Explore More Energy
help teacher resources contact us
web sites glossary careers explore more
profiles uses issues viewpoints
 


Lean Mean Fuel from a Bean - Soy Diesel

Tilling not Drilling
Beans are a well-known source of gas, now they’re a source for fuel! Buses, trucks, cars, lawn mowers — soy diesel can power anything that uses traditional diesel fuel. Biodiesels are a class of fuels created from biomass. Soy diesel is created from soybeans and is just one type of biodiesel. Soy diesel can be used on its own, or it can be blended with traditional petroleum. Whichever option is used, the end result is reduced demand for petroleum imports. Soy diesel is also better for the environment with fewer emissions than regular diesel.

Cash Crop
Farmers see soy diesel as an exciting new market for their beans, a new market that may mean more money in a time when farmers are struggling to make a profit. The West Central Cooperative in Ralston, Iowa, processes about 7 million bushels of soybeans every year and sees soy diesel as a huge opportunity for farmers. The cooperative is planning to build a new plant and predicts this facility will manufacture about 10 million gallons of soy diesel a year.

Clean Beans
Although soy diesel is currently more expensive than traditional diesel, experts predict that once the fuel is more widely used, prices will come down. Fans of the fuel say the environmental benefits more than make up for the price. Soy diesel is non-toxic, biodegradable, virtually free of sulfur and is a totally renewable resource.