The global biodiesel market is slated for a huge growth in the next few years, not only because of the growing environmental concerns, but also because of the surging prices for non-renewable sources of energy, such as petroleum. Governments are enhancing the use of biodiesel across the globe and many countries have initiated merging of conventional diesel with a percentage of biodiesel.
The development of alternative fuels is due to the limited availability and surging prices of petroleum products such as petrol, diesel and LPG. The major advantage of biodiesel is that, it enhances the life of the engine, and unlike petroleum, it does not pollute the environment. Biodiesel refers to diesel fuel that is animal fat-based or vegetable oil based and consists of long-chain alkyl esters (ethyl, methyl or propyl). Biodiesel is made by chemically reacting lipids (soybean oil, animal fat (tallow), and vegetable oil with fatty acid esters which produce alcohol.
Agricultural and transportation sector is one of the major consumers of fossil fuels and main supplier to environmental pollution, which can be reduced by replacing renewable fuels such as biodiesel, instead of mineral based fuels. Biodiesel contains no petroleum products, but it is compatible with conventional diesel and can be blended in any proportion with mineral diesel to create a stable biodiesel mix. Biodiesel is eco-friendly, non-toxic and basically free from sulfur; it is renewable and can be produced from plant resources and agriculture. Biodiesel is an alternative fuel, which has a correlation with sustainable development, environmental preservation, energy conservation, efficiency and management.
Biodiesel is used in diesel engines, and is thus different from the waste and vegetable oils used to fuel converted diesel engines. Blends of biodiesel are also used as heating oil in space heating applications.
Growth of the global biodiesel market is the fact that they are obtained from biological processes and can be manufactured using any form of oil-rich crop such as oil palm, soy or sunflower. These crops are grown naturally in all the regions across the world, hence, making biofuels the most eco-friendly form of energy resource to use.
Biodiesel, made from a variety of resources (including plant oils such as soybean oil and animal fats, recycled cooking oil) is the first Energy Policy Act (EPAct) designated “advanced biofuel” to reach commercial-scale production nationwide. According to the Energy Policy Act, biodiesel minimizes greenhouse gas emissions by 57% to 86% compared to petroleum.
The global biodiesel market is mainly driven by rising concern of energy security and fossil fuel prices. Biodiesel is a direct substitute for fossil fuel, and irrespective of the ongoing confusion in the biofuels sector regarding the sustenance, quality of raw materials, and significant slowdown in investment, the global biodiesel market will continue to grow at a steady rate. The top five biodiesel producers in the world are the U.S., Germany, France, Argentina and Brazil. Australia is the largest producer of biodiesel in the Asia Pacific, followed by China and India.
Some of the major competitors of the global biodiesel market are Poet, Llc , Archer Daniels Midland Company, Flint Hills Resources LP, The Andersons, Inc., Raizen, Copersucar , and Abengoa. Other developing economies like Europe, China, Russia, and India are also experiencing steady development and are expected to show an increase in stability in near future.
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