I'll learn more on this later... The only thing I'm wondering is, what is the price comparison to go 'green' and whether it is commercially available everywhere in Malaysia.

P/S: I had a hilarious run-in with Dr Razak when I went out for supper tonight!!! Nobody was more embarrassed than my friend though who had to deal with his snarky comments... Hahahhahahaha!! XD

Okay, back to work... I should totally stop being so easily distracted so I can sleep earlier because God knows, I need it.

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