Updated: Feb. 15, 2022

Current Situation

Biodiesel works as a cleaner-burning, renewable alternative to petroleum diesel, offering a viable opportunity to diversify the U.S. transportation fuel supply.

Biodiesel consumption in 2017/2018 required production use of 3.24 million metric tons of soybean oil, or the oil from 667.44 million soybean bushels.

Demand will reach 2.76 billion gallons of biodiesel in 2022. Domestic demand for biodiesel accounts for more than a quarter of all soybean oil use in the U.S.

The biodiesel industry contributed $12 billion in U.S. economic impact, along with nearly 60,000 jobs.

Each year, the federal Renewable Fuel Standard sets the volume of biomass-based diesel required to be blended into transportation fuels. The EPA has proposed record-high total volumes for 2022, which will provide for significant growth.

Why the Checkoff Cares

U.S. soybean farmers helped establish the biodiesel industry and have benefited from its growth. That’s because demand for biodiesel increases demand for, and the value of, U.S. soybean oil by accounting for an extra 13% for soybean farmers. Increased demand for soybean oil generated by biodiesel means more soybean meal. That supports the U.S. soybean industry’s No. 1 customer — animal agriculture — by lowering the price of soybean meal by as much as $42 per ton.

Key Points

  • Soybean farmers lead the development and growth of the biodiesel industry. Through their checkoff, they fund research and promotion efforts to ensure biodiesel remains one of the most-used renewable fuels on the market.
  • Increased demand for biodiesel boosts demand for soybean oil, the feedstock used in more than half the biodiesel produced in the U.S.
  • Biodiesel works for the U.S. and for the country’s rural economies, soybean farmers and poultry and livestock farmers.
  • Because soybeans can be crushed for both oil and meal, biodiesel production supports animal agriculture. Increased demand for soybean oil to make biodiesel also increases the supply of soybean meal that can be used to make animal feed. That increased supply leads to lower feed prices paid by poultry and livestock farmers.

 Facts and Figures

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