Essay by AK47LivingJunior High, 8th gradeA-, February 2006

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1. What is biodiesel and how is it made?

Biodiesel is a renewable source of fuel, and is an alternative to petroleum. It's base is vegetable oil, and it runs in diesel engines. Usually made from soy, rapeseed, fryer, or canola oil, it can also be made by various other plants or seeds that produce oil. These are all grown domestically, and would greatly reduce dependence on Arab countries for oil. It order to make it proper for use, it must go through a production process which takes out extra fatty acids and turns the oil into esters, which are certain chemical compounds. After this process, the biodiesel acts very much like petroleum diesel, but with much more desirable traits.

2. How does it effect the environment?

It is much kinder on the environment than petroleum diesel is, because it is basically processed vegetable oil. Most of its emissions are harmless to the ozone layer, because it is carbon-neutral.

However, the emission of nitroxide occurs with biodiesel, but that greatly outweighs the harmful emissions of petroleum diesel. The exhaust is also not nauseating, and smells somewhat like fried foods. Since it is non-toxic, spills into rivers or water reservoirs are a lot less harmful than petroleum diesel. It is also beneficial to the environment, because instead of using these fossil fuels, which we will probably run out of in a few decades due to availability, we will be using the oil from several crops, which is sustainable and renewable.

3. How efficient is it?

It is a renewable source, which means that we can keep growing these crops to create biodiesel. The oil per seed is quite efficient, especially that of the rapeseed, which can be used to create biodiesel. In terms of efficiency, biodiesel in...