Posts Tagged ‘green’

Guest Article: The Benefits of Biodiesel

We’re happy to start the new year still making plans for recycled oil-based biodiesel in our community. We’ve even been speaking with an investor who might be able to assist us with upgrading our equipment and location! Please read the following article by guest contributor Derek Whitney. Thanks for believing in biodiesel, Derek!

The Biodiesel Advantage: Proving Going Green Saves Money and Helps the Environment

Ever think about going green? Today gas prices continue to rise, and more people are finding it hard to cope with the costs. In addition to higher prices, fossil fuel emissions are causing global temperature increases that endanger the habitability of the earth. Diesel seems like a good alternative to gas, however, the substance still emits chlorofluorocarbons, or greenhouse gases, into the atmosphere. A better source of energy is biodiesel, which emits significantly less pollutants. It can be proven that going green by using biodiesel saves money and helps the environment.

Reduced Costs

Biodiesel is different from regular diesel. Biodiesel is made from the vegetable oil of “super crops” such as sugarcane, corn, wheat and soybeans. Regular diesel comes from the distillation of crude oil. This difference is why biodiesel is referred to as clean diesel; it does not add carbon to the atmosphere by relying on oil but uses carbon that already exists in raw materials that is recyclable.

Biodiesel already saves money by creating a source of renewable energy instead of using depletable resources, but biodiesel reduces costs in other ways too. One way biodiesel saves money is by not depending on foreign countries for fuel. Since biodiesel comes from crops, it can be created domestically saving on shipping costs. Also, biodiesel reduces costs by using biomass crops that require less water, fertilizer and pesticides to grow than regular crops.

Environmental Benefits

As noted above, biodiesel benefits the environment by emitting significantly less greenhouse gases and reducing global warming. Biodiesel can also be seen as an environmental benefit in regards to its refineries. When crude oil is refined into usable products, its refineries give off chemicals that cause cancer, asthma, heart disease and other health problems that claim the lives of 2.4 million people per year globally. Biodiesel refineries emit hardly any pollutants by comparison and prevent these health implications.

Biodiesel also benefits the environment by encouraging farmers to grow different crops. Typically, farmers are forced to grow a single crop due to consumer demand; this is called monoculture. Monoculture presents many dangers. For example, the Great Famine in Ireland occurred due to the over-dependence on one crop, the potato, that was wiped out by disease. Hence, biodiesel helps protect against the dangers of monoculture like famine. Growing multiple crops also provides diverse habitats that support large animal populations, which encourages biodiversity.

Research Findings

The research supporting that biodiesel is environmentally friendly is copious, but there are several studies that support the economic value of biodiesel as well. A 2006 study, performed by The Intermodal Transportation Institute at the University of Toledo and the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority in Ohio, conducted a 3-year comparison between biodiesel and gas. The results show that, over several factors, biodiesel has a 30 percent more efficient fuel economy than gas.

Supporting Examples

Good examples of how going green is put into practice exists within many organizations. For instance, the FitzGerald Brothers’ Transportation Services is a ground transportation company that utilizes several fuel-intense vehicles such as limousines, touring coaches, party buses, trolleys and SUVs. Fitz Limo provides a service that is dependable, clean, environmentally friendly and cost effective by having 100 percent biodiesel-use for its automobiles. The fact that the company has been in business since 2001 and still going strong while being green proves that biodiesel is a feasible option to reduce costs and help the environment.

Overall, there are many qualities about biodiesel fuel that, upon inspection, prove that it is safe for the environment and helps to save money. This energy source is renewable, easy to produce, reduces pollution and encourages biodiversity among many other benefits.

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01 2014