December 4, 2005
In Canada, a new source of fueling your car is being produced, a fuel which will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is called biodiesel. This fuel can be made out of a variety of different things. One company is producing this biodiesel from the remains of farm animals like the bones and other parts of cows, chickens, and pigs that are not consumed otherwise. This waste comes from a rendering plant and then is turned into an odorless clear yellow fuel. It is also being made by recycling oil from fast food restaurants such as the oil from deep fryers. According to this article, biodiesel emits little smog and practically no heat-trapping gases, especially when compared to the amount produced by conventional gasoline and diesel fuel. The main Canadian company currently producing this fuel is Rothsay which is a unit of Maple Leaf Foods, Inc. If this plant works at full capacity, it has the potential to produce 35 million liters or about 9 million gallons of biodiesel a year. If you look at how much greenhouse gases this would emit in comparison to regular gasoline and diesel fuel, it would be like taking 22,000 cars off the road. Biodiesel can also be produced from crops. The first diesel engines were even designed to run on peanut oil. These engines were produced in Germany, where one of the other three plants producing biodiesel is located, the other is in Kentucky.
The idea of biodiesel seems like it will have many benefits. It is a way to reuse animal waste. Why not use it to make fuel? We would not really do much with it otherwise and it is something that we have a steady supply to. Biodiesel can help to get rid of our dependence on oil and is a practical way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Plus, vehicles that use biodiesel often get tax breaks from the government. With oil prices the way they are (at about $55 a barrel), biodiesel has a competitive price. As long as oil prices remain high, we should try this alternative.
Posted by at December 4, 2005 12:43 PM | 2. In the News