Desert Biofuels Initiative

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Desert Biofuels Initiative

A non-profit social venture advancing sustainable regional biofuels

IMPORTANT NOTE: We have ceased activity, but plan to leave the website up indefinitely for archival purposes. Other than this red colored text and removal of our "donate" link the website remains as last updated, but please note that we dissolved as an entity in 2011 and active projects ceased before that.  Thanks to all for a fantastic five year run!  


Locally-produced and locally-used biofuels can provide compelling environmental, social, political and economic benefits. Desert Biofuels Initiative, Inc. is a Phoenix, Arizona-based non-profit social venture aimed at advancing the development of a robust sustainable biofuels infrastructure in the Sonoran Desert region, throughout the U.S., and around the globe. 

We partner closely with our sister site,, in an effort to promote our vision of sustainable regional biofuels globally.


Local biofuels: environmental, economic and security benefits

Local biofuels.  Local biofuels, also sometimes called sustainable regional biofuels, are biofuels that are produced locally, using local, sustainable non-food inputs, and used locally.  Examples of local biofuels include converting restaurant waste oil (WVO) to biodiesel, or using locally produced algae feedstocks to make biodiesel or ethanol. 

Environmental benefits.  Biofuels provide dramatic air quality and other environmental benefits over petroleum fuels.  For example, in Arizona, simply converting all local WVO to biodiesel for use in place of petrol diesel would save 100,000 tons of CO2 annually from Maricopa County air.

Local biofuels provide significant environmental advantages over non-local biofuels (e.g. corn ethanol or soy biodiesel), and do not displace food crops.

Economic development benefits.  Developing a local energy infrastructure creates jobs and dramatically boosts regional economies.  Keeping even a modest portion of the dollars that currently flow out of a region to pay for fuel would be "game changing" for a region.

Regional economic security.  Experience has shown that the petroleum fuel infrastructure in many regions is fragile and subject to disruption, as we have seen first-hand in Arizona.  Local fuel sources mitigate this risk.

Geo-political benefits.  Reducing dependence on foreign oil helps the U.S. disentangle from complex geo-political situations.


Arizona can be a template for other regions

Arizona is the home of leading edge biofuel researchers, global leaders in sustainability and science policy analysis, innovative entrepreneurs, a robust grassroots biofuels community, and forward-looking policymakers who understand and are supportive of biofuels.  We have the opportunity to rally diverse stakeholders and implement local biofuels in a world class way, ultimately serving as a model for other regions.

In this new energy model, you grow your crops regionally and process or refine the oil or feedstock near the point of use. ... [W]e do believe there are opportunities for farmers, local agriculture groups, universities, lawyers, policy makers and of course entrepreneurs to play a role in helping to establish regional production of biofuels.  It's happening in places as diverse as Seattle and Pune, India--and will become a growing movement in years to come." 

A Non-Profit Social Venture Promoting "Local Biofuels" in the Valley of the Sun.