1900 - Rudolf Diesel demonstrated his vegetable oil fuel for an engine at the World Exhibition in Paris, France. Diesel demonstrated his engine by running it on peanut oil. Similarly, Henry Ford expected his Model T to run on ethanol, a corn product. Eventually, in both Diesel's and Ford's cases, petroleum entered the picture and proved to be the most logical fuel source.
1930s and 1940s - Though it was not common practice, vegetable oils were also used for diesel fuel.
1970 - The passage of the Clean Air Act by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the US sparked more interest in biofuels. The EPA closely regulated emissions standards for pollutants like sulfur dioxides, carbon monoxide, ozone and nitrogen oxides. This set the stage for developing cleaner-burning fuels. This also set standards for fuel additives.
1973-1974 - Arab oil embargo and the 1978-1979 Iranian Revolution, coupled with a decrease in domestic oil production, served to drive prices up peaking interest in alternative fuels.
1978 - EA Bioenergy, established in by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and International Energy Agency (IEA), with the aim of improving cooperation and information exchange between countries that have national programs in bioenergy research, development and deployment August 1982, the first International Conference on Plant and Vegetable Oils was held in Fargo, N.D. This conference dealt with matters ranging from fuel cost and the effects of vegetable oil to fuel additives and extraction methods.
1990 - The Clean Air Act was amended to include more stringent restrictions on vehicle emissions. The amendment introduced provisions for such things as increased oxygen content in gasoline (which lowers carbon monoxide emissions) and lower sulfur content in diesel fuels.
1992 - The EPA passed the Energy Policy Act, or EPACT, aimed at increasing the amount of alternative fuel used by the US government transportation fleets in order to reduce dependency on foreign oil.
1998 - EPACT amendment included using biodiesel fuel in existing government diesel vehicles as an acceptable alternative to purchasing alternative fuel vehicles, or AFVs, as stipulated in the original EPACT.
2010 - Russian pulp and paper maker, Vyborgskaya Cellulose, said they would be producing pellets that can be used in heat and electricity generation from its plant in Vyborg by the end of the year.The plant produced about 900,000 tons of pellets per year.
2016 - EU revised the renewable energy directive.