Volume 55 (2006) Issue 10 Pages 487-502
Biodiesel is an eco-friendly, alternative diesel fuel prepared from domestic renewable resources i.e. vegetable oils (edible or non-edible oil) and animal fats, that runs in diesel engines-cars, buses, trucks, construction equipment, boats, generators, and oil home heating units. Biodiesel has been gaining worldwide popularity as an alternative energy source because it is non toxic, biodegradable & non flammable. Various edible and non edible oils, like rice bran oil, coconut oil, Jatropha curcas, castor oil, cottonseed oil, mahua, karanja which are either surplus and are nonedible type can be used for preparation of biodiesel. Biodiesel can be used either in the pure form or as blends on conventional petrodiesel in automobiles without any major modifications. Its biodegradability makes it eco-friendly. It may lead to a revolutionary transformation of the current economic & energy scenario with an era of economic bloom & prosperity for our society. This review paper describes the production, its properties, composition and future potential of biodiesel.