Updated: July 10, 2018
Biodiesel works as a cleaner-burning, renewable alternative to petroleum diesel, offering a viable opportunity to diversify the U.S. transportation fuel supply.1
Biodiesel consumption in 2017 required production use of 6.2 billion pounds of soybean oil or the oil from 532 million soybean bushels.2,3
The biodiesel industry contributed $11.42 billion in U.S. economic impact in 2016, along with nearly 64,000 jobs and about $2.5 billion in wages paid.
Each year, the Federal Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2) sets the volume of biomass-based diesel required to be blended into transportation fuels. RFS2 requires this volume reach 2.1 billion gallons in 2018 and 2019.5
The volume of biomass-based diesel required to be blended into transportation fuels is set under the federal Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2) each year. RFS2 requires this volume reach 2 billion gallons in 2017 and 2.1 billion gallons in 2018.5
Domestic biodiesel production currently supplies about 5 percent of that market.6
1 U.S. Department of Energy Alternative Fuels Center, 2017. https://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/biodiesel_benefits.html.
2 USB Market View Database, 2018. https://marketviewdb.centrec.com/tmp/export_1531234962477.pdf.
3USB Market View Database, 2018. https://marketviewdb.centrec.com/tmp/export_1531235015871.pdf.
4USB Market View Database, 2018. https://marketviewdb.centrec.com/tmp/export_1531234897536.pdf.
5 EPA, 2018. Final Renewable Fuel Standards for 2018, and the Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2019 https://www.epa.gov/renewable-fuel-standard-program/final-renewable-fuel-standards-2018-and-biomass-based-diesel-volume.
6 U.S. Energy Administration, 2017. Open Data. https://www.eia.gov/opendata/qb.php?sdid=TOTAL.DFACPUS.A
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 11 cents per pound and 63 cents to every bushel of soybeans.7 Increased demand for soybean oil generated by biodiesel means more soybean meal. That supports U.S. soybean industry’s No. 1 customer – animal agriculture – by lowering the price of soybean meal by as much as $48 per ton.8
7National Biodiesel Board, 2011. Impact of the U.S. Biodiesel Industry on the U.S. Soybean Complex and Livestock Sector. biodiesel.org/reports/20121201_GEN-430.pdf.
8National Biodiesel Board, 2010. Economic Impact of Biodiesel Production on the Soybean Sector, Revisited. biodiesel.org/reports/20101201_gen-423.pdf.
- 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., 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 & Figures
- Biodiesel reduces greenhouse gases by up to 86 percent, compared to petroleum diesel, and is made from renewable resources, such as U.S. soybean oil.9
- For every unit of fossil energy used to produce biodiesel, 5.5 units of renewable energy are returned – the best of any U.S. fuel. 10
- Biodiesel is the first and only fuel commercially available nationwide to meet EPA’s definition of an Advanced Biofuel, meaning that it reduces greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 percent.11
- Nearly 80 percent of the original equipment manufacturers selling diesel vehicles and equipment in the U.S. support biodiesel blends of 20 percent (B20) or higher in at least some of their equipment.12
- The U.S. biodiesel and renewable biodiesel market for 2017 was nearly 2 billion gallons.13
- Soybean oil makes up about 50 percent of biodiesel feedstock.14
- Biodiesel helped increase soybean value by 63 cents per bushel between 2006 and 2015. This contributed to an $18.8 billion increase in the value U.S. soybean farmers received for their soybean oil and decreased the price of soybean meal by $21 per ton. 15
- Increased biodiesel production lowered soybean meal prices during marketing years 2005 to 2009 by as much as $48 per ton.16
- The biodiesel industry supports nearly 64,000 U.S. jobs and $2.5 billion in wages.17
9Schumacher, Leon G., Hires, William G., Borgelt, Steven C., 2017. Fueling Diesel Engines With Methyl-Ester Soybean Oil. http://www.biodiesel.org/reports/19950101_tra-051.pdf.
10Pradhan, A., Shrestha, D. S., McAloon, A., Yee, W., Haas, M., Duffield, J. A., 2011. Energy Life‐Cycle Assessment Of Soybean Biodiesel Revisited. https://www.usda.gov/oce/reports/energy/EnergyLifeCycleSoybeanBiodieseI6-11.pdf.
11Biodiesel Basics. http://biodiesel.org/what-is-biodiesel/biodiesel-basics.
122011. OEM support for B20 reaches all-time high. Biodiesel Magazine. http://www.biodieselmagazine.com/articles/8685/oem-support-for-b20-reaches-all-time-high.
13U.S. Energy Information Administration Monthly Energy Review, June 2018. https://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/monthly/pdf/sec10_8.pdf
14U.S. Energy Information Administration Monthly Biodiesel Production Report, June 2018. https://www.eia.gov/biofuels/biodiesel/production/.
15National Biodiesel Board, 2011. Impact of the U.S. Biodiesel Industry on the U.S. Soybean Complex and Livestock Sector. biodiesel.org/reports/20121201_GEN-430.pdf.
16National Biodiesel Board, 2010. Economic Impact of Biodiesel Production on the Soybean Sector, Revisited. biodiesel.org/reports/20101201_gen-423.pdf.
17National Biodiesel Board, 2016. The Economic Impact of the Biodiesel Industry on the U.S. Economy. http://biodiesel.org/docs/default-source/policy–federal/lmc-study-for-nbb_economic-impact-of-biodiesel_june-2016-final.pdf?sfvrsn=2