Today is National Biodiesel Day, celebrated on the 151st anniversary of the birth of Rudolf Diesel… the inventor, of course, of the diesel engine. But what you might not know is that Diesel’s first innovative engine ran on peanut oil… the first biodiesel! That’s why the National Biodiesel Board has chosen today to celebrate National Biodiesel Day and to highlight the sustainable nature of the “Scientists for Biodiesel” declaration a month and a half ago:
“Rudolf Diesel understood that fossil resources were not a bottomless barrel,” said Joe Jobe, National Biodiesel Board CEO. “He foresaw that sustainable fuels, like modern-day biodiesel, would be a key to energy resources and continued technological advances.”
Biodiesel is a cleaner burning, advanced biofuel made from renewable resources. It is domestically produced from a range of readily available products like soybean and other plant oils, animal fats, recycled restaurant grease, and waste grease. In addition work continues on new renewable fuel sources, including algae, to bolster what is already the most diversified fuel on the planet.
Scientists from U.C. Berkeley, Texas Tech and Penn State, and from National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Sandia National Laboratories, just to name a few, recognize the promise of sustainable biodiesel. In just six week, 60 experts who share in Diesel’s passion for innovation have signed the “Scientists for Biodiesel Declaration.”
Among them is founder and a director of the Thomas Jefferson Agricultural Institute, Dr. Rob Myers.
“Scientists sometimes have differences of opinion, but this declaration is intended to show the broad consensus among scientists about the benefits of biodiesel,” Dr. Myers said.
The declaration highlights biodiesel’s sustainability and its benefits to reduce dependence on petroleum, help address climate change and boost domestic economies. It also voices support for additional research and development.
The NBB goes on to point out that burning the 700 million gallons of the green fuel produced last year reduced greenhouse gas emissions the equivalent of taking nearly 1 million vehicles off U.S. roads. In addition, for every unit of energy to produce biodiesel, at least 3.5 units are gained; soybean-based biodiesel uses just the oil, leaving 80 percent of the bean for high-quality food source for animals and people; and biodiesel biodegrades about as fast as sugar.
So, happy birthday, Mr. Diesel and happy National Biodiesel Day!
You can read the “Scientists for Biodiesel” declaration by going to www.biodieselsustainability.com.