Fuel made from oil crops is called biofuel. The demand for biofuels has grown in recent years because of rising gas prices, concerns about global warming, and a desire for energy self-sufficiency. Biofuel made from sugar or corn crops can be used as a fuel for vehicles, like this car.

Photograph by Jeffrey Beall, MyShot
  • On August 10, 1893, mechanical engineer Rudolf Diesel successfully tested the engine that would eventually bear his name. The test took place in Ausburg, Germany. Unlike engines that run on fossil fuels, diesel engines are able to run on biodiesel fuel (fuel made from plant or animal fats).

    Biofuels are in many ways preferable to fossil fuels because their supply is easier to replenish. Biodiesel is considered a renewable energy source. The emissions associated with biodiesel are also less harmful to the atmosphere. Honoring Rudolf Diesel's test, International Biodiesel Day is celebrated each year on August 10.

  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    atmosphere Noun

    layers of gases surrounding a planet or other celestial body.

    Encyclopedic Entry: atmosphere
    biodiesel Noun

    fuel made at least partly from renewable sources such as soy oil, palm oil, or animal fats.

    diesel noun, adjective

    liquid fuel (usually a type of petroleum) used to propel diesel engines. Also called diesel oil and diesel fuel.

    engine Noun

    machine that converts energy into power or motion.

    fossil fuel Noun

    coal, oil, or natural gas. Fossil fuels formed from the remains of ancient plants and animals.

    mechanical engineering Noun

    study of the design, production, and operation of tools and machinery.

    replenish Verb

    to supply or refill.