The biodiesel quiz will test your knowledge about biodiesel components, biofuel history and biodiesel pros and cons. Take the quiz and see how much you know about how biodiesel works.
Biodiesel sales have steadily risen -- along with oil prices -- from 500,000 gallons sold in 1999 to 250 million in 2006.
Although biodiesel can be used in its pure form, it's usually blended with standard diesel fuel. Blends are indicated by the abbreviation Bxx, where xx is the percentage of biodiesel in the mixture.
Since the "xx" in the fuel grade refers to the percentage of biofuel in the mixture, B100 means 100 percent biodiesel.
The common thread shared by all biodiesel sources is that they all contain fat in some form.
Raw fat or oil must first undergo a series of chemical reactions in order to become fuel. There are a few different ways to make biodiesel, but most manufacturing facilities produce industrial biodiesel through a process called transesterification.
During transesterification, the triacylglycerol is transformed to form esters and glycerol. The esters that remain are what we then call biodiesel.
Henry Ford expected his Model T to run on ethanol, a corn product, but petroleum entered the picture and proved to be the most logical fuel source.
Biodiesel can be used in most diesel engines, not gasoline ones.
B100 can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 78 percent and lower the carcinogenic properties of diesel fuel by 94 percent.
In some engines, using biodiesel can cause a slight decrease in fuel economy and power. On average, there is about a 10 percent reduction in power. In other words, it takes about 1.1 gallons of biodiesel to equal 1 gallon of standard diesel.