New Civilization News: Sustainable Biodiesel    
 Sustainable Biodiesel4 comments
30 Apr 2004 @ 13:42, by Raymond Powers

Sustainable Biodiesel
By Tim Castleman

Biodiesel is great, but there are a few things we should include in every conversation about Biodiesel:

1) Imagine if just 10% of the people using petro-diesel switched to biodiesel - that would create demand for twice as much as the supply of waste oil available. While it is a great idea to process waste vegetable oil and use it again, promoting biodiesel as a replacement for petro-diesel with no modification in consumption is unsustainable and socially irresponsible.

2) In that case, (even now already), oil formerly grown for food will be used for fuel instead. Example: a company named World Energy provides biodiesel to the Marine corps that is made from virgin soy oil. The military can afford it, regular folks can't. Using food as fuel to preserve overconsumptive lifestyles is unsustainable and socially irresponsible.

3) America already consumes 6 to 10 times per capita the amount of energy consumed in the rest of the world, teaching people they can keep this up is unsustainable and socially irresponsible.

4) It would be foolish to burn biodiesel in a stationary generator - it would run fine on vegetable oil with no processing beyond filtration. To promote biodiesel for generating electricity is unsustainable and socially irresponsible.

5) Conservation. Again, western culture simply consumes too much. Devising alternative sources of energy to support unsustainable living is unsustainable and socially irresponsible.

To be clear, biodiesel is far superior to petro-diesel in many regards, and will in fact help reduce climate change. However, to offer it as a replacement for petro-diesel at current consumption rates would be a disaster. It is imperative that consumption is reduced significantly, otherwise the legacy we will leave our descendants is unsustainable and socially irresponsible.

Tim Castleman

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27 Apr 2006 @ 04:09 by Bill @ : Un-Sustainable Biodiesel
Tim, I think you are right on the money here. I'm an environmentalist, and engineer and I own a farm in Illinois. I agree that bio-fuels may help offset the effects of the global warming, a little bit. And, even though I would love to see higher grain prices for my farm, I don't think that bio-fuels will offer any significant relief to the environmental crisis we are in. The only people that will benefit from an incresed demand for bio-fuels will be the bio-fuel processors. Not the farmers, not the public, and certianly not the environment. There simply is not enough arable land in the world to support production of bio-fuels to meet current energy demands. Not to mention the possibility that it actually takes more energy to produce bio-fuels than we get out of them. It would also put our energy consumption in direct competition for food with regard to land use. This would be a very dangerous situation. I hope people will wake up and see the fallacy of large-scale bio-fuel usage. It is not the answer.  

28 Jul 2006 @ 19:18 by silver47 : Sustainable Biodiesel
I am very much behind this movement towards sustainable biodiesels. It can use recycled cooking oils with little processing; which currently only go to making soap and glycerine. Even if this doesn't turn out to be feasible on a large scale, it could go a long ways to reducing the use of petroleum in a farm setting, allowing farmers to reduce thier cost of producing food crops and the accompanying pollution that comes from burning petroleum. Imagine, pouring a bottle of a cheap cooking oil into your tank, or even filtering that which you've already used.  

7 Aug 2006 @ 06:51 by jeremy s. @ : bio diesel energy output
I actually just read an article about how bio-diesel is an energy generator. The report could be wrong but it claims that "If soybean is grown as a rotation crop with corn using state of the art farm practices as much as four times the energy input can be realized from the various products" You can check it out at this website.


I don't think it is a long term solution, but I believe it is a short term solution to help ween America off of foreign oil and start a long term change to a more environmentally friendly fuel solution.  

12 Nov 2007 @ 08:16 by Wil @ : Bio-diesel genertates more pollution
has anyone done the actual chemical calculation behind it? I did a little while back and realised, that weight for weight, oil is LESS POLLUTING than bio-diesel. in the long term, we are going to harm the environment more.  

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