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Biodiesel is a generic name for a diesel replacement fuel that is manufactured from either vegetable oils, animal fats and or recycled cooking oils. Biodiesel is manufactured from naturally occurring fats from plants and animals.

What is Biodiesel



The manufacturing process converts these oils and fats into chemicals called fatty acid methyl esters (FAME) or more commonly biodiesel. Glycerine is a co-product of the biodiesel manufacturing process.

Replacing petroleum derived diesel fuel with biodiesel offers these advantages:

It can be used in most diesel equipment with no modifications or, in some instances, only minor modifications.

It reduces global warming gas emissions.

It reduces tailpipe emissions, particularly the toxic components.

It is essentially free of sulphur, so the emissions do not contribute to acid rain.

It is non-toxic, biodegradable, and suitable for sensitive environments.

It has a higher flashpoint, so it is safer to store and transport.

Biodiesel can be used as a blend in any proportion with petroleum diesel.

In a blend the number following the “B” indicates the percentage of biodiesel, for example B20 is 20% biodiesel blended with petroleum diesel, B5 is 5% biodiesel blended with petroleum diesel.

Starting in Europe, the production and use of biodiesel has developed and become well established in many parts of the world. Annual consumption in Europe is about 3 billion litres.

Initial production in Europe was from rapeseed oil (canola), whereas manufacturers in the US used soybean oil. Further developments have seen the use of animal fats and used cooking oils. Whilst in Asia, palm oil is the principal feedstock.

In 2001, the Australian Government set an objective that biofuels would contribute at least 350 million litres to the total fuel supply by 2010. It is anticipated that biodiesel will be an important component of this volume.
In New Zealand the mandated introduction of biofuels will commence in 2008, with the aim of 3.4% of the total fuel sold in New Zealand to be biofuel by 2012.

Extending Fuel Supply

Our energy future is unlikely to be shaped by one single solution with a mix of renewable fuels, new non-renewable fuels and energy efficiency measures all playing critical roles.


Together with measures such as improving vehicle fuel efficiency, ethanol and biodiesel as additives to gasoline and diesel can help offset some of our demand for petroleum and therefore extend the timeframe for new alternate energy sources to be developed. Importantly this is achieved whilst also reducing emissions and greenhouse gas (GHG's).

The Australian transport sector is very heavily dependent on oil and more so than other developed nations.

Transport fuel accounts for 75% of the oil used in Australia today - and between now and 2029 our self sufficiency in oil will go from 80% to 45% (CSIRO, Biofuels: An Issues Paper, July p2-4)

Click here for chart of Australian Forecast Oil Production 2005-2025.

This is also occurring against an international backdrop of declining new oil discoveries whilst growth in oil demand continues, lead by strong global economic growth. The term “Peak Oil” and how best to manage it at a national level will become an increasingly important debate as the gap between demand and new supply continues to widen.

Click here for chart of The Oil Growing Gap Globally between Past and Future Oil Discoveries.

Carbon Reductions

Life-cycle studies have been undertaken to evaluate the reduction of global warming gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), when biodiesel displaces petroleum diesel.

Based on figures from the Australian Greenhouse Office, BPL will generate a gross saving of CO2e of approximately
85-100,000mt per annum, or the equivalent of removing 21-25,000 passenger vehicles from Australian roads per annum.

Data from The Australian Greenhouse Office show a 37% reduction in the life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions when biodiesel sourced from tallow replaces petroleum diesel and a 90% reduction for biodiesel sourced from used cooking oils. BPL uses a combination of tallow and used cooking oils in its process.

  TRI-CO Energy Group Pty Ltd
Unit 2 / 11 Egham Road
Burswood 6100
Western Australia