It still produces exhaust like any other fuel but it is renewable. It does not require any drilling so it prevents that toll on the environment. It also can prevent the waste of what would typically be considered useless like old cooking oil. So all in all, it’s cleaner than any other fuel out there.
Biodiesel is a clean burning fuel, and it is the only alternative type of fuel that meets the requirements of the Clean Air Act. It is 78% cleaner than regular diesel (it emits 78% less CO2). It is biodegradable and nontoxic. So, it seems to be pretty clean, although not as clean as hydrogen or electric power.
I do think that biodiesel is a clean fuel because when its source is considered, the proces of processing it is not ‘dirty’ and as well what is produced as exhaust gas can be conveniently managed. If all automobile fuel is biodiesel, there may not be influx of Carbon dioxide and Carbon monoxide as well as Sulphur into the atmosphere.
According to a Cornell and University of CA – Berkeley study, biodiesel is not worth all of the effort. Considering pesticides are used on the crops to make the biodiesel, then that is one count against it as well. There have been accounts of widespread pollution problems with biodiesel plants – especially in Iowa. The thing is about biodiesel, is that if it is not produced in the right way, it can have immediate and adverse affects to soil, groundwater, and air pollutants. Of course, this is what a lot of energy-producing plants do in one way or another, but you figure you’d expect more from what was intended to be more of a “planet-friendly” alternative.
Don’t misconstrue Princelyke’s answer – biodiesel definitely produces carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases when it is burned, mostly because it is almost always mixed with a good deal of regular diesel. As the linked article states, “the most common blend is B20, or 20 percent biodiesel to 80 percent standard.”
krich11 is correct that there are cleaner fuels out there that have a lot of potential. Methane gas produced from biogas digesters – which take animal or human waste and harness the methane gas produced as the waste is decomposed by bacteria – can be used to run a car, as Harold Bate has been doing with chicken manure since the 1970s.
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