By: Franyi Sarmiento, Ph.D., Inspenet, August 10, 2022
On a day like today, August 10, but in 1893, the first engine model designed by the German engineer Rudolph Diesel, using palm oil as fuel, went into operation. In commemoration of this fact, this date was declared International Biodiesel Day.
Engineer Diesel was so convinced about the use of vegetable sources, that in a speech in 1912 he expressed that: “The use of vegetable oils for engine fuel may seem insignificant today, but such oils may become, in the course of time, important substitutes for the petroleum and coal of our days”.
It is this conviction in favor of biofuels that has inspired today’s celebration of International Biodiesel Day.
Biodiesel is a fuel obtained from natural lipids, such as vegetable oils or animal fats, and is used as a substitute for fossil fuels derived from petroleum.
A variant of biodiesel is renewable diesel, which consists of the reaction at high temperature and pressure and in the presence of hydrogen of vegetable oils and animal fats into paraffinic hydrocarbons, mimicking the molecules of fossil diesel fuel.
By using plant-based raw materials instead of fossil fuels, when considering the complete emissions cycle, biodiesel and renewable diesel achieve an 80% reduction in emissions compared to conventional petroleum-derived diesel fuel.
This material from the Bioeconomia.info portal was edited for clarity, style and length.