Biodiesel is a clean, renewable diesel and heating oil substitute derived from vegetable oil, similar in composition to diesel fuel. Biodiesel reduces air pollution, burns cleaner than petroleum or natural gas, and extends the life of equipment. It is better for the environment than any petroleum product and it reduces U.S. dependence on foreign energy sources. Foreign imports of petroleum send dollars out of our economy. Biodiesel offers the potential to shift this spending from foreign imports to domestically produced energy.
Biofuel is currently available in Southern Maine and most other states, while 60% of the fuel used in Europe is currently biofuel. Many states have already mandated the use of this fuel for home heating and on-road trucks, and are waiting for an opportunity to implement the mandates. The National Renewable Fuel Standard program mandated the use of biofuels nationwide as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. We in the U.S. are currently using about 9 billion gallons of biofuels per year, and are mandated to increase this usage to 36 billion gallons within ten years. That is an increase of 15% each year. The industry expects the use of this fuel to be mandated in the state of Maine within a few years.
Biodiesel is a safer fuel than petroleum or gas, is ten times less toxic than table salt and it biodegrades as fast as sugar. Biodiesel reduces net lifecycle carbon dioxide emissions by 78% compared to petroleum diesel and is carbon neutral as a fuel. Emissions of particulate in exhaust drops 68%, carbon monoxide drops by 46% and sulfur oxides are completely eliminated. Biodiesel is usually blended with petroleum derived diesel in blends from 2% (B2) to 100% biodiesel (B100), and has been used in the United States extensively since 2005.