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The Benefits of Using Biodiesel for the Environment

Jacob Kingston

Holding a PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Utah, Jacob Kingston serves as the chief executive officer of Washakie Renewable Energy, which he founded in 2007. Jacob Kingston and his team produce and distribute renewable sources of energy, such as biodiesel.

While biodiesel has certain benefits for engineers, such as acting as a cleaner and lubricant, individuals should not ignore its benefits for the environment. The biggest benefit comes with air quality. Emissions from diesel fuel and biodiesel blends are roughly equivalent. However, the carbon dioxide released by combustion of biodiesel is offset by the growing of plant matter, such as soybeans, used to make biodiesel. Thus, use of pure biodiesel can reduce carbon dioxide emission by 74 percent compared to use of pure petroleum diesel. The manufacturing process used to create petroleum diesel generates greenhouse gases instead of offsetting them. In a sense, using biodiesel is a net-zero process.
The other major consideration is the environmental safety of biodiesel. When spilled, petroleum diesel has very deleterious effects on the environment. On the contrary, biodiesel results in much less damage to the environment. In addition, biodiesel has a much higher flashpoint, making it easier to transport, store, and handle.

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