The key to delivering reliable, ratable biodiesel to meet demand.
Today, quality biodiesel can be made from plant oils, animal fats, used cooking oil — and even new sources such as algae. The ability to use different feedstocks to create high-quality biodiesel is known as feedstock flexibility, and it has many benefits.
1. More predictable pricing and availability. Feedstock flexibility frees a producer from some of the instability of commodity markets — which provides economic and supply chain advantages to customers. When the price rises or there are supply issues on a certain feedstock, a multi-feedstock refinery can switch to an alternative.
2. Customized fuel. Each feedstock brings different performance characteristics to the end product — from higher lubricity to longer shelf life to higher pour points. Feedstock flexibility captures the best properties of different feedstocks. So different types of biodiesel “recipes” can be made to achieve the various performance and price objectives customers want.
3. Lower carbon intensity. That’s a big deal in states like California, where the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) requires the reduction of the carbon intensity of transportation fuels.1 This can be achieved through the increased use of inedible feedstocks to produce biodiesel.
1 California Air Resources Board www.arb.ca.gov/fuels/lcfs/lcfs-background.htm
Here’s why feedstock flexibility works:
Today’s leading biodiesel producers have the processing technology required to make quality biodiesel regardless of the feedstock they use.
- Biodiesel is a legally registered fuel and fuel additive with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- That registration requires all biodiesel to meet the ASTM D6751 specification.
- This specification makes no mention of feedstock, indicating their agreement that feedstock should not impact biodiesel quality.
Ultimately, feedstock flexibility benefits everybody — the commodity market, biodiesel producers and especially biodiesel customers. It’s good for business, good for the environment and good for our future.
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