Stand on one foot with your arms extended outwards. Now touch your nose. Now tell me everything you know about biodiesel contamination. If you're like me, you didn't need the first two distractions to make the last request difficult. So, let us take a moment to explore this peculiar phrase: we are living in the 21st century. A new age, heralding new discoveries and technologies, is upon us! Sounds good, doesn't it? |
Let us first go back in time. One of my boyhood friend's family cars ran on diesel. At the time, being the 1980's, diesel was much cheaper than gasoline, and in the suburbs, there was almost never a line at the diesel pump. As novel as this was when stopping for gas on road trips to amusement parks, little did I know that this fuel was the lifeblood of our country: 18-wheelers crossing the continent carrying their wares, pulling into truck stops, and filling their tanks with plenty left over for a cup of joe and a pack of smokes. Good times are here again! But alas, all good things must come to an end. Due to the economics of supply and demand now that there are more trucks on the road, not only has the price of diesel surpassed that of gasoline, but also - as it is considered a pollutant of the worst kind - our increasing reliance upon it. This is evident by the price hike and has fostered a greater need to find an alternative.
As we come back to the 21st century, a move to produce a cleaner yet compatible fuel resulted in the increasing production of biodiesel. Made from vegetable oil and animal fats, it's not only more eco-friendly, but it also reduces our reliance on foreign oil while strengthening an American-owned industrial base. Oh, brave new world! But wait, don't break out the party favors just yet. This seemingly miraculous fuel substitute does have its drawbacks, namely something called biodiesel contamination. No need to panic! It's not some airborne malignancy; you don't need to send your kids to school wearing surgical masks. Very simply, without putting you to sleep with scientific jargon, for different reasons, biodiesel can be chemically inclined to absorb water. This absorption can decrease the effectiveness of biodiesel in terms of power, and over time, it will debilitate an engine's performance. This dark cloud over our petroleum counterpart, however, is not insurmountable. As one industry grows and begins to face problems, others sprout up with solutions, such as water-in-oil sensors and advanced filtration methods.
As technologies are rising to combat this dreaded biodiesel contamination that you may be reading about for the first time, it may never reach water cooler proportions. Thus, your children may grow up blissfully ignorant of its existence and drive around in their eco-friendly vehicles seeing the world through rose-colored windshields.
Companies concerned about biodiesel contamination can find more information from http://www.wilksir.com/products/biodiesel-blend-analyzers.html.
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