Chapter 1

History and Legislation

The concept of renewable fuels for motor vehicles dates back to 1896 and the quadricycle designed and built by Henry Ford. This was a modified four-wheeled bicycle that had a 4 horsepower, 2 cylinder engine powered by pure ethanol. The Standard Oil Company of New Jersey began the addition of ethanol to gasoline in the 1920s to increase its octane number and to decrease knocking. Concurrent with these efforts, Rudolf C.K. Diesel in 1892 invented the engine that bears his name. It was originally powered by coal dust and subsequently vegetable oil.

In 2005, the US Congress determined that fuels from renewable resources would play a major role in US energy independence. A collateral objective was to decrease greenhouse ...

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