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  • Condensed by Lynda Kiernan-Stone, Unconventional Ag Media

California Renewable Diesel Plants Will Need 1 Billion Bushels of Soybeans to Meet Demand

More soybeans than can be produced in North Dakota will be needed by renewable diesel plants in California in order to meet growing demand.

Biomass-based diesel is made into two distinct products - biodiesel and renewable or green diesel. What sets renewable diesel apart is that it’s made by hydrotreating vegetable oils, creating a drop-in fuel that is chemically equivalent to regular diesel and meets traditional diesel specifications - meaning it can use existing pipes, tanks, and run existing engines.

As California represents 10 percent of the U.S. transportation market, and pressures are increasing on states to lower their carbon footprints, renewable diesel, which has an even lower carbon footprint than ethanol, is in ever-increasing demand.

Labeled at the pump as B20, renewable diesel costs only about .60 cents more than regular gasoline, and Dave Ripplinger, NDSU bio energy bio product specialist, noted that there is the potential for all petroleum-based diesel being replaced with renewable, meaning the state’s facilities will need about 1 billion bushels of soybeans to produce 1.6 billion gallons per year - or the equivalent of five times all the bushels produced in the state of North Dakota.


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