Biodiesel refers to a vegetable oil- or animal fat-based diesel fuel consisting of long-chain alkyl (methyl, ethyl, or propyl) esters. Biodiesel is typically made by chemically reacting lipids (e.g., vegetable oil, soybean oil, animal fat with an alcohol producing fatty acid esters.
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 in any proportions. Biodiesel blends can also be used as heating oil.
Blends of biodiesel and conventional hydrocarbon-based diesel are products most commonly distributed for use in the retail diesel fuel marketplace. Much of the world uses a system known as the “B” factor to state the amount of biodiesel in any fuel mix:
- 100% biodiesel is referred to as B100
- 20% biodiesel, 80% petrodiesel is labeled B20
- 5% biodiesel, 95% petrodiesel is labeled B5
- 2% biodiesel, 98% petrodiesel is labeled B2
Blends of 20% biodiesel and lower can be used in diesel equipment with no, or only minor modifications, although certain manufacturers do not extend warranty coverage if equipment is damaged by these blends. The B6 to B20 blends are covered by the ASTM D7467 specification. Biodiesel can also be used in its pure form (B100), but may require certain engine modifications to avoid maintenance and performance problems.
In Vietnam, the biodiesle production has never been attempted. Recently Envitech Corp are corporating with Hanoi National University in manufaturing the first ever biodiesel plant production. Below are the plant overall persepctive renderings: