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Biodiesel: Growing a New Energy Economy, 2nd Edition Paperback – September 15, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing; 2nd edition (September 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933392967
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933392967
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #869,194 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Finally, the book we've been looking for. Greg Pahl's new biodiesel book offers a comprehensive review of all things veggie oil powered. From the history of the diesel engine to the development of the biodiesel industry, past, current, and future. This is the ultimate primer."--Rob Elam, Propel Project

About the Author

Greg Pahl is the author of numerous books on energy and also writes for Mother Earth News and various other publications on biodiesel, wind power, wood heat, solar energy, heat pumps, electric cars, and a wide range of other topics related to living in a post-carbon world.

His books include Power from the People: How to Organize, Finance, and Launch Local Energy Projects (2012, Chelsea Green), Biodiesel: Growing a New Energy Economy (2005, Chelsea Green), Natural Home Heating: The Complete Guide to Renewable Energy Options (2003, Chelsea Green), The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Saving the Environment (2001, Macmillan/Alpha Books), and The Unofficial Guide to Beating Debt (2000, IDG Books).

Pahl has been involved in environmental issues for more than twenty-five years. In the 1970s he lived off the grid in a home in Vermont with a wind turbine atop an 80-foot tower that provided for his electrical needs. He is a founding member of the Vermont Biofuels Association as well as the Acorn Renewable Energy Co-op. Pahl attended the University of Vermont and was a military intelligence officer in the US Army during the Vietnam War.


More About the Author

Greg Pahl is a 1967 graduate of the University of Vermont and a former Military Intelligence officer in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. A full-time freelance journalist for many years, he has written feature articles for numerous publications, including Vermont Magazine, the Vermont Times, Mother Earth News, The Champlain Business Journal, and many others.

In addition, Greg is the author of Biodiesel: Growing a New Energy Economy (2005, Chelsea Green), Natural Home Heating: The Complete Guild to Renewable Energy Options (2003, Chelsea Green), The Complete Idiot's Guide to Saving the Environment (2001, Macmillan/Alpha Books), and The Unofficial Guide to Beating Debt (2000, IDG Books).

Greg has been involved in environmental issues for more than 25 years. In the 1970s he lived "off the grid" in a home in Vermont with a wind turbine atop an 80-foot tower that provided for his electrical needs. He is a founding member of the Vermont Biofuels Association as well as the Addison County Relocalization Network (ACORN). He has written about biodiesel, wind power, wood heat, solar energy, heat pumps, electric cars, and a wide range of other topics related to living in a post-carbon world.


Visit Greg's website, www.gregpahl.com.

Customer Reviews

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I found this to be a very interesting book to read.
Jeffrey Dorn
It's a great book that will get you thinking, if not running out to get another book on how to apply some of these ideas at home or in the business world.
HomesByScot
Biodiesel, a drop-in replacement for diesel fuel, is widely seen as one of the best renewable energy sources.
Alan D. Eastman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Rhodes on May 12, 2005
Format: Paperback
Below is my favourable take on Greg Pahl's "Biodiesel":

Diesel-powered vehicles and equipment are everywhere, and are likely to continue to exist for years, if not for generations to come. Buses, trains, trucks, generators, and a growing number of automobiles use diesel fuel. Diesel engines tend to be more fuel-efficient, and last longer, than their gasoline-powered counterparts. Diesel engines get better torque than do gasoline engines, and devote more of their energy to propulsion (what we want), and less to wasted heat (what we don't want). In summary, diesel engines have a lot going for them.

However, the challenge is that diesel, along with its cousin, gasoline, are fossil fuels, whose supplies are, by most reasonable estimates, finite and declining at rates greater than many of us feel comfortable to acknowledge. Diesel fuel, when burned by an inefficient engine, generates a lot of pollution, both real (e.g. particulate matter) and perceived (i.e. billowing clouds of smoke). Diesel has a bad reputation in some circles, and often this is deserved.

Enter biodiesel, a renewable alternative to traditional "petrodiesel". Developed over the past several decades from various plant and animal "feedstocks", biodiesel is a relatively clean-burning fuel that can either supplement or, in some cases, replace the non-renewable petrodiesel. For example, B20 biodiesel, which I use in my 2004 VW Golf, consists of 20% biodiesel and 80% traditional petrodiesel. Overall engine performance is as good as, if not better than, what would be experienced using pure petrodiesel. The greater lubricity of biodiesel prolongs the life of engines that use it; this attribute will grow in importance as diesel suppliers are encouraged or forced to reduce the sulphur content of the fuel...
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By N. A. WHITE on February 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
The author has done a masterful job of building the case for a serious exploration of a bio-based energy economy. The book has a friendly not-too-technical style and it's incredibly well researched, carefully documented and very well organized. As an added bonus, Biodiesel starts off with an insightful forward by celebrated author and environmentalist, Bill McKibben.

After setting the tone for the book by bringing to light the potential crisis of Peak Oil, Pahl begins to delve into part of the solution as he leads the reader on a great story ride through the life (and death!) of Rudolf Diesel, to the early pioneers of biodiesel across the European eco-industrial landscape and back to the present day biodiesel industry currently emerging in the U.S.. The book is full of personal interviews with key players that brings this rapidly evolving world of agriculture, science and alternative energy to life. And Greg Pahl does an excellent job of providing a balanced look at both the possibilities and the social and environmental challenges of drawing increasing amounts of energy from the soil.

I've been pretty involved in sustainable development for years (and biofuels in particular) and I can only say that this latest book by the author is a real gift and a "must read" for anyone interested in or working towards a renewable energy future.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Gary C. Winslow on February 2, 2005
Format: Paperback
I've learned more about the history of the diesel engine and biodiesel after reading the first chapter of this book than I have in the two years since I started reading about biodiesel. Anyone wanting to know about the complete history of biodiesel should read this book! It's obvious that the author has done his homework.

Green G
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By W. Chase on July 19, 2006
Format: Paperback
Greg does a great job of explaining what biodiesel is, how/where it came about, and why it is a good additive to our current petrodiesel. He also writes about what other countries are doing with and how they are (currently) ahead of the US in utilizing it. He also discusses other forms of alternative/renewable sources of energy. I would recommend this book as good reading, but I would probably recommend 'Biodiesel America' first....as it has a bit more current info than Biodiesel: Growing A New Energy Economy. But good reading nontheless.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey Dorn on February 19, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this to be a very interesting book to read. I have known for sometime that diesel fuel could be made from hemp seed oil but this book breaks down the walls to ignorance and fills the void with useful examples of what could be happening and what is happening around the world. I strongly recommend this book as part of well balanced diet of alternative energy readings. My only real critisicm of this work is that there is nothing said about the potential of Hemp. The author writes an entire section about the oil to weight ratios of various seed stocks that could be used for fuel. Most noticably missing is the Hemp seed which grows in every client and produces a more abundent amount of oil by weight than all the others! Maybe the author did not know that the first diesel fuel was made from vegatable oils. Henry Ford found that Hemp seed oil was the best for making diesel fuel. I wonder, could this be a hang up caused by the current "Drug War"? It is a shame that a useful plant such as Hemp would be omitted from a work on Bio-Diesel.

Otherwise, this is a must read. As most of us are begining to realize, crude oil is going to run out. So the question of what to use for fuel next is not a matter of "IF" but "When" and we as a society need to find alternatives. Bio-Deisel has great potential.

The book is a smooth read. It is engaging and full of detail which is carefully sourced but not dry or boring. I enjoyed it very much.
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