Biodiesel History Chemistry Pros and cons Links
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.
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