Biodiesel

Biodiesel is one of the most readily available alternatives to fossil fuels and has become an important transition as we await our energy future. Biodiesel was created from a grassroots effort to find a fuel alternative using a waste product such as cooking grease. As this has evolved, corporations have jumped on the bandwagon and started producing biodiesel from crops such as soy, palm oil and corn. Unfortunately, this has caused a surge in clear cutting of global lands to grow crops for fuels. This has made the alternative of using biodiesel, a controversial issue that some say is actually increasing global warming. Forests and agricultural lands are being clear cut to grow these crops, a different direction then first intended by the pioneers of recycled cooking oil fuels. As our fuel based economy seeks out alternatives to fossil fuel use, it is very important to be aware of the source of the fuel choice. Biodiesel from waste products is the right direction on this. Biodiesel made from agricultural crops, palm tree plantations abroad are not a good environmental choice. The controversy has been helpful in that it is causing us to seek better choices and options in biofuels such as fuel from algae. Stay tuned as this exciting transition moves us towards fuels from waste recovery. While we wait for better technology especially in electric vehicles, be sure and choose fuels that are from local recycled sources. Don't forget to reduce your consumption which will definitely help in this emerging issue. Check out the Willie Nelson film called Revolution Green to learn more.

The UO Zero Waste Program is always looking for ways to reduce our impact. With a fleet of ancient step vans used to perform recycling routes, the Program has finally moved towards the future. For the first time in the life of the Program, money became available for new vehicles. We reviewed all of the vehicles out there and decided to purchase 5 vans that can use biodiesel. We are fortunate to have biodiesel available from local source used cooking oil. This service station also carries regular gasoline but it comes directly from Oregon. Check out Sequential Biofuels to see how local fuels are distributed.

Articles On Biodiesel

AVERAGE BIODIESEL EMISSIONS COMPARED TO
CONVENTIONAL DIESEL, ACCORDING TO EPA

Emission Type B100 B2
Regulated

Total Unburned Hydrocarbons
-67%
-20%
Carbon Monoxide
-48%
-12%
Particulate Matter
-47%
-12%
Nox
+10%
+2%
Non-Regulated
Sulfates
-100%
-20%*

PAH (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons)**
-80%
-13%

nPAH (nitrated PAH’s)**
-90%
-50%***

Ozone potential of speciated HC
-50%
-10%

* Estimated from B100 result

** Average reduction across all compounds measured

*** 2-nitroflourine results were within test method variability

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