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Alternative Investments Explained: from farming to gems and stones, AlternativeMarketplace.co.uk breaks down the alternative products vying for your cash and assesses which assets are worth taking the risk.
This week, AlternativeMarketplace.co.uk breaks down biodiesel.
Money does not grow on trees. Ask any forest investment expert and they might say different. The same is true of biodiesel investors - and they have a fairly strong case.
What is biodiesel? It is a diesel fuel that is created from a substance such as vegetable oil or animal fat. Who uses it? In 2008, biofuels actually accounted for 1.8 per cent of the world’s transport fuel. It may not seem like much, but that figure is set to grow significantly.
Why? Because crude oil is running out. And as crude oil gets used up, the globe continues to warm up - causing a spike in oil prices and environmental damage simultaneously.
Biodiesel is an answer to both problems, providing an eco-friendly alternative to crude oil that can fuel machines at lower costs and lower guilt margins. No wonder, then that the EU is aiming to boost that 1.8 per cent up to 10 per cent by the year 2020.
Green oil is one of the main types of biodiesel, with variants such as Jatropha oil and Milettia oil attracting investor attention. These trees grow in indigenous plantations in a sustainable way so that they can then be harvested. Even the Milettia tree’s biological make-up seems designed to avoid harming nature around it: its roots descend deep into the ground to access water out of reach from other plants and animals, so its impact upon the environment is minimised.
The tree has several uses once harvested: its bark can be used to make rope, while its flowers are useful as a form of plant food and its dark resign can help to treat wounds.
Once harvested, these trees can be used as the basis for green oil. And with some reports suggesting palm oil-based fuel can be produced at even lower costs than rapeseed biofuel, biodiesel is an increasingly cost effective form of fuel that is being developed at all times.
Lower production costs, smaller environment damage and growing demand? Put those together and you have an alternative investment that, much like forestry or carbon credits, can help the planet - as well as provide a sustainable source of income for your wallet.
Who said money does not grow on trees?
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