The following terms are general to the understanding of biofuels.
Acid: a solution that has an excess of hydrogen ions (H+)
Alcohol: an alcohol is an organic compound with a carbon
bound to a hydroxyl group, such as methanol (CH3OH) and ethanol (CH3CH2OH).
Aromatic: a chemical which has a benzene ring in its molecular structure, such as benzene,
toluene and xylene, which have strong characteristic odors.
B20: a mixture of 20% biodiesel and 80% of petroleum diesel, based upon volume.
Base: a solution which has an excess of hydroxide ions
(OH-) in aqueous solution.
a fuel comprised of mono-alkyl esters of long chain fatty acids derived from vegetable oils, animal fats or used cooking oils,
meeting the requirements of ASTM D 6751. B100 or any percentage blend with petroleum diesel may be used in compression
ignition engines without engine modification.
Biofuels: biomass converted to liquid or gaseous fuels such as methanol, ethanol, methane, biodiesel and
Carbon Dioxide: (CO2)
a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas produced by respiration and combustion of carbon-based fuels.
Carbon Monoxide: (CO) a colorless, odorless, poisonous gas produced
by incomplete combustion of fuels.
a substance which increases the rate of a chemical reaction, without being consumed or produced by the reaction. Sodium
Hydroxide and Potassium Hydroxide are catalysts for the production of biodiesel.
Combustion: a chemical reaction between a fuel and oxygen which produces heat.
Ester: an ester is a compound formed from
the reaction between and acid and an alcohol. In esters of carboxylic acids, the –COOH group of the acid and the
–OH group of the alcohol lose water and become a –COO- linkage.
Ethanol: (CH3CH2OH) a colorless, flammable liquid produced by fermentation of sugars
which is used as a fuel oxygenate.
a fatty acid is a carboxylic acid, an acid with a –COOH group, with long hydrocarbon side chains.
Glycerin: (C3H8O3) a liquid by-product of biodiesel production
which is used in the production of dynamite, cosmetics, liquid soaps, inks and lubricants.
Hydrocarbon: (HC) an organic compound which contains only hydrogen and carbon. In vehicle
emissions, these are usually vapors created from incomplete combustion or from vaporization of liquids such as gasoline.
Nitrogen Oxides: (NOx) a product of photochemical
reactions of nitric oxide in ambient air which is the major component of photochemical smog.
Non-Renewable Resource: a non-renewable energy resource is one which cannot be replaced as
it is used such as coal, oil and their refined derivatives.
Organic Compound: an organic compound contains carbon chemically bound to hydrogen.
Oxygenate: an oxygenate is a compound which contains oxygen
in its molecular structure. Ethanol, methanol and biodiesel act as oxygenates when blended with conventional petroleum-based
fuels. Oxygenated fuel improves combustion efficiency and reduces tailpipe emissions.
Particulate Matter: a fine liquid or solid particle such as smoke, dust, mist, or fumes
found in air or engine emissions as a result of incomplete burning of fuels.
Reaction: a chemical reaction is a dissociation, recombination or rearrangement of
Toxics: as defined by
the Clear Air Act of 1990, as amended, toxics include benzene, 1,3 butadiene, formaldehyde, acetaldehyde, and polycyclic organic
Transesterification: a chemical
process which reacts an alcohol with the triglycerides contained in vegetable oils and animal fats to produce biodiesel and
ester of glycerol and three fatty acids. Most animal fats are composed primarily of triglycerides.