Soybean farmers led the original development and now lead the continued growth of the biodiesel industry. Through the soy checkoff, research and promotion efforts help ensure biodiesel remains one of the most tested and widely used renewable fuels on the market.
In the U.S., biodiesel manufacturers rely on U.S. soybean oil as the primary feedstock for this renewable fuel. Biodiesel was the first domestically produced and commercially available fuel to meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s definition of an advanced biofuel. Compatible with today’s vehicle technologies, biodiesel provides one of the best carbon-reduction strategies available.
Made from a wide variety of fats and oils, biodiesel is the first and only EPA-designated advanced biofuel with commercial-scale production nationwide. B20, diesel fuel with 20% biodiesel, is the most common biodiesel blend on the market and is considered a typical blend for normal use in conventional diesel engines.
Biodiesel works seamlessly with existing infrastructure and vehicles. More than 78% of the diesel vehicles coming off production lines today are recommended for use with B20. Heavy-duty truck segments account for more than 87% of actual diesel fuel usage and most major heavy-duty truck engine manufacturers support B20 in their new engines.
More than 45 million miles of successful, problem-free, real-world operation with B20 biodiesel blends have been recorded in a wide variety of engines, climates and applications.
Why Farmers Care
The demand for soybean oil is revving up. In the last decade, biodiesel demand for soybean oil has grown by 300%. From 2020 to 2021, an estimated 8 billion pounds of soy oil are expected to go toward producing cleaner biodiesel.
This demand positively impacts the price of soybeans. In fact, today it accounts for as much as 13% of soybean values in soybean farmers’ pockets. In addition, biodiesel has positively impacted the price of soybean meal for U.S. soy’s biggest customers: the poultry and livestock industries.
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Biodiesel Industry Vision 2020
Biodiesel, renewable diesel and renewable jet fuel will be recognized as mainstream low-carbon fuel options with superior performance and emission characteristics. With on-road, off-road, air transportation, electricity generation and home heating applications, usage will exceed 6 billion gallons by 2030, eliminating over 35 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas emissions annually. With advancements in feedstock, usage will reach 15 billion gallons by 2050.
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Sustainability with Biodiesel
Biodiesel and renewable diesel are leading solutions in combating climate change. Readily available and sustainable, biodiesel reduces greenhouse gases by up to 86% compared with petroleum diesel, according to the National Biodiesel Board. This sustainable fuel source relies on U.S. soybean oil as the primary feedstock as well as a diverse mix of other sources, including recycled cooking oil and animal fats.
Read more about biodiesel’s sustainability story here.