Mar 29, 2007

Is Biodiesel the Best Alternative Fuel?

Waste product derived biodiesel should be pushed to the top of the list of alternative fuels.

"Biodiesel is a form of diesel fuel manufactured from waste oils, animal fats, or recycled restaurant greases.  It is safe, biodegradable and produces less air pollutants than petroleum based diesel." And, the best part is, most diesel fuel vehicles are currently able to run on biodiesel fuels. 
Here's a list of pros and cons from online resources:
- Is a completely renewable source of fuel.
- Can be produced from products (restaurant greases) that would otherwise be thrown away.
- Emits substantially less hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, sulfur oxides and sulfate.
- Biodegradable and less toxic to handle when compared to gasoline.
 - Currently, if you try and use biodiesel fuel in your diesel vehicle, it may void your car's warranty.
 - Unless you're getting waste products from restaurants for free and then converting it to biodiesel yourself, it's going to cost you more than gasoline.
 - Emissions include a slight increase in nitrous oxide, which is commonly referred to as "laughing gas."
 - Tends to not perform well in cold temperatures.

To add to the cons: - Demolition of the remains of the world's rainforests to grow the stuff, should it be adapted on a wide scale. Humans already appropriate something like 50% of the entire biological productivity of the planet for food, wood and fuel; biofuels on any meaningful scale would push this towards 100%.
YIKES - Balance in biodiversity is a necessity! While biodiesel looks to be a very viable alternative fuel if we from waste products - ONLY

For more information regarding biodiesel fuels, please check out and