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March 13, 2017   |   Diesel Technology Forum

Policy Insider

Going Green After St. Patrick’s Day

Don’t put away all your green gear after St. Patrick’s Day. You’ll need it again on Saturday to celebrate National Biodiesel Day.


Don’t put away all your green gear after St. Patrick’s Day. You’ll need it again on Saturday to celebrate National Biodiesel Day. Whether it’s energy independence, energy security, greenhouse gas reduction or just getting work done with homegrown fuel, biodiesel gets a day to raise a toast to all these benefits.

When it comes to biofuels, many of us know of ethanol. Yet there is another biofuel on the block – biodiesel. Like ethanol, biodiesel is derived from bio-based feedstocks, and that is where the similarity ends. First, biodiesel is considered an “Advanced Biofuel” by the U.S. EPA capable of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50 percent. Unlike ethanol, biodiesel is derived from waste agricultural residues derived primarily from soy beans and animal fats. As long as America consumes plants and animals, we will be able to produce biodiesel.

Many modern diesel engines can operate on blends of biodiesel between 5 and 20 percent and some can operate on 100 percent biodiesel. Taken together, the fuel savings benefits of the latest clean diesel engines, coupled with use of biodiesel, can reduce the carbon emissions and save more fuel. The latest fuel economy requirements for commercial vehicles are estimated to save 530 million barrels of crude oil and reduce C02 emissions by 270 tons between 2014 and 2018, according to the U.S. EPA. Further use of biodiesel blends can add to this impressive fuel savings and carbon emission reductions.

America’s biodiesel production is expanding every year.  According to the Renewable Fuel Standard, that requires the use of certain biofuels, by 2018 2.1 billion gallons of biodiesel will be required to be blended representing a 30 percent increase since 2014. America’s biofuel producers are expected to easily meet this requirement. In doing so, biodiesel producers are expected to support over 64,000 high paying jobs across the country.

This homegrown biofuel will help get the job done as well. From construction equipment building and maintaining roads and highways to agricultural equipment that cultivate our agricultural bounty and the many trucks, trains and marine vessels that deliver the freight to markets at home and abroad, diesel engines get the job done. When powered by high quality blends of biodiesel, we are relying on a homegrown fuel to reduce emissions, save fuel and put us on a path towards energy security.


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Ezra Finkin
Director, Policy
efinkin@dieselforum.org
301-668-7230

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