The American biodiesel industry today supports more than 64,000 jobs across the United States – many of them the highest paying jobs in the county or region. If U.S. produced biodiesel comprised 100% of the market, at 2.5 billion gallons of production the industry would support 81,600 U.S. jobs, and $14.7 billion in total economic benefit. At 3.0 billion gallons of biodiesel — a feasible market size when looking out five years — 100% domestic production would add an additional 33,000 jobs and $1.4 billion in wages paid, within the U.S., compared to a 33% / 67% split between imports and domestic production.
To be classified as biodiesel, fuel must meet strict ASTM D6751 quality and engine performance standards. Biodiesel is one of the best-tested, high performance, high quality, and most sustainable fuels available today.
Biodiesel has the highest energy-in, energy-out ratio of any domestic transportation fuel. Every unit of fossil energy used to produce biodiesel yields five and a half units of energy from the resulting Biodiesel.
Any vehicle or equipment that runs on diesel can also use biodiesel. Biodiesel can be blended at any level with petroleum diesel to create a cleaner-burning biodiesel blend. And biodiesel doesn’t require new pipelines, storage tanks, or retail station pumps. In fact, because biodiesel has excellent solvent properties, it doesn’t leave deposits and can help keep engines clean and running more efficiently.
A clean-burning fuel, biodiesel is also less combustible than petroleum diesel, making it safer to transport, handle, and store. Pure biodiesel biodegrades as quickly as sugar – or more than four times faster than petroleum-based diesel.
Additional cropland is not needed to grow materials for biodiesel; instead biodiesel uses readily available, diverse resources – from recycled cooking oil to algae. There are enough surplus stocks of U.S. fats and oils to meet biodiesel target volumes. Because biodiesel is made from fat and oil byproducts and waste, food meant for the dinner table still makes its way to your local grocery store. In fact, biodiesel production created a strong new market for animal fats that increases the per-head value of livestock and reduces price pressures on meat and dairy products. It also lowers protein costs for animal feed.
Compared to petroleum diesel, biodiesel production reduces wastewater by 79 percent and hazardous waste by 96 percent. Biodiesel has virtually no sulfur – one of the primary contributors to acid rain. Using waste cooking oil for biodiesel helps divert waste from landfills and sewer systems, significantly improving local water quality.
Biodiesel exhaust is far safer than exhaust from petroleum diesel when used in older diesel engines. Air pollution contributes to and worsens diseases like asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema. In vehicles with older diesel engines, biodiesel produces 45-90 percent less toxic emissions than petroleum diesel. Plus, biodiesel heats homes as cleaner-burning Bioheat®, which cuts emissions significantly over traditional oil heat. Biodiesel emissions have far lower levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and nitrated PAH compounds, both identified as potential cancer-causing compounds.