International Biodiesel Day takes place on August 10. It is a day to commemorate the discovery of the diesel engine by Rudolf Diesel in 1890. He designed the engine to work on both petroleum fuel and vegetable oil, opening the possibility for organic oils, which are renewable and viable fuel sources in the near future. Biofuel is a type of fuel manufactured from vegetable oils and can work without causing as much air pollution as fossil fuels. This day aims to raise awareness about the importance of non-fossil fuels as an alternative source to fuel vehicles and machines, just as Mr. Diesel predicted.
History of International Biodiesel Day
Nobody can imagine a world without modern vehicles. They have drastically reduced our workloads and increased our reach. The history of biodiesel is the history of transportation and our constant endeavor to create innovation. The need to cover a long distance in a minimum amount of time is a necessity for us. Our tryst with transportation started when we domesticated animals and started using them for transportation. Archeologists believe that oxen were the first animals used for work and transportation. As we progressed through time, we discovered steam engines were more efficient and fast, marking the beginning of the Industrial Revolution and the evolution of modern vehicles.
However, with the development of steam engines, the importance of fuel also came into the picture. How to create steam that powers the steam engine was a big question. While coal was the obvious answer to the problem, it also created problems of its own. Coal is a non-renewable resource that creates a lot of smoke and pollution — pollution bad enough to create dense fog in various parts of the world.
In 1890, Rudolf Diesel invented the diesel engine, which was able to run on various fuels, including vegetable oils. However, the cheap availability and efficiency of petroleum products made it hard to compete with them. But people did notice the alternatives, and a few people started to develop them. In 1937, G. Chavanne developed a method to create ethyl ester from palm oil. During the Second World War era, the supply of petroleum fuel dropped and a few countries started using biodiesel. However, said usage reverted to that of petroleum fuel supply was restored. Currently, air pollution levels have only gradually increased, and the need for an alternative fuel source is ever increasing. International Biodiesel Day is celebrated to create awareness about alternative fuel types like biodiesel.
International Biodiesel Day timeline
Diesel revises his original model invented in 1890, extending the time the new engine is able to run to one minute.
Diesel produces a series of increasingly powerful models, making them a commercial success.
G. Chavanne develops a method to manufacture ethyl ester from palm oil and use them as a diesel fuel replacement.
Petroleum becomes widely available in various forms subsequent to Diesel’s death on September 29 of the same year.
Pacific biodiesel becomes one of the first biodiesel plants in the United States, establishing a biodiesel production operation to recycle used cooking oil into biodiesel in Maui, Hawaii.
International Biodiesel Day FAQs
Can you use biodiesel in a regular diesel engine?
Biodiesel is an alternative fuel for heavy vehicles. We can use it without making changes to the existing diesel engine.
Can biodiesel damage your car?
Good quality biodiesel will not damage the engine. However, poor-quality fuel can damage the engine in the long run.
Is biodiesel cheaper than diesel?
Generally, it costs around 20 to 85 cents more than petroleum diesel per gallon in the United States. However, in countries like Germany, biodiesel is cheaper.
How to Observe International Biodiesel Day
List all the crops suitable for biodiesel
Biodiesel can be made from a lot of crops. Create a list of all the crops that can be suitable for manufacturing biodiesel.
Create a price comparison chart
Biodiesel is generally more expensive than regular diesel. Create a price comparison chart mentioning the price of gasoline, diesel, and various biodiesels with greenhouse gas emission levels.
Share the story of Sir Rudolf Diesel
Sir Rudolf Diesel invented the engine capable of running on biofuel. Share the story of his life and legacy on social media.
5 Interesting Facts About Biodiesel
630% consumption growth
According to the United States Energy Information Administration, United States’ biodiesel consumption grew more than 630% between 2010 and 2018.
50% reduced greenhouse gas emission
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, biodiesel can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50%.
Biodiesel is sulfur-free and biodegradable.
Biodiesel vs. regular diesel
Biodiesel outputs approximately 90% of the energy of regular diesel.
Biodiesel in paint remover
We can also use biodiesel in paint removers and solvents.
Why International Biodiesel Day is Important
It honors development
It highlights the efforts made by Sir Diesel. It also shines a light on the continuous efforts made by the development sector to continue his legacy.
It raises awareness of existing clean energy
It creates awareness about the clean alternative that biodiesel provides as it does not emit greenhouse gasses upon combustion. It is a cleaner alternative to petroleum fuel and is completely renewable.
It encourages change
The importance of this day can’t be overstated. It encourages us to be more contemplative in terms of lessening our carbon footprint.
International Biodiesel Day dates