Sign up for the
Weekly Harvest Newsletter!

Published every Wednesday, the Weekly Harvest e-newsletter is a free Web digest of sustainable agriculture news, resources, events and funding opportunities gleaned from the Internet. See past issues of the Weekly Harvest.
Sign up here

Sign up for the Weekly Harvest Newsletter

What Is Sustainable Agriculture?

Master Publication List

Search Our Databases

Urban Agriculture

Energy Alternatives

Beginning Farmer

Field Crops

Crop Insurance

Horticultural Crops

Livestock & Pasture

Value-Added Food Products

Local Food Systems

Food Safety

Marketing, Business & Risk Management

Organic Farming

Pest Management

Soils & Compost

Water Management

Ecological Fisheries and Ocean Farming

Other Resources

Sign Up for The Dirt E-News

Home Page

Contribute to NCAT


Newsletter sign up button

· Privacy Policy · Newsletter Archives

RSS Icon XML Feeds

RSS 2.0: Events, Breaking News, Funding Opportunities Atom: Events, Breaking News, Funding Opportunities


NCAT strives to make our information available to everyone who needs it. If you are a limited-access or low-income farmer and find that one of our publications is just not in your budget, please call 800-346-9140.


How are we doing?


Home  > Farm Energy Alternatives  > Biodiesel


Looking for energy-related equipment, funding, or a local business with the right expertise?
Try ATTRA's Directory of Energy Alternatives.

Biodiesel Pump, courtesy of NRELBiodiesel is a versatile, clean-burning fuel made from renewable, biodegradable sources. It can be blended with petroleum diesel in any proportion and used in diesel engines without major modification. Biodiesel can be made from almost any vegetable oil or animal fat, through a process that is neither difficult nor prohibitively expensive.

Using biodiesel instead of petroleum diesel reduces emissions of most air pollutants and greenhouse gases. Biodiesel is biodegradable and essentially non-toxic.

Biodiesel production is growing rapidly, and some farmers are already producing their own fuel. The publications below survey the sustainability dimensions of biodiesel production and explain how to produce biodiesel in small quantities.

NOTE: Some of the following documents are available as Adobe Acrobat PDFs. Download Acrobat Reader.

ATTRA Publications

Biodiesel Use, Handling, and Fuel Quality - IP315


 • Summary • Download PDF  • Buy Print Copy  • View Now
Biodiesel: Do-it-yourself Production Basics - IP263


 • Summary • Download PDF  • Buy Print Copy  • View Now
Biodiesel: The Sustainability Dimensions - IP281


 • Summary • Download PDF  • Buy Print Copy  • View Now
Oilseed Processing for Small-Scale Producers - IP134


 • Summary • Download PDF  • Buy Print Copy  • View Now


ATTRA Webinars

Get expert information about the basics of biodiesel production and learn about how to incorporate the fuel on your farm or ranch; watch Getting Started in Farm-Scale Biodiesel Production. Watch it » (1hr 08min)

The second installment of ATTRA's farm-scale biodiesel production webinar series. DIY Biodiesel: Keeping It Safe, Keeping It Legal puts the novice biodiesel producer on the right track to establishing safe and legal production practices. Watch it » (1hr 03min)

Farm-Scale Biodiesel Production: Taxes and Financial Incentives, the third in ATTRA's biodiesel webinar series, provides useful information about the federal and state fuel excise taxes that apply to biodiesel. Watch it » (56min)

See It On The Farm

Feasibility of On-Farm or Small Scale Oil-seed Processing and Biodiesel Production
Piedmont Biofuels -- More than a Cooperative


Biodiesel Curriculum

(courtesy of our friends at Piedmont Biofuels)

Basic Chemistry of Biodiesel


 • Summary • Download PDF
Biodiesel Production for On-Farm Use: A curriculum for agricultural producers


 • Summary • Download PDF
How Fecal Egg Counts Can Help You Fight Parasites - IP564


 • Summary • Download PDF  • Buy Print Copy
Introduction to the Diesel Engine


 • Summary • Download PDF
The Sidestreams of Biodiesel Production


 • Summary • Download PDF

Biodiesel Links

Growing and Crushing Oilseeds

Oilseed Enterprise Budgets
Oregon State University has put together enterprise budgets for canola, camelina, and flax, as well as estimates of oilseed crushing and biodiesel processing costs. Both tools are in Excel spreadsheet format and allow the user to update input costs and crop prices.


Berkeley Biodiesel Collective
Devoted to educating communities about the environmental, social, and political benefits of biodiesel and to promoting the use of locally produced biodiesel.
Bio-based Research Hub
Links to university, government and private organization research efforts in biodiesel production technologies.
Grease Works
Affiliated with the Corvallis Biodiesel Cooperative, the Grease Works website has information about biodiesel production, an online store, a links section, and a collection of biodiesel-related news articles.
National Biodiesel Board
A national biodiesel trade association, NBB's website includes general information about biodiesel, as well as detailed information on production, storage, regulations, and tax incentives. Interactive maps on the site show who produces, distributes, and sells biodiesel.
Pacific Biodiesel, Inc.
Information, links, and events from one of the nation's first commercial biodiesel production plants, located in Honolulu.

Government Sites

Bioenergy Feedstock Information Network
A gateway to a wealth of biomass feedstock information from the U.S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and other research organizations.
Bioenergy Technologies Office
This U.S. Department of Energy site offers numerous information resources on alternative fuels, including fact sheets, analytical tools, and project reports.
The Alternative Fuels Data Center
Part of the U.S. Department of Energy, AFDC offers an overview of the alternative fuel industry, publications, links, and information on biodiesel and ethanol production, markets, energy balance, incentives and laws.

Do-it-Yourself Biodiesel Links

Collaborative Biodiesel Tutorial
Technical information on biodiesel production.
Journey to Forever
Information, news articles, and links for a variety of renewable energy and sustainable agriculture topics, including biodiesel production.

Biodiesel Discussion Forums

Biodiesel & SVO Discussion Forums
Open to anyone, but participation requires (free) registration. Most discussion revolves around amateur biodiesel production.
Greasecar: Vegetable Fuel Systems Community Page
Discussion topics include technical advice and general information. Use of the online forum is a free service.
Sustainable Information Archive: Biofuel Mailing List Service
Sponsored by Journey to Forever (see above), this service provides a searchable forum for archived discussion on biodiesel production from 2002-2012.
Yahoo! Biodiesel Basics Group
This Yahoo! biodiesel production group has over 3,000 members and archives dating back to 2004. Membership (free) is required to participate in discussions.
Yahoo! Biodiesel Group
Has more than 5,000 members, with searchable message archives going back to 1999. Membership (free) is required to participate in discussions.


« Back to Farm Energy Alternatives Home



Back to top

This page was last updated on: March 12, 2015