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Business: Industrial

Biodiesel

What is biodiesel?
Benefits
Applications
Availability and Cost
Safety and Performance
Research
Government Programs and Regulations
Links

Benefits

Environmental

Tailpipe GHG emissions are only slightly lower using biodiesel over petrodiesel, however, over the life cycle – from growing oilseeds or collecting and rendering animal waste through fuel production and use – pure biodiesel is estimated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 80 percent compared with petroleum diesel, depending on what oil or fat is used to make it. A 20 percent blend of biodiesel with petroleum diesel (B-20) can produce over 16 percent fewer emissions, and a 2 percent blend (B-2) can produce nearly 2 percent fewer emissions. As well, by converting certain waste products into biodiesel, they are diverted from landfill sites where they may have produced methane gas, which contributes to climate change.

Biodiesel itself is composed of 11 percent oxygen by mass and is almost sulphur-free.

Societal and economic

Biodiesel can be produced from local, renewable resources – either agricultural products or agro-industry residues such as slaughterhouse waste, recycled cooking oil, non-food-grade virgin oil or agricultural surplus. This can provide new value for products that were once destined for a landfill site, creating new markets for local industries and reducing government's and industry's disposal costs.