Biodiesel is one of the most significant achievements that humankind has ever made. It might not be widely used as of yet, and its benefits might not be widely accepted, but the comparison of its vastly superior performance alongside gasoline and diesel is excellent.
One of the amazing things about biodiesel is that it can be made from a wide range of sources. In order to properly “farm” it, we would need to harvest crops that have high potential to be transformed into biofuel, such as corn, rapeseed, switchgrass and soy – but those are not at all the only resources we can use to generate it.
A company called Ever Cat has been collecting cooking oil from all sorts of facilities – schools, hospitals, bakeries, restaurants, etc. – and has been converting it into biodiesel. Since they began converting resources into biofuel back in 2009, they have produced over 3 million gallons of biofuel, and they began collecting cooking oil for conversion to biofuel in 2011.
Ever Cat company spokesman Dave Wendorf has said that one gallon of cooking grease can be converted into roughly the same amount of biodiesel.
Aside from being far easier and faster to create than fossil fuels, biodiesel has a much higher level of lubricity than does diesel fuel. Since the early 90s, many chemicals and compounds deemed too toxic for inclusion in the process of making diesel fuel were removed, and in doing so, much of diesel’s lubricity was removed with it. In a study performed by Stanadyne to determine biodiesel lubricity in comparison to that of kerosene or diesel, it was shown that only 1-2% of biodiesel was needed in order to bring diesel fuel up to a desirable lubricity level.
1-2%! If that’s not proof of the awesome capabilities of biodiesel, I’m at a loss to figure out what would be.
The fact of the matter is that industrial grease is the most efficient fuel source that humans currently have. It might not be economically viable to mass produce it at this point, but it is certainly something that warrants more testing, more investment, and far more respect from human society at large. Not only would our cities, our farms, our factories and our vehicles be much cleaner if we were to all begin to use biodiesel for energy, the entire planet, and all of the forms of life that call it home, would be living in a far cleaner environment.