US biodiesel production taking off

According to the US government Energy Information Administration both the production and use of biodiesel is increasing in that country. May 2013 saw record production of biodiesel fuel. Production came from 116 biodiesel plants with operable capacity of 2.2 billion gallons per year.  Despite the increase, biodiesel still accounts for less than 2% of US diesel use. Some biodiesel is sold as a blend with conventional diesel fuel but some is sold as pure biodiesel for use in transportation.

Biodiesel is proving to be less controversial than bioethanol. There is less concern about biodiesel competition with food production, in part because it can be produced from inedible plant and animal oils, and production of biodiesel uses much less energy than production of ethanol so the question of whether it represents a net energy gain or loss is much less significant.

Even so, production of biodiesel does utilize land resources and it is inconceivable that it will ever completely replace current rates of use of conventional diesel from crude oil.

Our experience with biodiesel indicates that the commercial fuel, not the homemade stuff, is a viable alternative to petroleum fuel in diesel vehicles.  WE recommend that truck operators who wish to reduce greenhouse gas emissions make a switch at least to B10 (10% biodiesel) or B100. No name or home made biodiesel should be avoided as it likely does not meet government standards for biodiesel quality and lack of harm to engines.

The USE EIA monthly biodiesel report is at http://www.eia.gov/biofuels/biodiesel/production/

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