Our Commitment to a Sustainable Future

Biodiesel is a real solution to reducing carbon emissions and mitigating the threat of climate change the world over. Many countries are adopting plans to reduce greenhouse gases, and biodiesel is an effective part of those measures.
By Carlos Araujo | January 11, 2016

Climate change. We read about it more frequently and definitely it is not a new topic for any of us. The difference between now and the moment when we first heard about climate change is how we experience this phenomenon. We felt as though climate change would never threaten us; that it was just a distant and unlikely problem. Unfortunately, it has become not simply a local challenge, but has evolved into a larger global threat.

Different and yet equally serious symptoms of climate change are making their presence felt: rising temperatures, weather disasters in the form of droughts, heat waves, wildfires, storms and hurricanes. In addition, included are heat stress and air pollution, which are serious public health threats. The key question is, what is the cause of climate change? Research institutes and environmental agencies agree without any doubt on one single answer: carbon pollution. Carbon dioxide (CO2) accounts for 82 percent of global emissions, wherein, specifically, transportation emissions are responsible for 28 percent of greenhouse gas emissions. It has become clear that reducing man-made emissions is a high-priority solution to that problem.

There exist numerous possible ways to reduce man-made emissions. For example, reducing carbon pollution from power plants, expanding and modernizing the electric grid, adopting new technologies and establishing fuel economy standards. Another strong and solid measure adopted in the U.S. that complements this perfectly is the renewable fuel standard (RFS) program: renewable fuels percentage standards for cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel and total renewable fuel. The program applies to all motor vehicle gasoline and diesel produced or imported in the U.S. RFS provides a clear path toward the growing development of renewable fuels and the extensive benefits brought to our society, environment and economy. The final rule for renewable volume obligations (RVOs) released by the U.S. EPA Nov. 30 for years 2014-’16, in addition to the applicable volume of biomass-based diesel for 2017, confirms the hard work and dedication to biodiesel from active supporters who are committed to a sustainable future.

Global Biodiesel Initiatives
Other countries have successfully implemented similar initiatives where biodiesel has shown to be the cleanest and most efficient biofuel to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The European Union ruled the first-generation biofuels at 7 percent, with Germany and France as the prominent supporters of biofuels as a key solution to achieve ambitious CO2 emission goals. The high usage of diesel-powered passenger cars provides an impressive opportunity for biodiesel contribution. In South America, for example, the vast availability and diversity of feedstocks (soybean oil, palm oil, animal fat, and used cooking oil) combine perfectly with the strong dependence on imported diesel to drive renewable fuels programs. Brazil established the B7 (blend of 7 percent biodiesel to 93 percent fossil diesel) mandate in 2014, similar to the average blend in Colombia, while Argentina introduced B10. Other countries like Paraguay and Uruguay are also following, in a minor scale, the biodiesel trend. In Southeast Asia, the availability of low-cost feedstock (palm oil) and the strong dependence on imported fuels resulted in a wise implementation of mandates, ranging from B10 to B20 in countries such as Indonesia and Malaysia. Thailand’s government applied a B7 mandate, while Philippines started working with a biodiesel blending of 5 percent. All local authorities and biodiesel producers have made distinct efforts to secure the sustainability of palm oil production, a mandatory element of renewable fuels.

We can easily relate to the phrase “think globally, act locally.” Many countries on all continents are adopting individual plans to mitigate climate change, where renewable fuels—especially biodiesel—have been one of the most efficient and effective measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We, at Evonik, have a vision of what our tomorrow will look like: a world with more environmentally friendly fuels. That is why we address this issue by timely identifying trends and being present in all major biodiesel-producing regions. Together, we strive for a sustainable future.

Author: Carlos Araujo
Marketing Manager-North America, Evonik Corp.

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