As early as the middle of the 19th century scientists were experimenting with fuel from biomass. In 1893, 40 years since the beginning of biofuel experimentation, Rudolf Diesel’s engine would run of its own power for the very first time. The engine was powered by peanut oil, which is not actually a biodiesel. Still, it was Diesel’s vision that biofuels would become the standard, and perhaps someday replace, the petroleum based fuels of the day.
Today biodiesel is used on a much larger scale than many people realize. In 2005 there were 3.8 million tons of production level biodiesel, though most was used within the European Union. Many cars today are capable of running on biodiesel without modification – we just need greater accessibility. The debate still rages concerning the ecological impact or savings of biodiesel as compared to petroleum, though most would argue that the carbon produced from biodiesel was already in the atmosphere, as opposed to fossil fuel carbons which were once buried beneath the earth. Regardless, biodiesel stands in competition with many other alternative forms of energy, hoping to break through as a solution to the petroleum problem and an advance toward a greener world.
Sites Worth Visiting
National Biodiesel Board
The National Biodiesel Board is the official trade association of the biodiesel industry in the United States. Their homepage is a wealth of information concerning the development and implementation of biodiesel fuels in the world today. We would highly recommend spending some time browsing the many helpful links at articles at this site if you’re new to biodiesel or interested in some better understanding.
Biodiesel at Wikipedia
The biodiesel page at Wikipedia offers a nice history of the technology involved in generating biodiesel fuels, as well as an eye-opening look at the level of implementation today. The page is certainly much further along than many of the other alternative fuel pages out there, but then again, the technology has been around a good bit longer than our lithium metal-hydride batteries.
This may be a corporate site for a biodiesel developer, but they’ve locked down biodiesel.com and loaded it up with some good info concerning this alternative fuel. Granted, they might just be trying to sell some fuel, but the site is clean, and all of the information checks out with everything else we’ve seen out there. This page is definitely worth a read.
Blogs and Community Sites
This interesting little community is all about promoting the use of biodiesel all over the world…NOW! The page actually has a good bit of info, even for the casual biodiesel user. We would definitely recommend registering with the site, as it seems to give you access to a lot of extras you wouldn’t normally get.
Biodiesel Vehicles at Biodiesel Now
Kind of lame to link to the same page twice in a row, right? Well we just couldn’t help ourselves. As good as Biodiesel Now is, their blog on biodiesel vehicles does a much better job of covering the day to day in the business than their homepage.
This is definitely a strange name for a website concerning biodiesel, but they’ve got some decent information, so just ignore the name. It’s a Blogspot blog that manages somewhere between 2 and 3 posts per week about developments within the industry or just random ideas from the author. If you’ve been using biodiesel for a while now, this could be a great spot to get a little inspiration from a fellow enthusiast.
Straightforward – that’s just how we like our websites. The Collaborative Biodiesel Tutorial here shows anyone and everyone how to make your very own biodiesel. The page hosts its own forums and posts features about the safety and environmental concerns associated with biodiesel. The best part is, the site is just what it says, a collaboration of biodiesel users just like you. Let’s hear it for open source!
Biodiesel Plant Explodes in Ohio
On January 3rd this year, the American Ag Fuels plant in Defiance, Ohio experienced an explosion that damaged a non load-bearing wall at the facility. The explosion was caused by gasses from an unknown source within the plant.
Safeway To Use B20 Trucks
Safeway has recently announced that it will fuel its truck fleet, which numbers more than 1,000, entirely on B20 biofuel. Safeway has long been recognized as a corporate pioneer in environmental responsibility. This is just another step along that path.