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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Biodiesel in America

Biodiesel B20 pump in Arlington, Virginia.
Biodiesel is commercially available in most oilseed-producing states in the United States. As of 2005, it is more expensive than petroleum-diesel, though it is still commonly produced in relatively small quantities (in comparison to petroleum products and ethanol fuel).
Due to increasing pollution control, climate change requirements, and tax incentives, the U.S. market is expected to grow to upwards of 2 billion US gallons (7.6×106 m3) by 2010.
The total U.S. production capacity for biodiesel reached 2.24 billion US gallons per year (8.5×106 m3/a) in 2007, although poor market conditions held 2007 production to about 450 million US gallons (1.7×106 m3), according to the National Biodiesel Board (NBB).
In 2004, almost 30 million US gallons (110×103 m3) of commercially produced biodiesel were sold in the U.S., up from less than 100 thousand US gallons (380 m3) in 1998.
Price

The price of biodiesel in the United States has come down from an average $3.50 per US gallon ($0.92/l) in 1997 to $1.85 per US gallon ($0.49/l) in 2002. This appears economically viable with current petrodiesel prices, which as of 19 September 2005 varied from $2.648 to $3.06 per US gallon.

Feedstock development

A pilot project in Unalaska/Dutch Harbor, Alaska, is producing fish oil biodiesel from the local fish processing industry in conjunction with the University of Alaska Fairbanks. It is rarely economic to ship the fish oil elsewhere and Alaskan communities are heavily dependent on diesel power generation. The Alaskan Energy Authority factories project 8 million US gallons (30×103 m3) of fish oil annually.
A doctoral student at Utah State University has initiated a program called FreeWays to Fuel, which is growing oilseed crops in previously unused municipal land such as highway rights of way. The student, Dallas Hanks, estimates that in the U.S., 10 million acres (40,000 km2) of such unused land exists—land which generally serves no other purpose and currently costs tax dollars to maintain. Early yields from the crops are promising, and the program has spread to other land-grant universities across the nation.

Production

Imperium Renewables in Washington has the largest biodiesel production facility in the US, capable of making 100 million US gallons per year (380×103 m3/a).
In 2006, Fuel Bio Opened the largest biodiesel manufacturing plant on the east coast of the United States in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Fuel Bio's operation is capable of producing a name plate capacity of 50 million US gallons per year (190×103 m3/a) of biodiesel.
In 2008, ASTM published new Biodiesel Blend Specifications.

Commercialization

In 2005, U.S. entertainer Willie Nelson was selling B20 Biodiesel in four states under the name BioWillie. By late 2005 it was available at 13 gas stations and truck stops (mainly in Texas). Most purchasers were truck drivers. It was also used to fuel the buses and trucks for Mr. Nelson's tours as well as his personal automobiles.
On October 16, 2006, the city of Kalamazoo, Michigan announced an agreement with local Western Michigan University's biodiesel R & D program to use the biodiesel research to build a 100 thousand US gallons per year (380 m3/a) per year production system at the city wastewater treatment plant, and convert the city bus system to run entirely off of the fuel. Its use of "trap grease" from the waste tanks of restaurants around the city may be the first of its kind in the US.

Mcgyan Process announced

The Mcgyan Process flows super critical alcohol and feedstock through a tube reactor packed with sulfated metal oxide microspheres to produce biodiesel in seconds with virtually no waste stream. The unreacted alcohol and any residual fatty acids can be recycled through the reactor making the process entirely continuous and able to achieve 100% conversion. The process was invented by SarTec Co. and Augsburg College and the discovery was announced on Friday March 7, 2008. Plans to build a prototype commercial production facility that will employ this novel process have been announced by Ever Cat in Isanti, MN.

Incentives

Tax credits
As of 2003, some tax credits were available in the U.S. for using biodiesel.

By State

Biodiesel retailers can be found in all states but Alaska, though all may not offer high percentage blends or B100.

Minnesota
Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty signed a bill on May 12, 2008, that will require all diesel fuel sold in the state for use in internal compression engines to contain at least 20% biodiesel by May 1, 2015.
In March 2002, the Minnesota State Legislature passed a bill which mandated that all diesel sold in the state must contain at least 2% biodiesel. The requirement took effect on June 30, 2005, and was the first biodiesel mandate in the US.

Washington State
In March 2006, Washington became the second state to pass a 2% biodiesel mandate, with a start-date set for December 1, 2008.

(source:wikipedia)

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