Recognizing Rudolf Diesel's foresight on National Biodiesel Day

By The National Biodiesel Board | March 20, 2012

When Rudolph Diesel developed the first diesel engine it ran on peanut oil. Now, a century later as oil prices continue disrupting our economy, renewable fuel is back. Biodiesel is supporting jobs and breaking records as we recognize Diesel's foresight and celebrate Biodiesel Day.

"Diesel's engines and clean burning, renewable biodiesel are at work right now all over the country," said Gary Haer, National Biodiesel Board Chairman. "Biodiesel supports American jobs and energy security. Biodiesel's success reflects the bigger picture reality: strong energy policy can work to stimulate clean, American-made energy."

National Biodiesel Day is celebrated March 18, the date of Rudolf Diesel’s birthday to honor him for recognizing the valuable role of oil-based fuel from renewable resources.

In a 1912 speech Diesel said, “...[T]he use of vegetable oils for engine fuels may seem insignificant today, but such oils may become, in the course of time, as important as petroleum and the coal tar products of the present time.” 

The U.S. biodiesel industry produced more than 1 billion gallons of fuel in 2011. The record-breaking production demonstrates opportunities to diversify American fuel supplies and reduce exposure to the global petroleum markets. Production also easily exceeded the 800 million gallon target called for under the federal renewable fuel standard and the previous annual record of 690 million gallons set in 2008.

Biodiesel is the first and only commercial-scale fuel used across the U.S. to meet the U.S. EPA’s definition as an advanced biofuel. It is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement that can be used in existing diesel engines and meets a strict ASTM fuel specification. Made from an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as agricultural oils, recycled cooking oil and animal fats, it is produced in nearly every state in the country. The biodiesel industry supports 39,000 American jobs.


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