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By Robert Rapier on Jul 20, 2007 with no responses

Current Status of the Renewable Diesel Chapter

Most sections are pretty well filled in. Below is what the outline looks like. I still have this weekend to work on it. What am I still missing? I am not quite satisfied with all of the titles. For instance, in “The Potential”, I do a thought experiment that I think demonstrates that thoughts of biofuels displacing major amounts of petroleum are completely unrealistic. So, “The Potential” isn’t quite right, but I have had writer’s block on that one.

My idea for that section was to basically show how much petroleum equivalent we could produce by planting the entire arable world in rapeseed. Any better ideas for demonstrating this? I started to go back to first principles and calculate using solar insolation and photosynthetic efficiency, but I think that’s more complex than it needs to be.

Here was the earlier outline.

Below is what I have now. I am still working on several sections – especially the green diesel section. Also, have I missed any really major feedstocks?

Renewable Diesel


The Diesel Engine

The Potential

Straight Vegetable Oil (SVO)


  • Definition/Production Process
  • Fuel Characteristics
  • Energy Return
  • Glycerin Byproduct
  • Animal versus Plant Sources

Green Diesel

  • Definition/Production
  • Hydroprocessing
  • BTL


  • Soybean Oil
  • Palm Oil
  • Rapeseed Oil
  • Jatropha
  • Algae
  • Animal Fats
  • Miscellaneous

Environmental Considerations