Soylent diesel…

Biodiesel advocates suggest that their products are neutral when it comes to greenhouse gas emissions, because they release no more CO2 than the plants from which they are made processed out of the atmosphere while they grew. I was sold when I heard that. I went shopping for a Peugeot. No luck. All the insightful diesel lovers have already snapped these up. Oh well. Next I thought maybe a bus would be good. The mileage would probably suck, but the environmentally friendly ambience would make up for it. I found the perfect $500 bus… perfect except for the fact that it had no clutch and would only run in low gear. “A tractor!” thought I. “I can join the diesel revolution by buying a tractor.” Beth wouldn’t hear of it. I couldn’t convince her it would make a practical alternative family vehicle.

“Damn.” It has become ever more clear that I won’t be a biodiesel consumer anytime soon. This is not a problem for the entrepreneurially inclined. Such as me. I’ve decided to go into biodiesel production. A quick survey of the grease traps at all the finest local eateries revealed that I was not the first to have this idea. There are dozens of biodiesel prosumers out there, making a difference for our environment and making vehicular exhaust that has the faintest whiff of french fries.

Willie Nelson and three business partners recently formed a company called Willie Nelson’s Biodiesel that is marketing the fuel to truck stops. The product – called BioWillie – is made from vegetable oils, mainly soybeans, and can be burned without modification to diesel engines.

Posted in Nature, Science
3 comments on “Soylent diesel…
  1. Doug Alder says:

    hmmmm they also have to take into account the CO2 emitted by the farm vehicles needed to grow those crops and the transport of them to the refinery, not to mention the supporting vehicles that deliver the supplies to stores etc that are needed to grow those crops (fertilizer, irrigation equipment etc). Then there’s the whole problem of pesticides used to increase crop yields, followed by over chemical fertilizer runoff polluting local waterways. Also need to consider the energy requirements needed to process the green stuff into fuel. Then there’s the whole problem of turning valuable food crowing acreage into fuel acreage that still produces a fuel that produces CO2 instead of growing something that sequesters the CO2. I don’t think bio-diesel is any great answer to the problem .

  2. Yes, I agree Doug, but that’s where the Soylent Diesel secret ingredients come into play!

  3. Brian Hayes says:

    Two articles will abrade biodiesel’s rank. The Times reveals that biodiesel from Europe’s rapeseed and America’s corn have been found to produce more greenhouse gas emissions than they save. And The Economist slams current green fuels across the board.

    I’m not being merely cynical.

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