Iowa biodiesel production breaks record in 2015

By The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association | January 14, 2016

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association announced Jan. 13 that despite policy uncertainty for nearly all of 2015, Iowa biodiesel production set a new annual record of 242 million gallons. Biodiesel production was up from 227 million gallons in 2014, and topped the previous record of 230 million gallons set in 2013. Once national numbers are announced, Iowa is expected to again lead the nation in biodiesel production in 2015.

“It must be said that Iowa’s record biodiesel production in 2015 is a testament to the efficiency of Iowa’s plants and to the effectiveness of Iowa’s state level policies promoting the production and use of biodiesel,” stated IRFA Executive Director Monte Shaw. “Considering neither the federal renewable fuel standard (RFS) nor the federal biodiesel blenders’ tax credit were in effect for the vast majority of 2015, the resiliency of Iowa biodiesel producers really shone through in 2015. With the federal RFS and tax credit in place for 2016, we are hopeful for big things.”

The amount of Iowa biodiesel produced from soybean oil decreased in 2015, but remains the largest feedstock in Iowa, accounting for 66 percent of production. Animal fats held steady at 19 percent of biodiesel feedstocks. With changes to some biodiesel plants’ technology, distillers’ corn oil made a big jump to 10 percent of production, up from just 2 percent last year.  Used cooking oil and canola oil accounted for the remaining 5 percent.

Iowa is the nation’s leader in renewable fuels production. Iowa has 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce nearly 315 million gallons annually. In addition, Iowa has 43 ethanol refineries capable of producing 4 billion gallons annually, including nearly 55 million gallons of annual cellulosic ethanol production capacity.

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association was formed in 2002 to represent the state’s liquid renewable fuels industry. The trade group fosters the development and growth of the renewable fuels industry in Iowa through education, promotion, legislation and infrastructure development.


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