Item description for Biodiesel: Growing A New Energy Economy by Greg Pahl...
When Rudolph Diesel invented his engine in the late nineteenth century, he envisioned a device that could run anywhere on a wide range of local fuels. A century later, Greg Pahl recalls that vision and shows us it is possible with Biodiesel: Growing a New Energy Economy. Biodiesel is:
more biodegradable than sugar and less toxic than table salt.
produced from domestic feedstocks, reducing the need for foreign oil while boosting the local economy and supporting the agricultural community.
reduce net CO2 emissions by 78 percent compared with petroleum diesel fuel, cutting greenhouse gases that lead to global warming.
be mixed with petroleum diesel at any level to produce a cleaner-burning biodiesel blend.
be blended with No. 2 oil for home heating, usually without any retrofits required.
As the politics of energy grow bleak, visionary entrepreneurs in the biofuels industry may very well become society's next great hope-heroes to today's energy insecurity the way astronauts were to the Cold War's space race. In Biodiesel, Greg Pahl delves into the history of the biofuels industry. He assesses its recent successes and current shortcomings, and stands well prepared to estimate its future. If the political, environmental, or financial woes of our current fuel industry have you concerned, it's time to take another look at biodiesel!
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9" Width: 5.9" Height: 0.8" Weight: 0.95 lbs.
Release Date Jan 15, 2005
Publisher Chelsea Green
ISBN 1931498652 ISBN13 9781931498654
Availability 0 units.
More About Greg Pahl
Greg Pahl is the author of numerous books on energy and also writes for Mother Earth News and various other publications on biodiesel, wind power, wood heat, solar energy, heat pumps, electric cars, and a wide range of other topics related to living in a post-carbon world.
His books include Power from the People: How to Organize, Finance, and Launch Local Energy Projects (2012, Chelsea Green), Biodiesel: Growing a New Energy Economy (2005, Chelsea Green), Natural Home Heating: The Complete Guide to Renewable Energy Options (2003, Chelsea Green), The Complete Idiot's Guide to Saving the Environment (2001, Macmillan/Alpha Books), and The Unofficial Guide to Beating Debt (2000, IDG Books).
Pahl has been involved in environmental issues for more than twenty-five years. In the 1970s he lived off the grid in a home in Vermont with a wind turbine atop an 80-foot tower that provided for his electrical needs. He is a founding member of the Vermont Biofuels Association as well as the Acorn Renewable Energy Co-op. Pahl attended the University of Vermont and was a military intelligence officer in the US Army during the Vietnam War.
Greg Pahl currently resides in the state of Vermont.
Reviews - What do customers think about Biodiesel: Growing A New Energy Economy?
The best biodiesel primer available May 14, 2007
Interest in alternative motor fuels has been rising even faster than the cost of gasoline. Biodiesel, a drop-in replacement for diesel fuel, is widely seen as one of the best renewable energy sources. Unfortunately, there is a good deal of misinformation and just plain nonsense out there. As a former big-oil-company research chemist with some experience in alternative fuels, I am often asked where good, reliable information can be found. I use and recommend Pahl's book as a source for trustworthy information written for the non-technical reader. In addition, his information about Rudolph Diesel is a very interesting introduction. Readers should know (and Pahl in fact tells them)that his book is not neutral: he is an unabashed biodiesel proponent. That's not a problem; there is a lot to be excited about when discussing biodiesel. Another warning: if you want to make your own biodiesel (easy to do, actually), go to the Internet, as Pahl concentrates on larger-scale operations. The book's biggest drawback is that the field is changing so rapidly that some of the information (particularly relating to political and commercial developments) is already out of date, even though it was published in 2005. Nevertheless, Pahl has written what I consider to be the best primer on biodiesel available. Anyone interested in learning about biodiesel should own or have access to a copy.
Great overview of biodiesel in practice Apr 18, 2007
Pahl's book on Biodiesel is a great introduction to the basics and some of the more thought-provoking possibilities of how to create this biofuel. Though biodiesel is given much media attention, it is barely in use at all in the US, and this book tells it like it is. I particularly liked the fact that it shows the efficiencies of different feedstocks, pointing out that plant oils might not be the best resource (particulary soybeans), much like corn is a terrible feedstock for ethanol. What I did find amazing is how great of a feedstock brown grease and algae are....the latter has tremendous possibilities, especially when coupled with carbon sequestration in applications such as coal plants. It's a great book that will get you thinking, if not running out to get another book on how to apply some of these ideas at home or in the business world.
Great resource on Biodiesel and other alt. fuels Jul 19, 2006
Greg does a great job of explaining what biodiesel is, how/where it came about, and why it is a good additive to our current petrodiesel. He also writes about what other countries are doing with and how they are (currently) ahead of the US in utilizing it. He also discusses other forms of alternative/renewable sources of energy. I would recommend this book as good reading, but I would probably recommend 'Biodiesel America' first....as it has a bit more current info than Biodiesel: Growing A New Energy Economy. But good reading nontheless.
Excellent overview of Biodiesel May 8, 2006
Greg's book is a fine introduction to the concept of diesel biofuels and deserves its fivestar rating. As someone who has actually refined and used biodiesel on a daily basis, as opposed to a bio-d critic just pontificating about the subject in general, his viewpoint is very welcome. I found 'Biodiesel' well written and a good introduction to the interesting world of biodiesel fuels, its raw material sourcing, and the growing industry of biofuel production. While obviously written from a pro-biodiesel viewpoint, it is an experienced and well-grounded one. Pahl obviously believes that the advantages of cleaner emissions and potential for OPEC import reductions outweigh biodiesel's disadvantages. Pahl may be dismissed by some as a Vermont treehugger, but you don't have to take his word for it. Long-haul truckers are already flocking to biodiesel for its clean burn, longer engine component life, and greater fuel economy - and those guys don't waste money on impractical solutions!
I wouldn't pay too much attention to unemployed agronomists in Brazil or otherwise, with patently obvious agendas against biodiesel as book critics. Ethanol is a great biofuel, but its advantages are oversold as a cure-all. It won't solve our energy problems in the US by itself, and biodiesel fuels are also needed, which Pahl notes come from a constantly expanding variety of byproduct oils from many plant and animal sources. Brazil still has to import petrodiesel to run its trucking industry, and here in the U.S. we have a 'few' large trucks that wouldn't work too well on E85!
As to the book critics, most of them don't like biodiesel, and mistake bio-d criticism for book criticism. The two are completely different. Have they even read the book? I also note that most bio-d critics have never even tried the fuel anyway - just how does can anyone know something doesn't work on either the national or local level if they haven't either tried the fuel in the field or worked in quantity bio-d research and production? At least Mr. Pahl has user experience. Agree or disagree, but at least write a review based on the book, not on your own prejudices.
Biodiesel isn't a solution for energy. Feb 19, 2006
Beeing unemployed, I'm an agronomist here in Brazil.Then I know very much about energy and fuel from crops.Compared to ethanol, the same area produces 7 times more fuel then to biodiesel.If you read in portuguese, you can read my own article about biodisel in site http://www.israel3.com/article341.html . Biodiesel insn't a real source of energy.It's a way to transform waste(oil burned) into fuel.It will never be a great source of fuel in America, and in any other place in the world. Biogas, ethanol and hidrogenation of crops are the real possiblities of fuel from agricultural sources.