Written on: November 5, 2013 by ICM
New statistics from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency showed that the biodiesel industry has cracked the 1-billion-gallon mark for the third consecutive year, with several months of production remaining.
“This is a tremendous achievement that is a testament to the hard work of the biodiesel industry and the success of the Renewable Fuel Standard as an effective policy for diversifying our fuel supplies,” said Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs for the National Biodiesel Board. “Biodiesel is proving that advanced biofuels are working now, and we need the Obama administration and Congress to continue this success.”
Biodiesel is the first EPA-designated advanced biofuel to reach commercial-scale production nationwide and 1 billion gallons of annual production. With plants in almost every state in the country, the industry has surpassed RFS targets since the program began while using an increasingly diverse mix of resources such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and animal fats.
The latest production figures, which cover volumes reported through September, showed that the industry produced 140 million gallons in September, for a year-to-date biodiesel total of nearly 1.1 billion gallons.
EPA’s production volumes are reported under the biomass-based diesel category of the RFS. The monthly numbers showed a total of nearly 167 million gallons under the biomass-based diesel category for the month of September. That total includes some 27 million gallons of renewable diesel, a diesel replacement similar to biodiesel that uses a different technology.
For the year, total biomass-based diesel production under the RFS stands at more than 1.2 billion gallons, on pace to reach some 1.7 billion gallons by the end of the year, significantly exceeding the RFS requirement of 1.28 billion gallons.
NBB is the U.S. biodiesel trade association. Last year, the industry supported some 50,000 jobs nationwide. Under the EPA’s definition, advanced biofuels under the RFS must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 percent compared with petroleum diesel. The agency has determined that biodiesel’s reduction is 57 percent to 86 percent.