Biodiesel is the name for a variety of ester-based oxygenated fuels derived from natural, renewable biological sources such as vegetable oils edible as well as non-edibles and agricultural waste like rice husk etc. Biodiesel operates in compression ignition engines like petroleum diesel thereby requiring no essential engine modifications.
Moreover it can maintain the payload capacity and range of conventional diesel. Unlike fossil diesel, pure biodiesel is biodegradable, nontoxic and essentially free of sulphur and aromatics. The concept of using vegetable oil as a fuel dates back to 1895 when present day Diesel inventor, Dr. Rudolf Diesel himself developed first diesel engine to run on vegetable oil. Biodiesel as automotive fuel has similar properties to petro-diesel and as such can be directly used in existing diesel engines with no modifications.