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What is the process behind biodeisel fuels.

  1. Nov 20, 2007 #1
    Hello all, I was just wondering the process behind biodeisels, because Ive actually set up doing some volunteer work at a place called Blue Ridge Bio Fuels (or something like that) in NC, and I wanted to know more about it, because I know nothing. Actually, the guy I talked to is a major in physics and a mechanical engineer, how lucky, haha.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 20, 2007 #2


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    Why not just read about it on Wikipedia? Or do a search on Google?

  4. Nov 20, 2007 #3

    I find talking about it with people educated in the field happens to be more interesting and over-all better for gaining knowledge, especially since you can have conversations and ask specific questions that wikipedia may not (could possibly though) be able to answer.
  5. Nov 20, 2007 #4


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    I'm not sure how basic you wanted to start out, but perhaps the best way to understand biodiesel is by startign with what you already know about regular diesel. Diesel fuel is (simplified) a complex carbon molecule. These carbon chains bond readily with oxygen, especially the ones with seven carbon atoms. These "heptane" carbon molecules will ignite under pressure without even requiring a spark, and that's diesel fuel. This is, of course, a petroleum product; it comes from oil.

    well, some pretty clever folk appearently made the connection between petrolium oil and vegatble oil, realizing that cooking oikl can be pretty darn flamable too, and decided to try buurning it for fuel in place of petrolium. Crazy thing is, it actually works! Plants that are alive have the same basic compounds in them as plants that have been dead a million years, and they produce oils filled with complex carbon chains, and those chains readily bond with oxygen yielding heat energy as a byproduct. Basically, biodiesel is a fossil fuel that has never been given time to fossilize.
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