Biodiesel is an alternative fuel made from renewable sources that is non-toxic, biodegradable and can be used in regular diesel engines with little or no modification. Biodiesel produced in the United States can reduce dependence on foreign oil and put money back into the rural economy. Since biodiesel is produced from canola, other oilseeds and algae, it can be grown over and over, unlike non-renewable petroleum. Canola oil meets ths 50 percent greenhouse gas reduction requirement of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as a raw material (feedstock) for biodiesel production under the expanded Renewable Fuel Standard.
Biodiesel is also much more environment-friendly than petroleum diesel, lowering greenhouse gas emissions by up to 78 percent and not having a catastrophic effect if spilled. Canola oil is one of the most effective and efficient sources for biodiesel with excellent cold-flow properties; what's good for the heart is also good for the engine due to canola oil's low saturated fat content. Plus, canola seed yields about 44 percent oil when crushed compared to only 18 percent for soybeans, the most common biodiesel feedstock.
Finally, canola biodiesel is a useful option because nothing goes to waste. Leftover glycerin from canola oil can be used in skin creams, soaps and other personal care products. Crushed seeds are used in animal feed, providing a great source of protein.
Because of canola oil's potential as alternative fuel, the USCA has a reciprocal board seat on the National Biodiesel Board.