Rudolf the Clean Air Inventor

David K. Israel

"The use of vegetable oils for engine fuels may seem insignificant today, but such oils may become, in the course of time, as important as petroleum..." Or so forcasted Rudolf Diesel in a speech he gave waaaay back in -- are you ready? -- 1912!

Showing off his invention at the World's Fair in Paris twelve years earlier, Diesel ran his efficient engine on peanut oil. HIs mission: to offer towns, farms and villages a way to produce their fuels regionally. But as we all know, soon thereafter this little thing happened called The. Oil. Industry. - and Diesel's dream dried up.

But all that's changing now... In fact, a biodiesel station has opened near my home and I'm seriously looking into making the switch. Turns out: there's little-to-no modification necessary to run a diesel car on vegetable oil. And you can literally suck the tailpipe, it's so clean.

Here's a cool video showing sexy Daryl Hannah plugging biodiesel. And here's a map of the US showing stations where you can fill 'er up!