What is Biodiesel

Biodiesel is a domestic, renewable fuel for diesel engines. Made from agricultural co-products and byproducts such as soybean oil, other natural oils, and greases, it is an advanced biofuel. To be called biodiesel, it must meet the strict quality specifications of ASTM D 6751. Biodiesel can be used in any blend with petroleum diesel fuel.

The technical definitions for Biodiesel and Biodiesel Blend are:

Biodiesel, n – a fuel comprised of mono-alkyl esters of long chain fatty acids derived from vegetable oils or animal fats, designated B100, and meeting the requirements of ASTM D 6751.

Biodiesel Blend, n – a blend of biodiesel fuel meeting ASTM D 6751 with petroleum-based diesel fuel, designated BXX, where XX represents the volume percentage of biodiesel fuel in the blend.

The worlds energy needs could increase 50% by 2030. Globally, fossil fuels continue to dominate the fuel mix. This increase in fossil fuel use creates a reliance on imports for oil and gas [1]. Lacking a reliable and affordable fuel supply creates a dependence that is bad for a nations national security, economy, and environment.

It is expected that over the next 15 to 20 years we may see biofuels providing a full 25 percent of the world’s energy needs  Biofuels are renewable, cost-competitive, and global-warming conscious fuels that could be produced from plants. Scientists, farmers and auto experts agree that, if they’re grown and produced properly, biofuels can help free us from our reliance on imported fossil fuels.

Biofuel can be broadly defined as solid, liquid, or gas fuel consisting of, or derived from biomass. Biomass refers to living and recently dead biological material that can be used as fuel. Most commonly, biomass refers to plant matter grown for use as biofuel. It excludes organic material which has been transformed by geological processes into substances such as coal or petroleum. Biomass is grown from several plants, including miscanthus, switchgrass, hemp, corn, poplar, willow and sugarcane. The particular plant used is usually not very important to the end products, but it does affect the processing of the raw material. Production of biomass is a growing industry as interest in sustainable fuel sources is growing.

Biofuels can be divided into three main categories:

The first, conventional, or “first generation” biofuels can currently be produced at commercial scales. Their CO2 mission reduction is about half of the emission of fossil fuels, because the production of fuels and corresponding crops requires a lot of energy. The most important first generation biofuels are: Biodiesel, Pure Vegetable Oil, and Bioethanol(from sugar and starch crops).

The second, advanced, or “second generation” biofuels contain advanced fuel production technologies, with which low-value agricultural crops and residues can be converted into fuels. This makes their CO2 performance better than that of first generation biofuels. These fuel production technologies are not yet available on a fully commercial scale, therefore the fuels are expected to enter the market in the coming five to ten years. The key second generation biofuels are: Fischer-Tropsch diesel, Bioethanol (from lignocellulosic biomass), HTU diesel, Biomethanol, Bio-DME, Bio-SNG (via biomass gasification), and Biohydrogen (via biomass gasification).

The third, Algae fuel, also called oilgae or “third generation” biofuel, is a biofuel from algae. Algae are low-cost/high-yield (30 times more energy per acre than land) feedstocks to produce biofuels and algae fuel are biodegradable. [3] [4]

Rilla Biofuels LLC is primarily focused on creating and helping others create biodiesel However, our consultant and owner Joe Martelle through his work in the US auto industry is also well versed in E85 and it is our intent to explore the marketability of other biofuels as time goes on.