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Biodiesel is a renewable, biodegradable fuel that is manufactured using a chemical process which converts oils and fats of natural origins into fatty acid methyl esters (FAME). Biodiesel is designed to be used in standard diesel engines and can be blended with petroleum diesel at various levels or used in its pure form. It provides an environmentally friendlier alternative to traditional fossil fuel diesel as it helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, particulate pollution and dependence on finite oil resources.

The oils and fats used for biodiesel production are typically vegetable oils like soybean oil or canola oil, animal fats, recycled grease, or even algae. The production process involves transesterification, where the glycerin is separated from the fat or vegetable oil, leaving behind methyl esters (the chemical name for biodiesel) and glycerin (a valuable byproduct usually used in soaps and other products).

Biodiesel can be used in any diesel engine when mixed with mineral diesel, and no modifications are necessary for blends of 20% biodiesel (B20) or less. Higher percentages of biodiesel (B100, for example) may require certain engine modifications to avoid maintenance and performance issues due to biodiesel’s different chemical properties.

For those seeking further information on biodiesel, please visit the following websites:

1. National Biodiesel Board (NBB)
The NBB is a U.S.-based trade association representing the biodiesel industry. It’s a good resource for information on biodiesel benefits, standards, policies, and current industry news.

2. U.S. Department of Energy – Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC)
The AFDC provides a wide array of information on alternative fuels, including biodiesel, its production, distribution, usage and vehicle considerations.

Both the provided URLs lead to active websites that offer extensive and updated information about biodiesel, suitable for individuals looking to expand their understanding of this renewable energy resource.

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