While I don’t know the exact car that first ran off of biodiesel, the interesting thing is that both Rudolf Diesel and Henry Ford first started running their engines using peanut oil and ethanol respectively. It wasn’t until petroleum came onto the market and proved to be the most logical fuel source that biofuels were pushed aside. In fact, although it was not common place, in the 1930s and 1940s vegetable oils were often used for diesel fuel. This proves that the idea of biofuels is not a new concept, although it did not come back into prominent thinking until the 1970s and 1980s with the issue of global warming and the passage of the Clean Air Act by the EPA in 1970.
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