More than 100 years ago Rudolf Diesel provided innovation that was on the cutting edge of energy and power. Modern day scientists are joining forces to support the use of renewable biodiesel in those new high-tech engines. The industry is celebrating National Biodiesel Day today with more than 60 scientists who signed the "Scientists for Biodiesel" declaration, launched six weeks ago.
Diesel, born March 18, 1858, was confident his innovation would change the world. And he was right. From the food you eat to the clothes you wear, at some point diesel plays a role in every component of life. "Rudolf Diesel understood that fossil resources were not a bottomless barrel," says Joe Jobe, National Biodiesel Board CEO, in a press statement celebrating the day. "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."
The National Biodiesel Board wants to highlight some key issues as part of the celebration of National Biodiesel Day:
- Last year's 700 million gallon production of this fuel reduced greenhouse gas emissions the equivalent of removing 980,000 vehicles from U.S. roads.
- Biodiesel biodegrades as fast as sugar.
- For every unit of energy it takes to make domestic biodiesel, at least 3.5 units are gained.
- When made from soybeans, biodiesel production uses only the bean's oil, leaving 80% of the bean for soybean meal.
- Last year, biodiesel production from soybeans coproduced enough soybean meal to offer the equivalent of 115 billion rations of protein for the hungry in developing nations.
Dr. Rob Myers and Donald Danforth Plant Science Center President Roger Beachy began the “Scientists for Biodiesel” declaration in early February. More information, the full text of the declaration and a list of scientists who have signed on so far, are available at www.biodieselsustainability.com.