By definition, biodiesel fuel is basically a natural and renewable fuel that is non-toxic and biodegradable, as it does not contain any petroleum. Made from vegetable oils such as soy and corn, it is a fuel alternative for diesel engines, though the latter is still far more commonly used because of various factors.
Since biodiesel fuel does not contain any petroleum and is non-toxic, it burns cleanly. This is one of its most important characteristics, since the combustion of other fuels release pollutants in the air that deal some serious damage to the ozone, which consequently leads to global warming. Pollutants also contribute to smog. The harmful consequences of burning fuels such as diesel are what make biodiesel fuel so important. Since it burns cleanly, it does not harm the ozone, does not contribute to smog and emits around 85 percent less cancer-causing agents in the atmosphere. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved biodiesel fuel. Additionally, this alternate fuel has successfully passed every single Health-Effects Test of the Clean Air Act.
While most of the commonly used fuels are made of fossils, biodiesel is made from vegetable oils. Alcohol such as methanol is used in the chemical process that separates methyl esters and glycerine from the vegetable oils or fats. Glycerine is a waste product, but that is hardly a probably, since it is used in the formation of marketable products such as soaps.
One of the biggest downsides to biodiesel fuel is the amount of investment and time that is required to grow crops that are utilised for making biodiesel fuel. These crops need to be grown first, then shipped to a local station and then treated with alcohol. This consequently increases the cost of the fuel alternative, making petroleum a more popular choice.