When I think about diesel fuel, I picture some beaten up 1970s vehicle or a big rig belching out black smoke. Diesel is now more expensive than unleaded in many areas, and you can't find it as readily. But my impression is about to change, thanks to biodiesel.
I love hearing about biodiesel. This marvelous fuel replacement is the future of car fuels, since it is non-toxic, biodegradable, emits almost no emissions, and costs about the same as petroleum gas, but I love it for another reason – French fries. If you drive behind a car running on recycled cooking oil, it smells like French fries or popcorn (here I'm lumping together biodiesel and straight vegetable oils (SVOs), like reclaimed cooking oil – SVOs require modifying your diesel engine). Cool, eh? "Fill 'er up." "Would you like fries with that, sir?" It's cool, too, because it’s a big ol' thumb in the eye of the petroleum industry that's gouging us every day.
Biodiesel (not from recycled cooking oil) is made from processed corn or soybeans. Willie Nelson now has his own company that sells biodiesel, called BioWillie, which, according to a documentary I saw (and memory serves me right) is made mainly from soybean and focuses on local growers. The problem is that soybean and corn are also used for other products, such as food, which sets up an unfortunate competition that can drive up prices. No one wants that, of course.
Well now someone has found a way to make fuel from pond scum:
Well, not pond scum, exactly, but algae. The
In November 8, 2006, Green Star Products has announced that it has signed an agreement with De Beers Fuel Limited of
Wow. Yes, De Beers, made famous for diamond mining. If the oil companies are going to turn a blind eye to the future of fuels, then why wouldn't some other massive conglomerate jump on the potential?
So, look to the future and buy that diesel-engine car. And when you drive by wetlands and see an algae-clogged marsh, or when you scrape algae off the sides of your home aquarium, think to yourself "That's the future of fuels, by golly!"