Biodiesel, produced from vegetable oil, can substitute for fossil-diesel in transport and heating and electricity generation.
Biodiesel is produced from waste vegetable oil ( eg oil that has been used for cooking), or directly from oilseed crops such as canola and soybeans.
It can be used as a substitute for fossil-diesel in buses, trucks and trains, small electricity generators, and for home heating.
It is cleaner than diesel produced from fossil-oil, which contains sulphur compounds, and emits airborn particulates which cause ill-health in urban settings.
Like other forms of biomass energy, it is potentially greenhouse-neutral. But, again like biomass energy generally, increasing demand for biodfuel can result in increasing demand for land. (The world supply of used vegetable oil is too small to run the world's vehicle fleet.) So large-scale introduction of biodiesel should be accompanied by significant energy-demand reduction strategies.
Biodiesel Industry - Australia
Australia's first large-scale operation to produce biodiesel, an environmentally friendly alternative to diesel fuel made from animal fats and vegetable oils, is expected to be operating in Adelaide by early next year.
New laws outlaw biodiesel home-brews. ABC, 17 June 2004
The Australian Democrats have attacked the major political parties for refusing to support the non-commercial production of "home-brewed" biodiesel. "Up to 3,000 Australians use the fuel, most commonly made from recycled fish and chip oil, in their vehicles."