Biodiesel is a clean-burning alternative to petroleum fuel that is easy and inexpensive to make.
Biodiesel can be used in any diesel engine with no modifications. It reduces carbon emissions by up to 78% over traditional petroleum diesel, and can even be carbon neutral, because the plants used to make the oils converted to biodiesel may absorb more carbon dioxide than burning the biodiesel gives off.
Biodiesel emissions are 90% less toxic than petroleum diesel emissions, and biodiesel itself is readily biodegradable and non-toxic. It is safer to handle and transport.
Biodiesel gets about the same gas mileage as petroleum diesel and may actually be better for your engine, due to its superior lubrication qualities.
Finally, biodiesel is often made from used cooking oil, a waste product that can otherwise make its way into the sewer system, causing disgusting clogs of fats and grease that are difficult and expensive to dislodge. Because it recycles a waste product, biodiesel does not raise food prices like some other types of biofuel.
Getting Started Manufacturing Biodiesel
Manufacturing biodiesel is so easy that many users do it at home. However, commercial-scale production requires a license from the Environmental Protection Agency.
Another important early step is to find sources of used cooking oil to convert to biodiesel. Many biodiesel manufacturers do this by approaching local restaurants and offering free or low cost oil collection services.
Once your biodiesel is made, you have several options for selling it. If there are a large number of diesel engines in your region, you may be able to offer it at retail prices as an alternative gas station. Other biodiesel manufacturers deliver their product wholesale to companies or organizations running diesel engine trucks, buses, boats, or other vehicles. Biodiesel can also be used for heating or in some electrical power generators.
The National Biodiesel Board offers a member directory that is a great way to build awareness of your product. It also offers discounts on web hosting and design services to members, in addition to many other benefits.
Three Biodiesel Manufacturers Turning Used Cooking Oil Into Clean Energy
Tri-State Biodiesel (TSB) is a social enterprise dedicated to providing a sustainable alternative to petroleum diesel for the New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut region. TSB offers a free used cooking oil collection service for restaurants, with record keeping to help restaurants seeking green certification and prevent fines for improper oil disposal. TSB also offers biofuel deliveries for home heating and fleet fueling, as well as a Buyers Club for retail quantities of biodiesel for individual vehicles.
Newport Biodiesel, located in Rhode Island, is committed to providing a sustainable source of locally produced, environmentally friendly fuel for southern New England. Newport Biodiesel partners with more than 500 Rhode Island and Massachusetts restaurants to provide free waste oil collection services. The company also offers restaurant partners a co-marketing program to build awareness among patrons and the local community about what the restaurant is doing to improve the environment and increase American energy independence.
San Diego-based New Leaf Biodiesel seeks to provide the highest quality sustainable fuel to the San Diego area and has partnered with schools and community organizations to raise awareness about the environmental benefits of biodiesel. New Leaf Biodiesel’s fuels are sold locally by Pearson Fuels, the nation’s first alternative fuel gas station. They offer free waste oil collection for local restaurants.
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