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Home  > Farm Energy Alternatives  > Biodiesel

Biodiesel

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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

PDF Price: FREE

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

PDF Price: FREE

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

PDF Price: FREE

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

PDF Price: FREE

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

 

ATTRA Webinars

Get expert information about the basic 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

Oriyoomi, LLC -- Farm-Scale Biodiesel and Value-Added Markets for Oilseed Products
[PDF/503K]
Piedmont Biofuels -- More than a Cooperative
[PDF/6MB]

 

Biodiesel Curriculum

(courtesy of our friends at Piedmont Biofuels)

Basic Chemistry of Biodiesel

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

PDF Price: FREE

 • Summary • Download PDF
Introduction to the Diesel Engine

 • Summary
The Sidestreams of Biodiesel Production

 • Summary

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.

Organizations

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.
Biodiesel Now
Forums, links, a mailing list, testimonials, and other resources.
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. The NBB also maintains All Things Biodiesel, the world's largest biodiesel marketplace. It includes online biodiesel classifieds, the biodiesel store, and a biodiesel directory.
Pacific Biodiesel, Inc.
Information, links, and events from one of the nation's first commercial biodiesel production plants, located in Honolulu.
VeggieAvenger
Information on biofuel production, co-ops, news, and links.

Government Sites

Biodiesel Research Hub
Links to university, government and private organization research efforts in biodiesel production technologies.
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.
Biofuels Website
This U.S. Department of Energy site offers basic information on alternative fuels, including distillation and conversion methods.
Renewable Diesel Fuel Website
Part of the U.S. Department of Energy Biomass program, this site offers basic information on biodiesel production technologies.
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 discussion on biodiesel production, going back to 2002.
Yahoo! Biodiesel Basics Group
This second Yahoo! biodiesel production group has over 2,000 members and archives dating back to 2004. Membership (free) is required to participate in discussions.
Yahoo! Biodiesel Group
Has more than 3,000 members, with searchable message archives going back to 1999. Membership (free) is required to participate in discussions.

 

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This page was last updated on: April 26, 2012