Although only nine of Iowa’s 11 biodiesel plants operated in 2020, they still managed to bump up production to 351 million gallons despite market challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and Renewable Fuel Standard exemptions.
2020 proved to be the second-highest year of biodiesel production in Iowa history behind 365 million gallons in 2018. Plenty of room for growth remains given the state’s over 400 million-gallon production capacity.
Monte Shaw, Iowa Renewable Fuels Association executive director, credited the bump in production to the reinstatement and long-term extension of the federal biodiesel blenders tax credit in late 2019, which provided a boost for higher biodiesel blends.
“The long-term extension of the biodiesel blenders tax credit gave Iowa biodiesel producers the market certainty to be successful even in a very uncertain year,” Shaw says. “COVID-19 did not hurt the diesel market the same way it gutted gasoline demand, and as result, production went up. Hopefully, Iowa can take another step forward and utilize even more of our biodiesel capacity if there is proper implementation of the RFS in 2021.”
Iowa biodiesel production is expected to account for roughly 20% of total U.S. biodiesel production in 2020.
Soybean oil continued to be the feedstock of choice for the majority of Iowa biodiesel production, making up over 85%. Corn oil was second at just over 8%. Animal fat, canola oil and used cooking oil made up the rest of the feedstock used by Iowa biodiesel producers.Source: Iowa Renewable Fuels Association, which is responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and its subsidiaries aren’t responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.