What Biodiesel Problems Loom on the Horizon?

It is to be expected that we will encounter biodiesel problems as a greater emphasis on the production of this alternative form of fuel is pursued. Here are some examples of issues that are faced today in the manufacturing and the consumption of biodiesel as an alternative to using petroleum based fuels.

Perhaps the most immediate issue has to do with the availability of raw materials to use in the production of biodiesel. While all the substances that can be used are renewable rather than limited sources, the fact is that the world currently does not produce anywhere near the amount of plant based oils needed to replace the contemporary use of fossil fuels. In order for biodiesel to be a viable alternative for eliminating the use of dwindling petroleum based sources of making fuel, the world will need to rethink its views on agriculture and in many cases make some significant changes in how we use our growing lands today. This will require some careful and detailed research into environmental issues, identifying both the benefits and the disadvantages of growing more crops.

There is also the issue of maintaining engines that can use biodiesel. One of the drawbacks to the biodiesel that is currently being produced is the effect that the fuel has on rubber. A conventional car engine uses a lot of rubber, especially in the form of gaskets and hoses. Biodiesel fuel speeds up the deterioration rate for rubber, which can lead to the need to change out hoses more frequently, as well as create some costly mechanic work when those rubber gaskets used with fuel injector systems begin to fall apart. Development of alternative substances that can do the job that rubber currently handles in engines will be essential to making biodiesel a more attractive option to the consumer.

All known issues with biodiesel are being addressed and resolutions are being researched. The production of biodiesel is already light years ahead of where it was twenty years ago. We can expect that further research will eventually resolve the biodiesel problems we know about today, as well as correct any future issues.

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