Palm oil is the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of biofuels. On one hand, palm oil, extracted from the fruit of palm trees, is one of the more energy-efficient biodiesel fuels on the market. Diesel engines don't have to be modified to run on palm oil biodiesel, and biodiesel from palm oil releases less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than gasoline. Plus, palm oil helps the economies of Malaysia and Indonesia, where most palm tree plantations are located. However, the farmers in Malaysia and Indonesia are burning thousands of acres of rainforest each day to make room for more palm plantations. This destruction threatens an already fragile ecosystem and puts thousands of plant and animal species at risk [source: Brune].
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