RECENT NEWS
The Economic Times  Jul 19  Comment 
Nitin Gadkari had recently said the company had sent him a letter in which it had committed using 100 per cent bio-diesel in its cars and trucks.
The Economic Times  Jul 12  Comment 
Vendors will have to submit their bids online by July 25, according to the tender document. The contract for the supply of biodiesel shall be awarded on location-wise lowest net delivered cost basis.
Biomass Magazine  Jun 22  Comment 
The National Biodiesel Board's Vice President of Federal Affairs Anne Steckel participated in a panel with other biofuel industry leaders at the 32nd Annual International FEW and colocated National Advanced Biofuels Conference in Milwaukee June 21.
Reuters  Jun 17  Comment 
* Purchase price and capital upgrades will be funded through a combination of cash on hand and are in discussions for a c$1.8 million mortgage
OilVoice  Jun 3  Comment 
Source U.S. Energy Information Administration Petroleum Supply Monthly Although pipelines tankers and barges are widely used to transport liquid fuels to from and within the United States seve
Biomass Magazine  May 25  Comment 
California’s biodiesel, ethanol and biomethane industries are calling on state legislators to allocate $210 million in the Governor’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to incentivize in-state production of low carbon biofuels.
Biomass Magazine  May 25  Comment 
For a generation, Joe Jobe, the former CEO of the National Biodiesel Board, has fostered the U.S. biodiesel industry from its fledgling infancy to bountiful maturation.
Motley Fool  May 14  Comment 
The rendering and biodiesel company fell short on the bottom line this quarter but sees stronger days ahead.
The Economic Times  Apr 27  Comment 
Mercedes Benz has proposed to shift its diesel cars and other vehicles in India to the environment friendly bio-diesel.




 
TOP CONTRIBUTORS
Biodiesel is a nearly perfect substitute to petroleum derived diesel fuel. It is derived from the transesterification of biogenic oils such as vegetable oil and animal fats. The US biodiesel industry is burgeoning- it has tripled each year during the past few years. So much so, in fact, that vegetable oil prices, which account for around 80% of production costs, have almost become prohibitive to biodiesel's production as demand for biogenic oils - mainly soybean, palm, and rapeseed (canola) - has pushed their prices to unprofitable levels. Biodiesel has a well defined place in a sustainable energy portfolio, but the nascent biodiesel industry has a long way to go.

State of the Industry

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Recent Soybean Oil Prices

The National Biodiesel Board(NBB) just published the latest US biodiesel capacity numbers. 148 existing plants are reported (up from 105 in January 2007), for a total of 1.39 billion gallons/year of capacity. 96 new projects, and 5 expansions are currently underway, which will account for 1.89 billion gpy of capacity when they come online by the end of 2008. Here are the maps: existing and in construction.

The total is 3.28 billion gallons. This is a nameplate capacity: the output possible when running 24/7, 350 days/year. Collectively, US biodiesel plants run at about 25% of their capacity, a severe underutilization of assets. To put that 3.28 billion gallons per year capacity in perspective, at full capacity it would replace 5.1% of US diesel consumption, take up 126% of US soy oil production, take up 113% of all US vegetable oil production, and take up 84% of all US animal fat and vegetable oil production.

Future Developments

Food for Fuel

Clearly, biodiesel demand pushes up food prices. High oil prices, and subsequently biofuel prices, will cause food prices to rise, potentially pricing out poor people. This effect is well recognized, and many countries, including China, have set limitations on biofuels to combat the possibility of hunger problems resulting from biofuels.

Carbon Credits

Biodiesel reduces carbon dioxide emissions significantly- 70% is a frequently quoted percentage reduction of carbon emissions. The reduction won't approach 100% any time soon- it takes fertilizers, diesel tractors, petroleum powered transportation measures, and methanol to get biodiesel to the pump. However, [Carbon Trading] has the potential to benefit biodiesel producers immensely- on an energy basis, substituting a gallon equivalent of biodiesel for diesel (biodiesel has about 92% of the energy content of petroleum diesel) saves about 6.5 kg of CO2 emissions. It takes about 150 gallons to eliminate a metric ton (mt, or 1000kg) of CO2 emissions, making the roughly $4/mt carbon credit that the Chicago Climate Exchange offers reduce the price of a gallon of biodiesel by a mere 2.6 cents. To eliminate the need for the $1/gallon subsidy currently in place, the price of a ton of CO2 would have to be about $150.

Alternative Feedstocks

In its current form, the biodiesel market scope is small. For the long term, soybean, rapeseed, and palm biodiesel are not great solutions: soybean and rapeseed crops compete with food and have low oil/area yields relative to plants like palm and jatropha. Palm oil is a great feedstock, however it is currently being developed in a highly unsustainable form: deforesting land for palm oil production. It takes many decades to recapture the carbon emitted from forest destruction by planting biodiesel crops. Renewable fuels must become globally traded commodities if they are to have any significant impact on the world's energy portfolio.

Who stands to benefit

Companies who have their hands in jatropha plantations and those with logistics favorable to an international oilcrop market.

Who stands to lose

Companies in the middle of Iowa.

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