For vehicles powered by diesel, there is a green fuel option – biodiesel.
Biodiesel is the nation’s first domestically produced, commercially available, advanced biofuel.
When it comes to the environmental benefits, reducing carbon emissions and particulate air emissions are at the top of the list, and biodiesel and renewable diesel boast these attributes.
According to the Clean Fuels Alliance America, using biodiesel instead of petroleum-based fuels reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 86%.
Biodiesel is burned by vehicles on land, rail and sea.
“The over-the-road commercial trucking industry is a major user of biodiesel,” says Grant Kimberley, senior director for market development at the Iowa Soybean Association (ISA).
“It is via the trucking sector that goods and services are shipped around the country, how groceries show up on the shelves at the local store and how Amazon moves its products,” Kimberley says. “So the potential for use is significant.”
Trains are powered by biodiesel as well, and from a global standpoint, ocean vessels that ship products from around the world to U.S. ports are burning biodiesel.
ISA has started a new biodiesel marketing campaign at the Des Moines International Airport, depicting a fuel pump made of soybeans.
“It’s another effort to educate consumers about the benefits of biofuels and biodiesel,” Kimberley says.
Biodiesel also helps to support Iowa farmers.
“Biodiesel adds 13% of the market value of the price of soybeans that a farmer receives,” says Kimberley. “In today’s market, that is well over $2 a bushel.”
There is also an economic incentive to expanding the soybean processing sector. A new soybean processing plant will soon be operational in Shellrock, with plans to build another in Alta. AGP has announced an expansion at their Sergeant Bluff/Sioux City facility, to name a few.
These processing facilities crush soybeans for soybean oil. Soybean oil is currently the major feedstock for the production of biodiesel.
“The expansion means more local jobs and a better basis for the farmers who sell to those areas,” says Kimberley.