News and information about Biodiesel & alternative fuels.


Straight Up

Eric over at Schoebiz posted an easy-to-understand piece on the composition of biodiesel:
"I guess they use the word "bio" because the ingredients come from biological sources. The ingredients are methanol, lye, and fat. You can make this stuff out of waste vegetable oil (WVO) from a Burger King. Fat is just a series of triglycerides. A triglyceride is comprised of three (tri) fatty acid chains and one glycerine molecule. When you mix the lye and methanol with the triglycerides, the lye breaks up the glycerine from the three fatty acid chains it’s connected to. Then the methanol comes in and connects with all the broken up fatty acid chains. So the final product is basically a whole lot of methyl esters (a methanol combined with a fatty acid chain) mixed in with some leftover lye and glycerine. Once you wash the solution and drain out the extra shit, you have pure methyl esters. And that's all biodiesel is. But let me tell you, these methyl esters are crazy. I mean, you can run a freaking car on them."
Right on, Eric.