Veggie biodiesel: a truly recycled fuel

MARLBORO — Morgan Milazzo wrote an article in the Aug. 1 edition of The Commons pointing out the virtues of using biodiesel for our transportation uses.

A writer from Texas, Justin Heller, wrote the following week to say that using biodiesel is only slightly better than using petrodiesel.

Unfortunately, he appears to be confusing ethanol and virgin corn biodiesel (publicly traded commodities) with what the article covered: cooking oil that has already been used for its intended purpose and is then reprocessed to burn in diesel engines.

This is the so-called “veggie biodiesel” that greatly reduces carbon dioxide release because it is a waste product of the food industry being recycled for another use.

It is true that using virgin corn oil in diesel engines produces only slightly less carbon dioxide than regular diesel. In addition, it consumes invaluable soil, gets heavy government subsidies, and relies on intensive use of other petroleum products for fertilizer and tractor use to get it into our machines.

By contrast, recycled veggie oil is a truly recycled product that was dumped into landfills at considerable cost 20 years ago where it released its carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere. We simply burn it up now instead of letting it decompose.

The needed infrastructure to keep it out of the landfills and get it into our diesels is now in place, and burning veggie oil reduces the need for either virgin corn oil or petrodiesel.

Thanks for the opportunity to clear this up.

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