Biodiesel is produced from different vegetable oils. Up to 90-95% of biodiesel can be produced from any vegetable oil. The main advantage of biodiesel is that it can be used in existing diesel engines with little or no modification
Palm oil in Malaysia and Thailand, coconut oil in Philippines, jatropha and pungam oil in India, mustard oil in Europe, soya bean oil in US and canola oil in Canada are used for biodiesel production. There is a great possibility that the oil production will be increased due to its demand to meet the food and fuel requirements.
On the contrary, some of the important edible oils like palm, coconut and mustard are already in demand and in short supply. The demand for biodiesel will lead to increased production of these oils, owing to its commercial value in the market. This in turn will aggravate the shortage of oil supply for edible purpose.
Hence, the raw materials used for biodiesel production depend on the national policy of each country. This has led to international controversies and a lot of debate. Several organizations are stressing the importance of sustainability in biofuel production. Sustainable palm oil production for food and fuel industry is also triggering several debates.
Hence, certain countries have banned biodiesel production from edible oil. For example, in India, only jatropha and pungam are used for biodiesel production. R&D efforts are still going on related to the yield, cropping pattern, etc. of these crops.
Also Biodiesel production raises a lot of concern due to increased land requirement, deforestation and threat to biodiversity. Some organizations are working on these criteria including the standards and processes for sustainable biodiesel production.
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