You've not been given all of the facts. "Life After the Oil Crash" and their dated reports (data from 1993, 1997, and 1999) criticize biomass and ethanol based fuels as costing more to produce than their energy output. They state "No Comprehensive Replacement in Sight".
However Biodiesel production is affordable and efficient! Biodiesel production process's inputs are 87% vegetable OR animal oils & fats, 12% alcohol, and ~1% catalyst. The outputs of this process are 4% alcohol, 1% fertilizer, 9% glycerin (resold to make soap), and 86% product (methyl ester). The production of biodiesel is a low temperature (150 F) and pressure (20 psi) process.
The current trend in biodiesel production is limited, but gaining speed with 15 million gallons produced in 2002 and projected 20 million gallons in 2003. The biodiesel industry has a solid foundation and some of your senators & representatives have made tax incentives and biodiesel promotion a priority.
You can use 100% or "neat" biodiesel, known as B100. A 20% mixture, or B20, is the most common, and if you aren't ready to convert or require premium fuel with a very high cetane you can use B2 and gain the bennefits of reduced engine wear and cleaner emissions.
You can use biodiesel in your modern diesel vehicle with engine modifications required only if your vehicle has natural rubber components in its fuel system (pre 1990's vehicles). You can almost always use B20 with no risk to your engine warranty.
Compare to current diesel used in performance vehicles. The average cetane rating for diesel sold in north America is 40-45. The minimum specified cetane for biodiesel is 47.
Biodiesel has squashed the competition at the Tour de Sol. In 2001 a B50/electric hybrid placed first, a B20 vehicle placed 4th, and a B100/electric hybrid placed 5th. In 2003 a 1996 Volkswagen Passat TDi took 1st place in many categories running B100.
If you are interested in switching to biodiesel consult your mechanic, and find a Biodiesel retail location (continental US).
My next gas vehicle will be biodiesel powered!