RECENT NEWS
Biomass Magazine  Aug 26  Comment 
The acquisition of Imperium Renewables Inc.’s assets by Renewable Energy Group Inc. is complete. The assets include a 100 MMgy biodiesel plant, now called REG Grays Harbor LLC, and deep-water port terminal at the Port of Grays Harbor, Washington.
Motley Fool  Aug 14  Comment 
11:30 a.m.:The rendering and biodiesel company is up on strong quarterly results. Here's what investors need to know.
newratings.com  Aug 12  Comment 
PETROTEC AG: Weaker H1 results due to low biodiesel prices and lower trading and tolling volumes DGAP-News: PETROTEC AG / Key word(s): Half Year Results PETROTEC AG: Weaker H1 results due to low biodiesel prices and lower trading and tolling...
The Hindu Business Line  Aug 10  Comment 
HPCL launches bio-diesel blended diesel BS HSD in New Delhi, Visakhapatnam, Hyderabad
The Hindu Business Line  Aug 10  Comment 
Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited has launched eco-friendly Bio-Diesel Blended Diesel B5 HSD today New Delhi, Visakhapatnam and Hyderabad. On the occasion of Wor...
Automotive World  Aug 6  Comment 
BY ALAN BUNTING. Recent announcements from Daimler, Scania and Volvo indicate that so-called 2nd-gen biodiesel remains a focus of interest The post COMMENT: Biodiesel remains a focus of interest for HD truck OEMs appeared first on Automotive World.
The Economic Times  Jul 31  Comment 
In a bid to push higher use of renewable energy, India is set to allow 100% bio-diesel for vehicles.
Biomass Magazine  Jul 21  Comment 
The Senate Finance Committee has passed a tax extenders package that includes two-year extensions of tax credits for cellulosic biofuels and biodiesel. The next step for the legislation is consideration by the full U.S. Senate.
Biomass Magazine  Jul 20  Comment 
The U.S. Senate Committee on Finance is scheduled to address a tax extenders bill on July 21. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, recently announced he has secured the inclusion of tax incentives for cellulosic ethanol and biodiesel in the legislation.
Agrimoney.com  Jul 7  Comment 
Argentine producers have been looking for a market, after being shut out of the EU in 2013, but have they found a home for their product stateside?




 
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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