In every category, biodiesel outperforms fossil fuels in terms of efficiency, cleanliness and renewability. Pure biodiesel is capable of eradicating emissions of sulfur, carbon monoxide and particles of matter that create smog, all associated with regular diesel. Biodiesel also decreases the emission of carbon dioxide by a staggering 75% and sometimes even more, showing its potential as the kind of saving grace that our gasoline-soaked infrastructure desperately needs. Aside from what the biodiesel itself is capable of, the processes we use to make it are astoundingly clean in comparison to those used to make diesel; it’s over 80% cleaner than the emissions created by burning fuel. And since it’s so clean, it means it’s far less harmful to automobile engines; it leaves very little residue behind and lubricates the tubing on its way through. Frankly, biodiesel has proven time and time again to be ridiculously more efficient than fossil fuels in every conceivable way – although perhaps even more ridiculous is the fact that we haven’t even begun to use it in our everyday lives.
As great and beneficial as that is in theory, however, it’s not something we can viably transition to within the blink of an eye. As clean as biodiesel is, it requires resources to be made, like corn, soy, switchgrass and rapeseed. To make it on the scale we would require in order to fuel all the cars, trucks, trains, planes and all other machines that require fuel to function, we would need massive “energy farms” that are dedicated to growing just these kinds of plants, to be turned into biodiesel once they’ve fully grown. We would also need biofuel to fuel the factories we would need in order to undergo the process of transforming these plants into biofuel. All of this costs mind-boggling amounts of money, and with the global economy in the state it’s currently in, no world power in their right mind would be willing to invest such a huge quantity in anything. So what can we do to make biodiesel have a chance to make our collective human machine cleaner, and in turn heal our soot and oil-encrusted environment? The key would be to start small, and work our way up into more and more influential hierarchies of society. We could have gas stations begin to sell biofuel as an alternative to gasoline and diesel, we could have companies volunteering to transition to biofuels, paving the way for more companies to do the same, and so on. Let’s hope that this possibility is not just a pipe dream and that our governments will become increasingly open to the idea of phasing out our harmful fuel sources.
1. Biodiesel is a fuel made from a vast variety of vegetable or animal oils, such as soybean, sunflower or canola oil. It can also be made from waste cooking grease and non-food grade nuts or seeds.
2. Biodiesel burns 78% cleaner than regular diesel according to the US EPA and is a sustainable resource.
3. If you make it yourself in an automated machine, you can save a lot of money.
4. Biodiesel has a higher lubricity rate making it better for the life of your engine than regular diesel.
5. Biodiesel is a substitute for diesel and will burn in ANY diesel engine* without the need to convert the engine.
6. The more biodiesel we use, the less dependent we are on foreign, petroleum based oil.
7. Biodiesel is biodegradable. (If the Exxon Valdez had been full of bio-oil, there never would have been a news story.)
8. Biodiesel will blend seamlessly with regular diesel at any ratio.
9. Biodiesel has other applications; it can be used as a heating oil substitute and is sometimes referred to as BioHeat.