Photo credit: climatetechwiki.org
Based on my research and findings, I’ll share with you the three top reasons why the admiration and popularity of biodiesel is growing across the world.
As entrepreneurs, it’s important that we understand the market factors that are behind this product. This insight will help us develop a viable business model that can make money.
Here they are…
1. The world wants to reduce waste and recycle more.
In today’s world, resources are becoming limited, and scarce. With a large global population and fast developing economies, both individuals and businesses are looking for more ways to reduce waste. This is whyreuse and recycling have become a big deal nowadays.
Do you know how much used cooking vegetable oil the world wastes every day? It’s in the millions of litres! All this waste cooking oil is flushed down the sink or sucked into the drain. But wasting used cooking oil is unnecessary when it can be recycled into a highly valued product that can power trucks and generators.
Biodiesel is just one of many products that can be recycled from waste. In a previous article, I shared the inspiring success stories of five African entrepreneurs who are creating amazing products from waste. You can read it here: Making Money From Trash – Meet Africa’s Top 5 Entrepreneurs in the Waste Recycling Business.
2. There is a growing preference for cleaner and eco-friendly fuels
The carbon emissions from fossil fuel products like diesel, petrol (gasoline) and kerosene, are the biggest contributors to the greenhouse effect, which is widely responsible for global warming and the adverse climatic changes that are affecting our planet.
Biodiesel has several distinct advantages over ordinary diesel. Biodiesel reduces net carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by up to 78 percent on a life-cycle basis when compared to diesel.
On top of that, biodiesel is biodegradable and non-toxic (has a low sulphur content and doesn’t contain carcinogens), making it more sensitive and relatively harmless to the environment.
It is no surprise that the developed world has embraced biodiesel and is gradually increasing its use as a transportation fuel. In most parts of the USA, diesel sold at retail outlets is blended with a minimum of 5 percent biodiesel. In Germany, it’s 7 percent. The same practice exists in most parts of the European Union and Canada.
As the pressure to further combat climate change increases around the world, I expect that the volume of biodiesel that is blended with ‘normal’ diesel will increase. Sometime in the future, cars and trucks could run on 100 percent biodiesel.
3. More countries want to reduce their dependence on crude oil products
If we have learned anything from the history of the last half-century, it would be that excessive dependence on crude oil, especially from foreign sources, is a very risky situation.
Over the past decade, conflict, politics and uncertainty have made crude oil prices very unpredictable. Since most countries around the world have to import petroleum products from foreign sources, the impact of high oil prices instantly affects daily activities, especially the local economy.
To avoid any future surprises from the unpredictability of global oil prices, more countries around the world are looking at locally accessible energy sources to shore up their supplies and protect themselves from oil price shocks.
Biodiesel is an interesting option for anyone who’s looking to diversify or complement their energy supply sources. Both virgin and used vegetable oils are abundantly produced locally, and this makes it possible for biodiesel to be produced anywhere in the world. It doesn’t matter if you have crude oil reserves or not!
The Huge Potentials Of Biodiesel In Africa – An Inspiring Success Story From Zambia
Mutoba Ngoma is a young Zambian entrepreneur and Founder of Tapera Industries, a small business based in Lusaka, the country’s capital.
photo credit: CNN Africa Startup
Several years ago, when Zambia was experiencing severe fuel shortages, Mutoba dabbled into biodiesel and became one of the first entrepreneurs on the continent to exploit the promising potentials of this fuel.
From a small operation which he started in his backyard with capital borrowed from his father, Mutoba was producing about 200 litres of biodiesel per month from the waste vegetable oils he collected from local households and restaurants. Today, his production has grown to 3,000 litres of biodiesel which he sells to local customers who use the fuel to power trucks and machinery.
According to the short CNN interview below, Mutoba says his business makes about $15,000 per month at the moment. Interestingly, he has found another use for the byproduct of his biodiesel production. He uses the waste glycerin to make organic soaps which have become an unexpected but promising revenue stream for his company.
The short clip below shows Mutoba and his team in action during the biodiesel production process. Take a few minutes to watch it. You’ll surely learn a thing or two!