Biodiesel production in Iowa reaches an all-time high

By Jodi Delapaz

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, Jan 5, 2017 - Biodiesel production in Iowa reached a record 297 million gallons in 2016, surpassing 2015's total of 242 million gallons, according to the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association.

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“This record-busting year speaks volumes of the hard work and strength of Iowa's biodiesel producers,” IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw says.

Shaw notes that Iowa is home to some of the “most efficient biodiesel plants in the world,” which took advantage of strong demand in 2016.

IRFA says the 23 percent increase is largely attributable to policy certainty at the federal level during 2016, including the biodiesel tax incentive and Renewable Fuel Standard. State-level policies targeting higher biodiesel blends, such as Iowa's B11 excise tax differential, also helped drive demand, the group says.

Compared to 2015, IRFA says soybean oil remained the largest feedstock for Iowa biodiesel production, at about 66 percent. Animal fats dropped slightly to 14 percent of production, while corn oil held steady at around 10 percent.

Used cooking oil and canola oil doubled their 2015 numbers, the group notes, combining to account for roughly 10 percent of the state's 2016 biodiesel production.

With the federal biodiesel tax credit already expired on Dec. 31, Shaw emphasizes that “regardless of the pending challenges” of 2017, Iowa plants are “well positioned to remain number one in biodiesel production.”

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