National Biodiesel Day | March 18
(Last Updated On: March 17, 2023)


Each year, National Biodiesel Day on March 18th commemorates the birthday of Rudolf Diesel and a few that continue to gain a growing interest across the country and around the world.


Rudolf Diesel invented the diesel engine and unveiled it at the World Fair in 1900. The engine was originally designed to run on peanut oil, and R. Diesel was a big believer in the role plant oils could play in fueling America.

In a 1912 speech, Diesel said, “…the use of vegetable oils for engine fuels may seem insignificant today, but such oils may become, in the course of time, as important as petroleum and the coal-tar products of the present time.”

Biodiesel is a cleaner-burning, petroleum-free alternative to diesel that can be made from animal fat, vegetable oil, and recycled cooking oil. It is reducing U.S. dependence on imported diesel, creating green jobs, and improving our environment. Biodiesel is America’s first advanced Biofuel and has become an increasingly popular fuel. Some of the benefits of biodiesel include:

  • Providing fuel from domestic and sustainable resources.
  • Reducing imports.
  • Reducing emissions.
  • Accessibility in nearly every state in the U.S. and growing.
  • Few to no modifications are necessary to diesel fleet vehicles to start using biodiesel.
  • Being renewable.
  • Being cost-effective.


  • Learn more about biodiesel and how it continues to change. More and more plant products are being utilized for biodiesel and biodiesel blends.
  • Read more about Rudolf Diesel in the book Rudolf Diesel: Pioneer of the Age of Power by W.Robert Nitske and Charles Morrow Wilson.
  • Share your experiences with biodiesel.
  • Use #NationalBiodieselDay to post on social media.


National Day Calendar continues to research the fuel behind this national holiday.  

Biodiesel FAQ

Q. Which states produce the most biodiesel in the United States?
A. According to the Environmental Information Administration (EIA), Iowa, Texas, and Missouri produce the most biodiesel in the United States.

Q. Which country produces the most biodiesel in the world?
A. According to the IEA, Europe is estimated to produce 17.7 billion liters of biodiesel in 2022. The U.S. closely follows at 14.5 billion liters.

Q. Are there other biofuels?
A. Yes. Ethanol is a biofuel produced from corn. The U.S. produces the most ethanol in the world.

March 18th Celebrated History


Henry Wells, John Butterfield, and William Fargo found the joint-stock corporation American Express.


Lord Stanley of Preston, Governor-General of Canada, donates the cup as the award for the best hockey team in Canada creating the Stanley Cup. It was first awarded to Montreal Amateur Athletic Association in 1893.


Russian Cosmonaut Aleksei Leonov leaves the spacecraft Voskhod 2, taking the first space walk.


Paul Simon’s singles “Mother and Child Reunion” and “Me and Julio Down by the School Yard” launch his self-titled debut album to the top of the UK charts.

March 18th Celebrated Birthdays

Grover Cleveland – 1837

Grover Cleveland first served as president in 1885. Serving as the 22nd and the 24th President of the United States, Cleveland’s terms as president were highlight by several points of interest. He is the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms. Benjamin Harrison served as the 23rd president. During his first term, he became the first and only president to marry in the White House. The marriage raised quite a stir, too. His bride, Frances Folsom, became the youngest first lady at the age of 21. Cleveland comes in second place for the number of vetoes cast. During his tenure, he used his veto power 584 times. His social agendas were mixed. From the southern issues to immigration and suffrage, Cleveland often stood with his party but also changed his stance depending on the climate of the time.

Louis Bouché – 1896

The talented artist, Louis Bouché, was born to a French designer. Commissioned for numerous murals, his work can be seen at Eisenhower Presidential Museum, Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice, and Ellenville, New York Post Office to name a few.

Ernest Gallo – 1909

Along with his brother Julio, Ernest Gallo started a winery in 1933. From Modesto, California, they created a brand that dominated the inexpensive wine market. Gallo gained a reputation as a savvy businessman with marketing know-how. Over the years, Gallo eventually branched into finer wines.

John Updike – 1932

One of the 20th century’s most beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning authors, John Updike wrote about the human condition in a broad range of formats. He published more than 20 novels, including the Rabbit series, Witches of Eastwick, numerous short stories, poems, and essays. He was a frequent contributor to the New Yorker, a book and art critic.

Mike Rowe – 1962

Television host, narrator, and advocate for skilled trade training, Mike Rowe has made a name for himself stating things frankly and without apology. In 2017, he became the host of one of Facebook’s first TV shows, Returning the Favor. 

Bonnie Blair – 1964

In 1984, the American speed skater made her Olympic debut in the Sarajevo Winter Olympics. But it wasn’t until the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer that she brought home her first two of five gold medals. Blair would continue her success in 1992 and complete her medal collection in Calgary in 1988 bringing home her fifth gold and a bronze medal.

Queen Latifah – 1970

Born Dana Owens in Newark, New Jersey, the talented Queen Latifah hails as Hip-Hop’s First Lady. Her long list of credits includes numerous acting and musical awards. For her 2002 role in Chicago as Matron “Mama” Morton, she was the first female hip-hop artist nominated for an Academy Award. In 2018, Queen Latifah tacked the role of executive producer on the set of MTV’s Scream.

Notable Mentions

Rudolf Diesel – 1858
Fred Shuttlesworth – 1922
Ben Cohen – 1951
Vanessa Williams – 1963

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