Building Out Capacity, Policy and Technology

As the SAF industry moves forward in pursuit of its 2030 and 2050 market goals, continued expansion and evolution of state and federal SAF policy will be essential for success.
By Anna Simet | December 27, 2022

According to a U.S. EIA report released in early December, U.S. biofuels operable production capacity increased 500 MMgy in the year leading up to the end of September. Biodiesel industry capacity growth has been flat, with about 2.084 billion gallons as of September, down slightly from September of last year. Exports, however, are up slightly. That same month saw a rise to 94,391 metric tons, up from both the 88,142 metric tons exported the previous month and the 55,072 metric tons exported in September 2021. Despite this stagnant growth period for U.S. biodiesel capacity, there are many bright spots. I encourage you to check out the Clean Fuels Alliance America’s section on page 12, one topic of which provides an overview of national policy and incentive movements—passed and promising—that should help spur more consumption and subsequent development.   

Backing up to visit capacity for renewable diesel and associated fuels, it was at 2.134 billion gallons in September, nearly doubling—up 1.12 billion gallons—when compared to September of last year. Speaking of capacity buildout, on page 16 you’ll find a renewable diesel and SAF project development report, the beginning of which includes some snippets of conversation I had with Mindi Farber-DeAnda, team lead of the U.S. EIA’s Petroleum & Natural Gas Modeling. She had some interesting things to say in terms of what the EIA is seeing and projecting. Note that the project updates are not inclusive of all operating/under development capacity in the U.S., but our 2023 annual map is—to the best of our knowledge—and it will be mailed out to subscribers.

The other feature article in this issue, “Something Big is Coming,” profiles Downy Ridge Environmental Company’s journey to success in deploying Greasezilla, its fats, oils and grease separation technology, at U.S. wastewater treatment plants. In the story, freelance writer Keith Loria chats with Ron Crosier, president of the company, who has been in the liquid waste business for close to 30 years. He told Loria that initially, the plan was not to market the technology—in fact, it was developed by Downy Ridge back in 2008 to solve its own grease problem. After scoring a patent, the company had installed nearly 20 units by the end of 2022, according to Crosier, and will double that by the end of next year.

Among lots of other expert-contributed content in this issue is an article authored by Graham Noyes, executive director of the Low Carbon Fuels Alliance, and Alex Menotti, vice preside of corporate and government affairs at LanzaJet, who discuss positive implications of the Sustainable Aviation Fuel Grand Challenge, and whether there is sufficient policy to meet goals. In short, according to Noyes and Menotti, current incentives will accelerate industry expansion and provide an essential policy building block, but as the SAF industry moves forward in pursuit of its 2030 and 2050 market goals, continued expansion and evolution of state and federal SAF policy will be essential for success.

Author: Anna Simet
Biodiesel Magazine

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