Biodiesel is a new technology for the production of fuel. Biodiesel is made by converting an organic matter, such as vegetable oil or even algae into diesel. It is a simple process, but fascinating at the same time because of the impact biodiesel could have, not only on the economy but on the environment as well.
Because this is such a new technology, the production of biodiesel is being heavily researched. Recently an interesting study was done on biodiesel fuel that was produced from soybean soapstock. Soapstock is a byproduct of vegetable oil refining. Soapstock is the result of using industrial substances to get edible oil from seeds. These seeds include cotton or sunflower of safflower. It is an amber-colored, rather sticky substance, but it is produced in abundance every single year.
Researchers have been trying to see how well soapstock and biodiesel will hold up to conventional biodiesel. Preliminary findings are encouraging. It has been found that producing biodiesel fuel from soybean soapstock is comparable to existing biodiesel in engine performance, composition and emissions.
If research in soapstock and biodiesel continues to show such favorable findings that would mean that the millions of pounds of soapstock that is produced each year can begin to be used to produce biodiesel fuel. Two industries that currently this soapstock are animal feed producers and soapmakers. In some states soybean oil soapstock is used on gravel roads is used to control dust. This is popular with the states because soybean oil soapstock is biodegradable and friendly to the environment. However, if another use is found for it, such as biodiesel, there is plenty to go around.
It is encouraging that there are other products, such as hair gel are being considered for using up all this soapstock. Keep a watch on the growth of this technology. Not only for the obvious environmental benefits, but these may prove to be excellent investment opportunities for those so inclined.