Biodiesel is a renewable diesel fuel substitute. It can be made from a variety of natural oils and fats. Biodiesel is made by chemically combining any natural oil or fat with an alcohol such as methanol or ethanol. Methanol has been the most commonly used alcohol in the commercial production of biodiesel. In Europe, biodiesel is widely available in both its neat form (100% biodiesel, also know as B100) and in blends with petroleum diesel. European biodiesel is made predominantly from rapeseed oil (a cousin of canola oil). In the U.S., initial interest in producing and using biodiesel has focused on the use of soybean oil as the primary feedstock mainly because the U.S. is the largest producer of soybean oil in the world.

Contact Information
Contact Person: 
John Sheehan
Contact Organization: 
NREL
Publication Information
Author: 
Sheehan, J.
Publication Year: 
1997
DOE Information
Bioenergy Category: