By Pedro Moreno
Pretend that you are stuck in traffic with the air conditioning on, windows down, and yet it still burning hot. To make it worse, you begin to smell all the emission that is being released by all the vehicles around. You are looking around, and you see all these factories releasing black smoke into the air. You may not think about it for too long but all the air around you is being polluted by the carbon emission released from the vehicles. Since the majority of vehicles, machineries, and engines require diesel as a form of energy, we can substitute the diesel oil with a more environmental friendly fuel source that is commonly used when cooking.
History of Biodiesel Fuel
Biodiesel fuel was first created in the 1890’s by an inventor and scientist named Rudolph Diesel. He was the first to design the diesel engine which quickly became the first choice for many industries. Dr. Rudolph Diesel was trying to develop a source of energy coming from vegetable oil, peanut oil and coal dust . Dr. Diesel perfected a method that formed the creation of peanut oil used as fuel for his diesel engine . His concept of creating this form of renewable energy was not very popular during his time until recent years.
Biodiesel is the most diverse fuel which can be created from soy bean oils, animal oils, and other types of cooking oil . Biodiesel is produced through a process that converts the fats and oils of the plant or animal into fatty acids methyl esters by using the lipids to react with short-chain alcohols along with the presence of a catalyst . The final product of this reaction are large amount of biodiesel and a small amount of glycerin, a sugar that can be used in pharmaceutical and cosmetics .
As of today diesel engines are the most common used engines around the world with its fuel being diesel, it makes up around 80% of the worlds energy use . According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2019 around 47.2 billon gallons of diesel were used in a single year within the United States . Each gallon of diesel releases around 19.64 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere . The burning of fossil fuels is one of the biggest factors that contributes to global warming causing wildfires, melting of ice in the artic and around antarctica, more hurricanes, tornados and other natural events. These large amounts of carbon dioxide accumulated in the atmosphere causing temperatures around the world to increase.
Switching to an alternative fuel, such as biodiesel, would not only will reduce a significant amount of carbon emission but also recycles the carbon that is already in the atmosphere. This will also be a huge positive step when it comes to environmental justice. For many decades people have been aware of global warming but have not done much about. Switching fuel to biodiesel will decrease carbon emissions, air pollution, minimize habitat destruction and the transportation of fossil fuel . We have seen on the news of the many oil spills ships have when transporting fuel across the oceans. The fuel spreads across the ocean at a much faster rate due to the sea current affect the wildlife surrounding it. Many habitats and sacred land from the indegiounous people have been destroyed by trying to transport the fuel through pipes. These pipes break which causes the oil to leak to the land and becomes polluted. Trees, plants and many other organisms have the right to have clean air without any pollutants caused by human activities. Tree, plants, terrestrial and marine organisms may not have the ability to communicate with us so it is up to the people to stand up and promote for a more environmental friendly fuel which will reduce the amount of pollution in the air and in the water.
Markets and Commodities
Human population growth keeps increasing year after year and eventually there will be a point where some resources have been depleted. Fossil fuel is an example of a finite resource due to taking billions of years to develop. There are other forms of renewable energy such as solar, electrical, geothermal, hydropower but the one that can outmatch the majority of them is the fuel biodiesel. Each energy requires different forms of energy such as wind, sun, water and the Earth itself, however not all places around the world have access to sunlight, water, or wind. Meaning that they would rely on a different energy source such a diesel. Diesel fuel can be substituted for biodiesel to stop the contributing of carbon emission.
Throughout the recent years, there has been market based policy solutions used to solve environmental problems and for better or worse these policy solutions use concepts of incentives, ownership, pricing, and trading when addressing the environmental issues  In this situation, biodiesel would solve or minimize many of the environmental problems that are related to carbon emission, provided a wide range of ownerships and pricing since it is a fuel that can be extracted from a variety of vegetables there would be options to select the type of fuel, and would provide newer jobs for the people. The fuel would create many ownerships which can provide a lower cost, compete with big diesel companies and prevent monopolies from forming. On top of that, there would be many more jobs opening ranging from biochemist who create the fuel to the truck drivers who transport the fuel to gas stations. Cooking oil and animal fats are pretty much found worldwide so this type of fuel could be manufactured in anywhere in the world.
Human relationship with nature has shifted throughout history. Some people find the land sacred or just a beautiful sight to enjoy and do whatever they can to preserve that land while other believe that they have the right to use nature in anyway that is seem beneficial . In both of these lenses, the environment can be used to produce a fuel that won’t contribute to new carbon emission and is beneficial to human usage. As of now, diesel fuel is the most used fuel in the world and biodiesel is not popular enough to complete with it for now. It is important to acknowledge that new carbon dioxide is being released daily contributing more to global warming and affecting the world drastically. Switching to an alternative fuel, biodiesel, can drastically change the quality of air within just a couple of years but that reality won’t be happening anytime soon.
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