NewEnergyNews: ALL ABOUT BIODIESEL

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    Monday, August 28, 2006

    ALL ABOUT BIODIESEL

    Informative piece on biodiesel:
    Is soybean-based biodiesel the fuel of the future?
    Gina Duwe, Saturday, August 19, 2006 (Janesville (Wisconsin) Gazette)
    - [Biodiesel fuel is] one of the fastest-growing industries in the country, producing 75 million gallons in 2005-three times the 25 million gallons produced just one year earlier, said Amber Thurlo-Pearson, communications specialist for the National Biodiesel Board.

    - "Four years ago, I could go to 100 people in the state of Wisconsin-including our government-and talk about biodiesel, and 99 of them had no idea what I was talking about," said [Kelly Maloney, owner of a small biodiesel plant, Renewable Alternatives in Manitowoc]…"If I had a million gallons sitting here right now, it would all be sold…”
    - Maloney's facility is the only Wisconsin biodiesel plant operating-though several more, including one in Evansville, are in the works…His facility can produce 1,000 to 2,000 gallons of biodiesel a day..."As the future progresses, it's just going to become more cutthroat and competitive," he said...Maloney declined to explain where he gets his soybean oil or reveal other production details.
    - Biodiesel is gaining attention outside of its industry…

    - What is biodiesel?
    - Biodiesel is a cleaner-burning alternative fuel, produced from domestic, renewable resources. It contains no petroleum, but it can be blended at any level with petroleum diesel to create a biodiesel blend…The less-polluting fuel…is produced from any fat or oil, such as soybean oil, through a refinery process called transesterification. The oil reacts with an alcohol to remove the glycerin, which is a byproduct of the process.
    - About one bushel of soybeans produces about 1.5 gallons of biodiesel…Ninety percent of the United States' biodiesel is made from soybeans. Some experts estimate that if the industry keeps growing at its current speed, more than 10 percent of the nation's soybean oil could be used...
    - For every unit of energy needed to produce a gallon of biodiesel, 3.24 units of energy are gained, according to Pioneer seed company.
    - Increasing crude oil prices, political unrest, economic benefits and the need for energy security are all contributing to the industry's surge…It's a move toward getting the country less dependent on foreign oil…

    - There are 65 large-scale biodiesel commercial plants in the country, with about 50 more under construction and dozens more in planning…There are more than 850 retail stations in the United States where consumers can buy biodiesel…
    - Biodiesel prices range closely with diesel prices…
    One thing: Lower mileage with biodiesel drives cost up.

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