Fighting for animal liberation and an end to speciesism
What is biodiesel? Biodiesel is a diesel fuel substitute produced from renewable sources such as canola and soya bean.
Chemically, it is defined as the mono alkyl esters of long chain fatty
One of the great advantages of biodiesel is that it can be made from so many different products. In the future, countries will simply use
the feed-stocks most suited to their environment. The most common forms
of feed stocks used now are canola (Europe) and soya bean (USA), but
there are over 350 other crops that can also be used. These include
coconut, palm oil, mustard seed, sunflower and jatropha (which is
becoming more widely farmed as it grows in areas where it is difficult
to grow anything else). But you can also make biodiesel from tallow
(animal fats), fish oil, seaweed and algae. In fact, in an extraordinary
show of dedication to the project, the skipper, Pete Bethune, underwent
liposuction, and the fat (all 100ml) was used to make a small amount of
Biodiesel for Earthrace!
Yes, as long as it’s fuelled by diesel, Most biodiesel is sold as a blend, where the fuel is between 5% and 20% biodiesel, and the balance
from conventional diesel. This is a safe option and most engine
manufacturers support this move. Care must be exercised when you first
start running biodiesel, however. Older vehicles may need some fuel
lines or O-rings replaced to run higher (or pure) blends of biodiesel.
Most countries in Europe today have made biodiesel blends compulsory. Between 3% and 5% biodiesel is blended with every litre of diesel fuel
they sell. With time, they are gradually increasing these percentages.
Biodiesel can also commonly be purchased as a 20% blend, or as 100%,
which is what Earthrace runs on. Some countries have used biodiesel as
their lubricant additive as they have reduced the sulphur content in
petro-diesel. Many countries such as Africa, Asia and South America have
active and growing biodiesel programmes underway. Saudi Arabia, for
example, is planting crops of Jatropha which will in the future be used
as an energy crop, reducing net carbon dioxide emissions by up to 75%.
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