• Jun 6, 2006
In an interview with Reuters, the head of agricultural development for oil company Total flatly stated that Europe needs more biodiesel production rather than competing alternative fuel ethanol, saying "The European market definitely is, and for a long time will be, a diesel market."
Europe is a net importer of diesel, mostly from Russia, but an exporter of gasoline, much of which goes to the U.S. This year, diesel is forecast to surpass gasoline as the primary fuel for new European passenger vehicles. This lessens the potential impact of ethanol-gasoline blends as an alternative fuel.

The European Union has set targeted biofuels to provide 5.75 percent of transport fuels by 2010, but it's unlikely that Europe can economically grow enough biodiesel feedstock to come close to the target, making imports of oilseeds like rapeseed (pictured) inevitable.

Total is the world's fourth largest oil and gas company, and a European leader in biofuels. Among other initiatives, the company recently entered into a partnership with Finland's Neste Oil to develop a synthetic biodiesel refining capability.

[Sources: Reuters, Total]


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  • 13 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      "While technically you can run cars with pure biodiesel, there are problems with pure biodiesel (like gelling mentioned above) that make it impractical."

      Uh...this isn't some theoretical thing. People run on straight biodiesel every day. I did so last fall, due to price competitiveness. In the winter, the available fuel switched from B99 to B95. The additives take care of the problems.
      • 8 Years Ago
      In other news: VP of Marketing for Coca-Cola says consumers should drink more Coke, less Pepsi.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "Uh...this isn't some theoretical thing. People run on straight biodiesel every day. "

      Uh, I said you can run pure biodiesel. You need to read. I'm saying it's not practical mass market due to the gelling point issue. So if you live somewhere cold, it needs additives. And they haven't settled on one yet.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Butanol to replace gasoline,
      Biodiesel to replace petro-diesel.

      Ethanol sucks and should not be used, except in Brazil (the equator runs through that country, hence the vast sugar cane and no snow)
      • 8 Years Ago
      Cervus, your statements are interesting. You have sources for those numbers? It's the kind of info I was looking for.

      It sounds from what you're saying that current and short term future production of biodiesel/ethanol are not going to make a lot of difference on imported oil (I know, you gotta start somewhere)

      • 8 Years Ago
      An oil executive telling the people what they need to use?

      Funny stuff. They do have a sense of humor in a sick sort of way.

      If it were only a movie.

      Jake.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Biodiesel is different from petroleum diesel. That said, they often mix the two as Biodiesel gels at 4 degrees celsius.

      Potentially, Biodiesel may win out over Ethanol because of the ease of production. But that wouldn't happen anytime soon in the US, esp since the US doesn't use diesel nearly as much as Europe.
      • 8 Years Ago
      "This is one of the reasons why I like diesels so much. They're much cleaner running biodiesel, which in and of itself is a direct replacement for petrodiesel."

      While technically you can run cars with pure biodiesel, there are problems with pure biodiesel (like gelling mentioned above) that make it impractical. Whether they can ultimately mix it with chemicals aside from petrodiesel remains to be seen.

      The only way I forsee biodiesel making inroads is if consumers see hybrid taxcuts diminishing, and if they realize the high costs of battery replacement over the years isn't worth it. But that'd take another 5 years or so.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I would agree with the gentleman's statement that biodiesel is more in the future of Europe than ethanol/gasoline lix or gasohol...

      And while discussing the feestock for biodiesel, rather than rapeseed, canola or soy, I feel more research should be made on feedstock such as algae for biodiesel...found one site that provides useful info on biodiesel from algae - oilgae.com ( http://www.oilgae.com )...it appears that biodiesel yield from algae could be over 200 times that for rapeseed or soy

      Some inputs that I hope would be of help

      Ec @ eIT.in

      • 8 Years Ago
      You can run any diesel engine on biodiesel, B1 to B100. Biodiesel will gel at roughly 30F degrees below whatever the feedstock (oil used) gelpoint is. If the biodiesel was made from beef tallow (85F gel point), then the biodiesel will gel at approximately 55F. If its made from olive oil (gel at around 45F) then biodeiesel will gel at 15F. These are two examples on the far edges.

      Currently, there are not many additives that really work. They help some, but rarely live up to the calims. Mixing with Diesel no. 1 (kerosene) usually does the trick. And there are such things as "heaters".

      Biodiesel is such a clear solution (only one of the silver bullets needed to solve our energy problem) that I think people have a hard time beleiving it could be THAT easy.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Any one else hear the story about diesel fumes being heavily carcinogenic over time? Some friend of some woman who once worked with my mother's former roommate twice removed has got my wife in a tizzy and now the certified E-Series diesel I had my eye on has got the ban on it.

      I'm just trying to find valid proof of the whole thing because my argument of 'whate doesn't cause cancer' isn't apparently working.
      • 8 Years Ago
      An oil company promoting the continued use of petroleum products? That was about as unexpected as the sunrise this morning.
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