Now I need to get this cleared up right now or else I’ll be inundated with emails from hardcore greenies. Is vegetable oil the ultimate green fuel? Is it the future? Should everyone convert?
As yet, there is NO ideal green fuel. To satisfy the demands of the most ardent environmentalist, you must sit quietly at home, never traveling and ideally breathing as little as possible to minimise carbon dioxide emissions.
However, I tend to be a little more realistic. I need my car. I need the convenience of it and no matter what ardent environmentalists may want, most people are going to shy away from the inconvenience of public transport and use their own cars.
Given this it makes sense to use a fuel that’s readily available, cheap, not harmful to the planet and available right now (not in twenty years). On these grounds, I think vegetable oil is a sensible alternative to standard diesel.
I appreciate that there simply isn't enough farmland available to grow the crops necessary to run all the worlds cars on vegetable oil, but I'm sensible enough to know that would never happen anyway. I believe something better will come along in the near future, but for now, I believe I'm reducing the size of my carbon footprint and still getting the benefits of modern motoring.
If waste vegetable oil is used (WVO) there are further green benefits. As the name suggests, this is a "waste" product, vegetable oil that has already served its original purpose in cooking. When the catering industry needs to get rid of this byproduct, a simple bit of filtering makes it a truly green fuel.
“The heart that gives, gathers” - Tao Te Ching
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