Soybean Oil Use in Biodiesel Production at 8-Month High

Soybean Oil Use in Biodiesel Production at 8-Month High

EIA April 2020 Biodiesel Production & Feedstock Use

The Energy Information Administration’s (EIA) Biodiesel Production Report showed 143 million gallons of US biodiesel produced from 1.07 billion pounds of feedstock in April. Biodiesel production fell 5.3 percent from March while feedstock use was down 6.9 percent. Domestic biodiesel production was six percent below March of 2019. The ratio of feedstock used per gallon of biodiesel produced, declined to 7.48 pounds.

According to the EIA, production came from 89 biodiesel plants, down one plant from last month, with a capacity to generate 2.48 billion gallons. This indicates that production, as a percent of capacity was 69 percent. Monthly domestic production capacity, per the EIA is 206.5 million gallons.

The industry’s most widely used feedstock remains soybean oil.  Soybean oil use accounted for 62.8 percent of the feedstock total, up 5.8 points from last month. The other top feedstocks consumed were canola oil, distillers’ corn oil (DCO), yellow grease, white grease, and tallow. Canola and DCO switched spots in April, while Tallow supplanted poultry fat for the sixth spot.

The use of soybean oil was at an eight-month high and well beyond its four-year monthly average of 54 percent. Canola oil use increased by five percent and was 13 percent of the feedstock mix. Distillers corn oil used plummeted 42 percent from March due to the sharp drop in ethanol production. DCO was just under eight percent of the feedstock total.  Yellow grease use fell 31 percent from March while white grease consumption was up 17 percent.

Despite the low carbon programs in California and Oregon, the use of lower carbon intensive (CI) inputs declined sharply in April. Production from lower CI feedstocks declined by 27 percent, falling from 353 million pounds to 256 million.  Production from higher CI feedstocks increased by two percent, climbing from 796 million pounds in March to 814 million in April.

Feedstocks used in biodiesel production can be separated into two basic categories, vegetable oils, and FOG’s (Fats, Oils, and Grease).  The use of vegetable oils increased from 81.4 percent of the feedstock mix in March to 83.6 percent in April. Total vegetable oil use was 894 million pounds, down 4.4 percent from the seven month high reached in March.  The monthly consumption of FOG was 176 million pounds, down 17.7 percent, or 38 million pounds. FOGs inclusion rate for the month declined to 16.5 percent of the total feedstock mix.

2019 feedstock use

2020 feedstock use

april 2020 feedstock use

biodiesel and feedstock use





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