Quick. Which countries are the top three consumers of oil? If "Japan" was one of your answers, you'll be nearly unbeatable in trivia.

The third largest consumer, finally facing increasing gas prices, is enacting new legislation this year to increase biodiesel production. Lawmakers, though, admit the laws will probably have little effect at first. Compliance is primarily voluntary, for example. There are no rules on quality control or require any minimum percentage of biodiesel/fuel blending. Finally, there are few incentives: diesel vehicles are scarce in Japan and biodiesel would have to be imported from other countries since there's insufficient land to grow biofuel profitably.

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[Source: Scientific America]


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