Skip to main content

US biodiesel production

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

According to GlobalData, the US biodiesel industry is on pace to produce more than the 1.28 billion gal. set under the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). The figure is based on a recent report from the consulting firm which says that biodiesel is the first Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) designated advanced biofuel to reach 1 billion gal/y of production. This growth is driven in large by a US$ 1/gal. production tax credit extended through the end of this year by US Congress.

‘The RFS aims to reduce oil imports and cut back auto emissions with cleaner burning fuels such as cellulosic ethanol, biomass based diesel, and sugar cane based ethanol. However, cellulosic ethanol has yet to achieve a production level significant enough to seriously contribute to an FRS mandated 16.55 billion gal. of renewable fuels. That’s where biodiesel makes a significant contribution,’ said Jeffrey C. Kerr, GlobalData’s Managing Analyst for Downstream Oil & Gas.

2013 biodiesel milestones

The EPA set a cellulosic requirement of 76 million gal. this year, which is substantially lower than the 1 billion gal. originally agreed for 2013. However, it is forecast that cellulosic producers will not even meet this small volume since few commercial scale production plants have been built.

Yet, some cities in the US have made big moves to institutionalise the use of biodiesel. In September, New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg signed a law that requires all city diesel vehicles to use a blend of 5% biodiesel (B5) by 2014, and of 20% (B20) by 2016 during the warmer months. The law also calls for the city to conduct a pilot program that studies the feasibility of using B20 throughout the entire year.

Kerr commented, ‘home to nearly 8000 diesel vehicles, the city already uses biodiesel blends in almost all vehicles for key services such as Central Park management, snow removal and garbage collection. A move to B20 would add up to 2 million gal. of biodiesel use annually.

Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has in fact been operating on B20 since 2000. Case studies from their use of B20 all year round in airport emergency and snow removal equipment shows biodiesel’s performance capabilities. 

Adapted from a press release by Claira Lloyd.

Read the article online at:


Embed article link: (copy the HTML code below):