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Greasology Reviews

Biodiesel: Growing a New Energy Economy by Greg Pahl

Are you ready to get a complete history lesson on the origin and development of Biodiesel? Pahl's Biodiesel: Growing a New Energy Economy is the best text for a complete course on the history and development of biodiesel across the globe.

Pahl starts out with a nice tutorial on the diesel engine and using vegetable oil as a fuel. This is the most complete, well-researched account of Rudolf Diesel's role in the development of the compression ignition engine and its use of carbon-neutral fuels. Pahl follows up with a good basic description of the basics of making biodiesel and the many diverse uses for alkyl esters.

After laying this solid foundation, Pahl takes the reader on a tour of the roots of biodiesel in most countries in Europe, Asia and the Americas. His research helps with understanding methods by which pioneering countries were able to get biodiesel to the retail pump as well as documenting experiments with a variety of feedstocks from waste vegetable oil to rapeseed (Canola) oil.

After taking the reader around the world on biodiesel, Pahl covers topics including the politics and key figures involved with advancement of biodiesel as an accepted source of carbon-neutral energy. The future of biodiesel circa 2004 is also covered in the final chapters.

Pahl does not try to educate the reader on the best process or best practices for creating biodiesel. As most producers will tell you, if you want to learn the latest and greatest methods for creating biodiesel from any source of vegetable oil or animal fats, you should turn to the internet and the Collaborative Biodiesel Tutorial. Once you are comfortable with the process, join the InfoPOP Biodiesel and BiodieselNow forums to learn what the Biodiesel innovators are cooking up to improve creation, testing, storage blending and use of biodiesel. Just browsing and searching these forums will get you to the level of comfort to go out to the garage and make your first 2 liter bottle batch!

Overall, Pahl's tome provides both the biodiesel novice and the seasoned producer with an exhaustive reference of the history of biodiesel. I highly recommend this book both to the consumer, producer and political advocate. After reading this book, put it in your library and refer to it often. It makes a great resource for preparing for any discussion on the viability of biofuels in today's oil addicted generation. (from hallway conversation to political debate)

For more information on Greg Pahl, you can visit him at his website, http://www.gregpahl.com.

Rating: Highly Recommended, a great reference book for the biodiesel enthusiast.


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