Biodiesel: Growing a New Energy Economy
When Rudolph Diesel invented his engine in the late nineteenth century, he envisioned a device that could run anywhere on a wide range of local fuels. A century later, Greg Pahl recalls that vision and shows us it is possible with Biodiesel: Growing a New Energy Economy.
Biodiesel is: 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
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 at any level to produce a cleaner-burning biodiesel blend be blended with No. 2 oil for home heating, usually without any retrofits required
Last month, the US government cast a grim forecast for heating prices this winter, and Smart Money reported that average residential natural gas prices are expected to be 11% higher than a year ago, heating oil prices are up 29%, and propane is averaging 17% higher than last winter. Meanwhile, we are repeatedly reminded that our increasing reliance on unstable fuel markets is serving as the greatest threat to our national security.
As the politics of energy grow bleak, visionary entrepreneurs in the biofuels industry may very well become society's next great hope-heroes to today's energy insecurity the way astronauts were to the Cold War's space race.
In Biodiesel, Greg Pahl delves into the history of the biofuels industry. He assesses its recent successes and current shortcomings, and stands well prepared to estimate its future. If the political, environmental, or financial woes of our current fuel industry have you concerned, it's time to take another look at biodiesel!
About the Author: Greg Pahl has been involved with renewable energy issues for more than 20 years. He is a founding member and codirector of the Vermont Biofuels Association. He is the author of Natural Home Heating: The Complete Guide to Renewable Energy Options (Chelsea Green, 2003), and has written about wind power, solar energy, electric cars, sustainable forestry management, and biodiesel home heating. He and his wife, Joy, live in Weybridge, Vermont.