National Biodiesel Day is celebrated in the U.S. on March 18th.  It is the birthday of the man who designed the original diesel engine, Rudolph Diesel.

Biodiesel is a cleaner burning, advanced biofuel made from readily available renewable resources.  The National Biodiesel Board CEO Joe Jobe suggest that biodiesel is the only advanced biofuel that is commercially available in the United States.  Rudolf Diesel originally designed diesel engines to use biodiesel fuels in the 19th century.

Born in Paris, France, Rudolph Diesel decided he wanted to become an engineer and enrolled in the Industrial School of Augsburg.  He graduated from the Royal Bavarian Polytechnic of Munich and, after graduating, joined one of his professors in the design, construction, and management of a modern refrigeration and ice plant.  Shortly after Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz invented the first car, Diesel published in 1893 his now famous treatise, Theorie und Construktion eines rationellen Wärmemotors zum Ersatz der Dampfmaschine und der heute bekannten Verbrennungsmotoren, or Theory and Construction of a Rational Heat-engine to Replace the Steam Engine and Combustion Engines Known Today.  The document would become the basis of the diesel engine.

Rudolph Diesel had originally designed his engines to run on vegetable oils such as peanut oil.  Today, interest in biodiesel has increased among oil companies and auto manufacturers as worldwide petroleum reserves continue to be depleted.  We are thankful to Mr. Diesel for his vision and efforts in the conception and development of a better engine.  About 80% of all vehicles in Europe sold in the past 3 years are running diesel engines.  Projections suggest that with the next decade, 80% of all new vehicle engines in the world will be diesel technologies.