Biodiesel represents a unique and important opportunity for the world, especially in developing nations. It not only plays an important part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but it also represents a significant economic boon to all markets that are bold enough to make a meaningful investment in this green technology.
Biodiesel can be used to fuel all common diesel engines. This includes generators, heavy machinery, trucks, and cars. For companies and governments willing to invest in this technology, this means being able to take advantage of greener energy sources without having to retrofit or purchase new machines and equipment. It also means increased energy security, since you can grow a sizable portion of your energy needs right in your own backyard.
Perhaps most important are the non-energy related benefits, beginning with the impact on public health. With improved air quality, the number of patients with health problems that have been linked to greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced. And how does using biodiesel in a combustion engine will offset negative environmental factors? The amount of carbon dioxide released by burning biodiesel is offset by the amount of carbon dioxide absorbed while growing the crops (usually soybeans)used to make biofuels. Some studies have shown that emissions are offset by as much as 90%. With a nearly 90% reduction in emissions, the quality of the air and waterways will improve. A healthier environment will reduce the number of respiratory infections, and other diseases linked to high levels of environmental pollution.
A healthier population will not only ease some of the strain on our health care systems but also inject greater productivity into our economies. Not only will we have healthier workers, but the move towards biofuels will also create a healthier economy. Unlike fossil fuels, biofuels are primarily an agricultural product, which not only takes advantage of what is traditionally considered agricultural waste but, in some cases, can introduce a new cash crop to struggling regions. In primarily agrarian populations, this is an important development. There will also be new opportunities further down the supply chain. Biofuels also represents an opportunity to attract foreign investment, injecting more foreign capital into our economies.
The challenges of climate change are real and will take real solutions to address. Biodiesel is just one of many ways that we can and should be investing in a greener, more sustainable future.