Soy Biodiesel – the Energy of the Future


The popularity of this environmentally friendly type of fuel has been growing recently in European countries and in the USA. Specialists believe that widespread adoption of biodiesel will strengthen the global economy and conserve fossil oil reserves

Soybean biodiesel represents a completely untapped area of the soybean market.

Biodiesel is an inexhaustible, renewable fuel supply that can be made from virtually any oil – be it vegetable or animal derived.

Biodiesel can even be made from used restaurant oil. In the U.S., soybeans have become the leading source of biodiesel because U.S. farmers produce thousands of tons of soybeans each year, and each soybean contains about 20% oil. Today, about 50% of all biodiesel in the U.S. is made from soybean oil.

Soybean farmers have contributed to the industry by testing biodiesel for performance and creating quality standards. Biodiesel is growing in popularity in the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, it is the only alternative fuel that meets all the requirements of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendment. Because of this, the prospects for increased soybean production are bright.

Currently, the main volumes of biodiesel are produced in South Dakota, and the main consumers of biodiesel are farmers. Biodiesel can be called the fuel of the future. It can be pure, 100% biodiesel, or it can be a fuel additive – such blends are called B5, B20, etc. The number here refers to the percentage of biodiesel to petroleum diesel. B20 is 20% biodiesel to 80% petrodiesel. The most common blends are B5 and B20.

Biodiesel does not require significant engine modifications, and it is also highly lubricating, which slows engine wear and reduces maintenance costs. Biodiesel is derived from renewable resources – this means that using biodiesel will allow us to save fossil oil and strengthen the economy.

Biodiesel poses no threat to the environment or human life. It is non-toxic and biologically inert; it decomposes quickly in nature like sugar. The combustion products of biodiesel are environmentally friendly, which compares favorably with petroleum diesel fuel. Biodiesel can even be drunk, although it does not taste like the best beverage. To produce biodiesel, soybean oil undergoes a chemical process of transesterification, during which the methyl esters (the actual biodiesel) are separated from glycerin (this byproduct can be used to make soap).