Converting to BiodieselBiodiesel is one of the best alternatives to petroleum-based diesel fuels. Biodiesel is made from animal fats, recycled cooking oil and other vegetable oils. It is a clean and efficient way to power your vehicle without the harmful pollutants and dependence on foreign oil. Biodiesel can be used in most standard diesel engines without any modifications. It is commonly mixed with conventional diesel for some of the benefits conventional diesel offers, such as cost and dealing with subfreezing temperatures, although it can be used in its pure form as well. Another attractive aspect of biodiesel is that it’s easily made. It’s nontoxic and does not present any healthy hazards, so it can be mixed up right in your home kitchen. For directions on how to make your own biodiesel at home, read my blog entry. It’s easy, affordable and a fun way to teach your family the invaluable practice of reusing and recycling. Biodiesel is a win-win solution because it not only reuses unwanted cooking oils, but it is also much better for the environment:
  • Biodiesel reduces toxic components that are released into the environment and have been shown to cause various types of cancers.
  • Biodiesel produces 78% less greenhouse gasses (CO2) than conventional diesel fuel.
  • Biodiesel is three times more energy efficient than conventional diesel fuel. Conventional diesel fuel produces 0.89 units of energy for every unit of fuel while biodiesel produces 3.2 unites of energy for every unit of fuel.
  • Biodiesel comes from the earth (primarily vegetables) so it is nontoxic and extremely biodegradable.
Although, my family and I aren’t able to create our own biodiesel just yet (we don’t have a diesel engine), when we purchase our next vehicle I’m going to make sure it is able to run on biodiesel. For people who work in the food industry or know someone who does, you may be able to acquire large amounts of used vegetable oil used for frying for free. This could virtually eliminate your financial costs of operating your vehicle. Biodiesel is a sure way to save money and save the planet.