Why is Biodiesel produced by a chemical process?
Most commonly derived from vegetable oils undergoing a specific chemical process, biodiesel is typically a long chain of fatty acids. Crops such as canola, soybean, sunflower and safflower are possessed with the ability to be converted to an excellent form of biodiesel fuel which can perfectly be an alternate source for fuel supply. Biodiesel can also be produced using animal fats and other recycled greases that is also found to be effective in reducing particulate, carbon monoxide, and hydrocarbon levels emitted from diesel-powered engines and vehicles.
Biodiesel is produced from the process of transesterification or alcoholysis. In its chemical nomenclature, biodiesel is either called methyl ester or ethyl ester, depending on what type of alcohol comes in reaction with vegetable oil. Under the process of transesterification, the organic group RÃ¢â‚¬Âof an ester exchanges with the organic RÃ¢â‚¬Â group of an alcohol. And only in the presence of a catalyst, such as an acid or a base, can transesterification produce a biodiesel form of fuel. If the catalyst present is a natural acid, a reaction takes place by the addition of proton to the carbonyl group making the group a potent electrophile. However, if the catalyst is in its alkaline form, a reaction to produce biodiesel fuel is achieved by removing a proton from the alcohol and therefore makes the alcohol group nucleophilic. This process is typical of a chemical process. With two substances present, ester and alcohol, a reaction occurs only when a catalyst, an acid or a base, is present producing a new substance, biodiesel. This new substance, the biodiesel fuel, is unique and distinct from its two components and possesses a property which cannot be converted back to its two original forms of substances, unless another chemical process is performed.