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Biodiesel Worldwide

The availability of biodiesel is not widely spread around the world yet, but several countries are involved in this industry, producing and consuming the fuel actively. Nowadays, biodiesel is commercially available in most oil-seed producing states in the United States being somewhat more expensive than fossil diesel, the reason why it is still produced in relatively small quantities in comparison to ethanol and petrodiesel.

Many American farmers who raise oil-seeds use a biodiesel blend in equipment and tractors as a matter of their policy to foster production of fuel and raise public environmental awareness. It is more likely to find biodiesel in rural areas than in cities. In recent years the price of biodiesel in the United States has come down from an average $3.50 per US gallon ($0.92 per liter) in 1997 to $1.85 per US gallon ($0.49 per liter) in 2002. However this price is still slightly higher than petrodiesel which averaged about $1.78 per US gallon ($0.47 per liter) road tax, in the same period.

In Canada, the Ocean Nutrition of Mulgrave, in Nova Scotia produces 6 million gallons, around 23,000 m³ of fatty acid ethyl esters annually as a byproduct of its Omega-3 fatty acid processing for power. Halifax-based Wilson Fuels take the surplus offering blended biodiesel for use in transportation and heating fuel. The Province of Nova Scotia uses biodiesel in some buildings for heating. Private sector uptake is slow in comparison to the United States due to a lack of price differential with petroleum fuel and also a lack of federal and provincial tax rebating.

In South America, Brazil has opened a commercial biodiesel refinery in March 2005 that is capable of producing 12,000 m³, the equivalent of 3.2 million US gallons per year of biodiesel fuel. Feedstocks used can be a variety of soybeans, sunflower seeds, or castor beans. The finished product will be a blend of gas oil with 2% biodiesel and it is expected 5% biodiesel, both usable in unmodified diesel engines after 2011. Biodiesel is widely used throughout Europe and is accepted by the stringent US EPA as an alternative fuel.

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Thursday, July 18, 2024