Today, 95 percent of global oil is consumed for transportation, and other alternatives are distant possibilities at best. We need a solution now, one that will pave the way to a saner, more sustainable energy future without massive reinvestments in infrastructure and technology transfer. We need biodiesel.
A crop-derived liquid fuel, biodiesel can be made from a wide range of renewable, locally grown plant sources--even from recycled cooking oils or animal fats. The technology is simple and available today, and the benefits of biodiesel are enormous, as both a cleaner-burning vehicle fuel and a source for residential or commercial heating.
Greg Pahlís new book explores the history and technology of biodiesel, its current use around the world, and its exciting potential in the United States and beyond. While biodiesel is not the answer to all our energy problems, it is an important step in the long overdue process of weaning ourselves from fossil fuels. Biodiesel is now coming onstream in Britain: a new plant being built in Scotland this Spring will boost output of the green fuel by up to 35,000 tonnes a year.
More biodegradable than sugar and less toxic than table salt
Produced from domestic feedstocks, reducing the need for foreign oil while boosting the local economy and supporting the agricultural community.
Reduce net CO2 emissions by 78 percent compared with petroleum diesel fuel, cutting greenhouse gases that lead to global warming
Be mixed with petroleum diesel at any level to produce a cleaner-burning biodiesel blend
Be blended with oil for home heating, usually without any retrofits required.
ìThis book excited me enormously. I can imagine the day when the schoolbuses on the rural rounds in my county run on the oilseed crops that their passengers can see out the window; when the ferries across Lake Champlain give off that slight French-fry whiff as they ply the waters; when the dairy farmers who are going broke raising milk have something else to growÖ Pahl is a visionary, but a visionary with his feet firmly planted in the soil. May his vision flower, and soon!î ñ Bill McKibben, from the Forewood. Biodiesel has powered tour buses for Neil Young, Bonnie Raitt, and Willie Nelson. Daryl Hannahís private vehicle runs on it, while Republican and Democratic politicians alike are backing its development. Itís more biodegradable than sugar and less toxic than table salt, and the production process can take place on a massive industrial scale or gallon by gallon in your garage. In this essential new book, Greg Pahl shares the history of biodiesel, explains the technology in straightforward terms, and explores its exciting potential in the United States and beyond, including resources you can use to buy or make your own biodiesel. Biodiesel is: endorsed by politicians of all parties, environmentally conscious celebrities, and energy experts in America and worldwide; produced from domestic feedstocks, reducing the need for foreign oil while boosting the local economy and supporting the agricultural community. Biodiesel can: reduce net CO2 emissions by 78 percent compared with petroleum diesel fuel, cutting greenhouse gases that lead to global warming; be mixed with petroleum diesel to produce a cleaner-burning biodiesel blend; be blended with No.2 oil for home heating, usually without any retrofits required.
List of Figures
Part One ñ Biodiesel Basics:
1. Rudolf Diesel
2. Vegetable Oil Revival
4. Biodieselís Many Uses.
Part Two ñ Biodiesel around the World:
5. Europe, the Global Leader
6. Other European Countries
7. Non-European Countries.
Part Three ñ Biodiesel in the United States:
8. A Brief History
9. The Main Players
10. Biodiesel Politics
11. Recent Developments.
Part Four ñ Biodiesel in the Future:
12. Looking Ahead.
Organizations and Online Resources
Greg Pahl has been involved with renewable energy issues for more than 25 years. He is a founding member of the Vermont Biofuels Association. He is also the author of Natural Home Heating: The Complete Guide to Renewable Energy Options (Chelsea Green, 2003), The Citizen-Powered Energy Handbook: Community Solutions to a Global Crisis (Chelsea Green, 2007), and has written about wind power, solar energy, electric cars, sustainable forestry management, and biodiesel home heating. He lives in Weybridge, Vermont. Visit Greg's Web site at www.gregpahl.com