Biodiesel Picture of Sunfowers- Pretty, aren't they?

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Vegetable oil was first transesterified in 1853 by E Duffy and J Patrick. In 1893, Rudolph Diesel’s first engine was demonstrated. Diesel went on to win the Grand Prix at the World Fair of 1900 in Paris. The engine demonstrated in Paris ran on peanut oil. Diesel believed that engines running on plant oils had potential, and that these oils could one day be as important as petroleum based fuels. However petroleum based diesel fuel became more popular, since it was cheaper to produce.

Since the 1980s, biodiesel plants have opened in many European countries, and some cities have run busses on biodiesel, or blends of petro and bio diesels. More recently, Renault and Peugeot have approved the use of biodiesel in some of their truck engines.

Picture of a Renault truck
Renault Trucks can be run on blended biodiesel
Image in public domain

Image at top of page modified from image at Wikkimedia Commons, used under GNU Free documentation Licence
Antony Walters, University of Bristol