biodiesel vs. diesel

Biodiesel vs Diesel: Common Similarities and Differences


Individuals often mistake biodiesel Vs Diesel. We share common similarities and differences.

The US produced 1.65 billion gallons of biodiesel in 2021

In the bid to create a cleaner and safer environment, alternative sources of energy such as biodiesel are becoming more and more popular.

However, biodiesel and diesel are usually used interchangeably and this may be confusing. Although they may share some common similarities, they’re different in how they’re processed and how their emissions affect the environment

Here’s a biodiesel vs. diesel guide to help you understand how these sources of energy work:

What Exactly is Biodiesel and What is Diesel?

Biodiesel fuel is a vegetable oil or fat-based diesel that burns without emitting soot and Carbon IV Oxide. It’s extracted through a chemical process called transesterification.

There’s also a third-generation of biodiesel made from algae. This is made from organisms inhabiting freshwater and marine environment. However, this biofuel isn’t fully explored though.

On the other hand, diesel is produced when crude oil or petroleum undergo a refining process known as fractional distillation.

Both sources of energy can be used in the diesel engines of vehicles, boats, trains, and even heavy-duty machinery.

Why Use Biodiesel?

Consider the following advantages of using biodiesel as an alternative fuel source:


Biodiesel is considered more environmentally friendly as it has zero emissions.

Diesel fuel, on the other hand, is a major source of air pollution. Its emissions contain harmful compounds that can cause lung cancer.


Biodiesel fuel is a renewable form of energy. It can act as lubrication for the moving parts of your engine to improve the performance of your vehicle or equipment.

Even better, you can use biodiesel fuel on a diesel engine alternatively without damaging the engine.


Biodiesel is an affordable option compared to diesel due to the easy availability of natural resources needed for its processing.


Biodiesel is biodegradable, non-toxic, and easy to use. It also doesn’t contain harmful elements such as sulfur and aromatic hydrocarbons.

Biodiesel vs. Diesel: Know the Difference

With the biodiesel being an alternative to diesel, it does come with a few minor cons, including:


When compared to regular diesel, biodiesel has low energy. This means that more biodiesel is required to emit the same amount of energy as processed diesel. But keep in mind that biofuel is more affordable.


Since biodiesel is a plant-based fuel, valuable crop fields may be used to grow biodiesel crops. With poor planning, this could create food scarcity or a rise in the cost of food.

Go the Environment-Friendly Way With Biodiesel

Looking at this biodiesel vs. diesel guide, it’s evident that biodiesel has the potential to replace or be used in blends with petroleum diesel in the future. This will increase performance and reduce toxic emission significantly.

To know more about alternative fuels and their benefits to the environment check out this blog post.

And if you run a restaurant, food processing facility or commercial kitchen in the California, Oregon, Washington, or Nevada, contact Smart Alternative Fuels to make sure your oil is recycled properly, for free.

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