Slowly but surely, it seems as if we are all becoming environmentalists. It wasn’t that long ago when a certain element of scorn, if that’s not too harsh a word, was attributed to those who vociferously extolled the virtues of sustainability. Some of the less charitable of us called these people “tree huggers” and as part of our free spending, devil-may-care attitude of the time we spent little regard to the overall issues of climate change and global warming. Times have certainly changed and more especially in the last five years or so. Climate change is now big news, being a popular subject of the mainstream press and climate protection is likely to result in significant rafts of legislation in the near future.
Now it is more than just fashionable to be green, as we realise that we must reduce our reliance on traditional fuels, the oil, coal and gas that produce greenhouse gases and raise the temperature of the earth. Virtually everything that we do relies on a form of energy and we live such a complicated existence while still being largely unaware of our individual carbon footprints.
Our methods of transportation are primary emitters of carbon and we are fully reliant on individual and public forms of transportation on a daily basis. Gasoline and conventional diesel fuel are very expensive commodities and as we mostly rely on foreign sources for these fuels, external influences can directly affect availability, pricing and our very economic security.
Change will be slow to come, unfortunately. Not only are we essentially creatures of habit, but we have built up such a reliance on traditional fossil fuels that a major part of our industrial infrastructure relies on the extraction and generation of these fuels, together with distribution. It’s fair to say that the oil industry in particular has a very strong political lobbying support and newer, alternative options face an uphill battle to get their message out to a largely uneducated public.
Biodiesel fuel as an alternative is, at face value, very attractive. It is produced by mixing vegetable oil or animal fats with methanol and a process of separation derives this alternative fuel. In many cases, biodiesel is originally derived from soybean products, which grow and are plentiful in the United States.
Biodiesel is essentially carbon neutral and has infinitesimal low sulphur rates, especially compared to its alternatives. The product can be used in conventional diesel engines without modification and can be mixed with petro diesel fuel in any ratio’s whatsoever. Such an alternative is not available on a widespread basis at this time, as the infrastructure is simply not in place and distribution solutions undeveloped. As our collective psyche moves more toward the idea of hybrid vehicles, however, more and more interest is being generated in biodiesel as an option.
Homemade biodiesel may well be an option for you, as with a little bit of application it is within the reach of everybody. Making biodiesel has become a labour of love, and can be a financial benefit for thousands of people worldwide who have realised the value of making their considerable personal effort to help reduce carbon emissions.