Biodiesel

Updated: November 1, 2018

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.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

U.S. consumers used nearly 2 billion gallons of biodiesel in 2017. Domestic demand for biodiesel accounts for more than a quarter of all soybean oil use in the U.S.4

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 billion gallons in 2017 and 2.1 billion gallons in 2018.5

The volume of biomass-based diesel required to be blended into transportation fuels is set under the federal Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS2) each year.

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.6 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.7

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., 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

Other Resources