Diesel fuel is widely used throughout the transportation, construction and agricultural industries of the United States. However, concern has grown in recent years related to the nation’s dependence on foreign oil for fuels like diesel and environmental impacts of petroleum-based diesel use. An alternative that has developed is biodiesel. Biodiesel is a renewable, biobased fuel that is created from oilseed crops, vegetable oils and animal fats. It can be used in place of traditional petroleum-based diesel fuel.
Biodiesel has several advantages, including reduced emissions and the fuel’s biodegradable and nontoxic nature. Biodiesel is considered carbon neutral, in that it does not produce carbon dioxide. In 2007, petroleum-based diesel consumption in the United States was 64.6 billion gallons. In early 2008, the U.S. had the capacity to produce more than 2.2 billion gallons of biodiesel per year or the equivalent of just over 3 percent of total petroleum diesel consumption.
"SP700-C-Biodiesel: A Primer," The University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension Service, SP700C-5M-6/08 R12-4110-070-021-08 08-0233, http://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_agexbiof/5