More States Are Producing Alternative Biodiesel, Renewable Diesel

Soy biodiesel
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Renewable diesel can be used in diesel engines without modification, while nearly all heavy-duty diesel vehicles can run on biodiesel blends. All original equipment manufacturers approve the use of a B5 biodiesel blend, while the B20 blend is most common.

Both fuel types are commercially available nationwide and made in the United States, but have slight differences. Chemically identical to petroleum diesel and nearly identical in its performance characteristics, renewable diesel can be blended with petroleum diesel at any level. On the other hand, biodiesel can only be blended at rates between 2% and 20% of diesel fuel by volume.

In January 2022, U.S. biodiesel production capacity totaled 2.3 billion gallons yearly, according to EIA data. Top feedstock inputs for biodiesel production are canola, corn, cottonseed, palm and soybean oils. It is also made with animal fats (white grease), recycled feeds (yellow grease) and alcohol.

READ MORE: California Sees Improvements in New Emissions Report

The Midwest is responsible for nearly 75% of all the biodiesel produced in the U.S. During 2020 the states producing the most biodiesel yearly were:

  • Iowa: 10 producers at 459 million gallons
  • Texas: 8 producers at 380 million gallons
  • Missouri: 8 producers at 253 million gallons
  • Illinois: 5 producers at 168 million gallons
  • Arkansas: 3 producers at 115 million gallons
  • Washington state: 2 producers at 112 million gallons.

Last year U.S. renewable diesel production amounted to 815 million gallons. Relying on imports to meet demand, renewable diesel consumption in 2021 reached 1.16 billion gallons.

Over the last decade, renewable diesel consumption has nearly doubled from 61,700 gallons in 2011 to 1.2 million gallons, note Economic Research Service statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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