Today is National Biodiesel Day. It is also the birthday of Rudolph Diesel, the inventor of the diesel engine. Coincedence? No… early versions of Diesel’s engine in the late 1800’s ran on peanut oil, and in 1912, he said “the use of vegetable oils for engine fuels may seem insignificant today, but such oils may become, in the course of time, as important as petroleum and the coal tar products of the present time.”
The National Biodiesel Board points out the increased demand for biodiesel today as the fruition of Diesel’s vision:
* In 2006, biodiesel production reached 225 million gallons – nearly three times the 75 million gallons produced just one year earlier. There are 105 plants operating today, each one adding sorely needed fuel refining capacity in America.
* 62% of U.S. consumers are willing to pay more per gallon for biodiesel than regular fuel, with most consumers willing to pay 1 to 10 cents more.
* More than four-in-five consumers continue to support a tax incentive that would make biodiesel cost approximately the same as regular diesel.
* While only 3% of consumers surveyed own a diesel vehicle today, 61% say they would consider buying a diesel car because of the benefits of biodiesel.