If diesel from petroleum oil is expensive, biodiesel from soybean oil is
almost ludicrous. Rising costs of farm operations along with a decreased
supply and increased demand are keeping biodiesel prices sky high and
preventing it from becoming a widely applied alternative fuel.
A biodiesel feedstock that is not tied to petroleum consumption seems to be
the most logical.
Algae- powered by the sun, nutrient-rich wastewater, and carbon dioxide-
could be applied in the production of such a feedstock.
Going Biodiesel Is No Cheap Alternative March 25, 2008 03:28 PM ET | Marianne
The retail cost of highway diesel fuel is $3.99 per gallon—thanks to tough
environmental rules and strong global demand, especially in Europe. The
national average retail price of diesel hit an all-time high for five weeks
in a row, is above $4 per gallon in plenty of places, and is up 50 percent
over one year ago.
I thought this might make it a good market for biodiesel, the alternative
fuel blended from vegetable or plant oils, but then I saw Autobloggreen's
a Minnesota biodiesel plant that was halting production, at least
temporarily, because of skyrocketing soybean oil costs.
Guess what? Petroleum prices have yanked farm prices up right along with
them, because of rising farm energy costs and rising use of biofuels. By
now, everyone knows about corn prices and
but keep in mind that when farmers turn soy acres to corn for ethanol, that
means higher prices for soy—the most common feedstock for biodiesel in the
United States. So the rising petroleum tide lifts all alternative