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Educate >Biodiesel: the leading alternative fuel > Glossary Terms

Below are a list of terms I collected during this project:

Biodiesel - "Biofuel" - An environmentally safe, low polluting fuel for most diesel internal combustion and turbine engines. It can be mixed with petroleum fuel and stored anywhere petroleum is. It is made from fresh or waste vegetable oils (triglycerides) that are a renewable energy source.

Dispersion - A stable or unstable system of fine particles, larger than colloidal size, evenly distributed in a medium.

Glycerin (CH2-OH--CH-OH--CH2-OH)- A byproduct of Biodiesel production. Each of the "OH" sites is one of the three places where an ester is broken off of the triglyceride molecule (veg. oil).

Hygroscopic - absorbing or attracting moisture from the air.

SVO (Straight Vegetable Oil) - Burns well in many diesels, but does not start engine, A separate tank of petrol diesel or Biodiesel is often used during starting and stopping engine, and an electric valve allows transfer to the SVO tank.

 Transesterfication - Process of creating esters from vegetable oil (a triglyceride), and sodium methoxide. Products are Glycerin, Methyl Stearate, Methyl Oleate, and Methyl Linoleate (assuming soy oil is used).

Triglyceride - an ester obtained from glycerol by the esterification of three hydroxyl groups with fatty acids, naturally occurring in animal and vegetable tissues: an important energy source forming much of the fat stored by the body.

 WVO (Waste Vegetable Oil) - WVO is the usual starting product for the making of Biodiesel. It may be hot-water-washed for use as SVO.


This site was created by Keian Wilson (email) who is a student at Millersville University of Pennsylvania

Last updated on February 10, 2008

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