Biodiesel can be produced from a variety of plant stocks.© U.S. Dept. of Energy
A new federal tax incentive along with increased state legislation calling for more alternative fuel use, not to mention environmental considerations, are contributing to the rise in demand. But patriotism is also playing a role, in that Americans increasingly concerned about national security are turning to biodiesel as a way to lessen the nation’s dependence on foreign oil supplies.
“The recent energy crunch causes us to think about energy in a way that we haven’t in decades,” said the NBB’s Joe Jobe. “Americans are recognizing that conservation and alternative energy are a big part of the answer to our energy questions. Many alternative energy sources are theoretical. But with biodiesel, we can supplement our energy supply immediately.”
Biodiesel, which is most commonly derived from soy or canola oil, fuels any standard diesel engine with little if any modification yet produces much fewer particulate emissions. Also, the alternative fuel does not contribute to global warming, as any carbon dioxide generated by its use is absorbed by the plants growing to produce it.