Quality

The German Act on Renewable Energy (Erneuerbare Energien Gesetz – EEG) provides that a minimum of 20% of the electricity supply in Germany must be generated from renewable sources until the year 2020. Its share in the entire electricity consumption in Germany rose to 10.2 percent in 2005 compared to 9.5 percent in the previous year. Vegetable oil has the highest energy density of photosynthesis compared to solid biological materials (wood, straw) and biogas. Its energy density of approx. 9.2 kWh per litre, ranges almost exactly in the middle between petrol (8.6 kWh/l) and diesel (9.8 kWh/l). However, contrary to petrol and diesel, vegetable oil is regenerative, CO2-neutral and free of sulphur, heavy metals and radioactivity. It only consists of carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and some oxygen (O) in a ratio of approx. C60H120O6. The additional manufacturing steps required to produce biodiesel make it more expensive in production and in the market, than its basic material, vegetable oil. Compared to vegetable oil and diesel fuel, biodiesel also has a lower energy value which results in a higher volume consumption of 5 – 8 %. Apart from the other benefits, a significant advantage resulting from the use of vegetable oil for energy generation are its low costs and the high availability. As a lower number of production steps are required, consumers are able to procure the goods from several, decentralized providers and thus make use of cost benefits.