My watch list  

Biodiesel around the world

energy Portal

  This page describes the use and availability of biodiesel in various countries around the world.



The Fuel Standard (Biodiesel) Determination 2003 was signed by the Minister for the Environment and Heritage on 18 September 2006. The determination sets out the physical and chemical parameters of the Biodiesel standard. It also sets out the associated test methods that the Government will use to determine compliance.

Biodiesel subsidies are to be phased out by 2011, after the passing of the Fuel Tax Bill 2006.

Australian Farmers Fuel (SAFF) began retailing B100 in South Australia in 2001 and now also sells B20 (marketed as "Premium Diesel") at some 52 service stations across 4 states. SAFF currently sells B100 at 14 of these service stations.

All of the metropolitan trains and most of the metropolitan buses in Adelaide (capital of South Australia) operate on a B5 blend. The South Australian Government has stated that it will soon move to B20 or possibly higher blends.

Several councils (local Governments) across Australia are using B20 (including Townsville City Council, Adelaide City Council, Sydney City Council and Newcastle City Council).

In February of 2005 the first retail outlet for Biodiesel opened in the Sydney suburb of Marrickville. It offers B20 and B50 blends to the general public, and caters to qualified fleets wishing to utilize B100.

2006 saw the second rollout, after SAFF, of Biodiesel by a service station network. Gull, a Western Australian based company, introduced B20 Biodiesel to several Gull service stations on April 3, 2006 which has since expanded to a total of 21 sites of purchase. In addition, pure Biodiesel (B100) along with other blends can be purchased in bulk. Gull is also involved with the Western Australian Government to provide B5 Biodiesel for use in Transperth buses. Eventually the fleet will be provided with B10 or B20 blends. Currently seven percent of Transperth's bus fleet is running Biodiesel.

More recent news is the launch of reeFUEL biodiesel in "Sustainable," a retailer in Townsville, Queensland. reeFUEL sells only B100 and as of September 2006, was selling 50,000 litres per week into a community of about 160,000. This is believed to be the highest penetration of biodiesel per capita in Australia. See for more information.


Brazil opened a commercial biodiesel refinery in March 2005. It is capable of producing 12,000 m³ (3.2 million US gallons) per year of biodiesel fuel. Feedstocks can be a variety of sunflower seeds, soybeans, or castor beans. The finished product will be currently a blend of gas oil with 2% biodiesel and, after 2011, 5% biodiesel, both usable in unmodified diesel engines. As of 2005, there were 3 refineries and 7 that are planned to open. These three factories were capable of producing 45.6 million of litres per year.

Petrobras (the Brazilian national petroleum company) launch an innovative system, making biodiesel (called H-Bio) from the petroleum refinary. In Brazil, castor bean is the best option to make biodiesel, because it's easier to plant and costs less than soybean, sunflower or other seeds.

On December 27, 2006, Brazil's government announced they will advance the 5% biodiesel blend mandate to 2010 instead of 2013.


In Belgium, there are refineries in Ertvelde (belonging to the company Oléon) and at Feluy.


  • Quebec - Rothsay of Ville Ste Catherine, Quebec, produces 35,000 m³ of biodiesel per year.[1]
  • Nova Scotia - The Provincial Government of Nova Scotia uses biodiesel in some public buildings for heating as well as (in more isolated cases) for public transportation. Halifax Regional Municipality has converted its bus fleet to biodiesel, with a future demand of 7,500 m³ of B20 (20% biodiesel fuel mixture) to B50—reducing biodiesel content in low temperatures to avoid gelation issues—and 3,000 m³ split between B20 and B100 for building heat. The municipality forecasts a greenhouse gas reduction of over 9,000 tonnes CO2 equivalents (4,250 tonnes from fleet use and 5,000 tonnes from building heating) if fully implemented. Private sector uptake is slower—but not unheard of—possibly due to a lack of price differential with petroleum fuel and a lack of federal and provincial tax rebating. Ocean Nutrition Canada produces 6 million gallons (23,000 m³) of fatty acid ethyl esters annually as a byproduct of its Omega-3 fatty acid processing. This surplus is used by Wilson Fuels to produce blended biodiesel for use as transportation and heating fuel.
  • New Brunswick - Wilson Fuels have also opened a biodiesel station in Moncton.
  • Ontario - Biox Corporation[2] of Oakville is building a biodiesel processing plant in the Hamilton harbour industrial lands, due for completion in the first half of 2006. There are also a few retail filling stations selling biodiesel to motorists in Toronto and Unionville.[3]
  • Manitoba A rush of building of biodiesel plants in 2005 and 2006 started in June 2005 with Bifrost Bio-Diesel in Arborg. In addition, biodiesel is made by individuals and farmers for personal use. BioFuel Canada Ltd has small scale affordable plants for farmers and off-road users.
  • British Columbia - the cooperative association proves a successful structure for micro-economy-of-scale biodiesel production reaching the end-user. Vancouver Biodiesel Co-op (located at 360 Industrial Ave, Vancouver, BC), Nelson Biodiesel Co-op, WISE Energy and Island Biodiesel Co-op are notable examples. [Cascadia Biofuels Inc.] (“Cascadia”) is an incorporated joint venture enterprise of Autogas Propane Ltd. and United Petroleum Products Inc., two B.C.-owned and operated companies who have been providing the British Columbia marketplace with quality fuel products and services for over 30 years. Collectively, the companies have a network of over 50 retail and cardlock locations throughout the province, Biodiesel was added to the corporate group’s fuel product mix in 2005, and is currently available at six locations in the province. Additionally, plans are in the works to expand the offering of this renewable, environmentally responsible fuel to other retail and cardlock locations in British Columbia, including sites in North Vancouver, Squamish, Abbotsford, and Kelowna.

The Canadian government has stated a goal of producing 500 million liters of biodiesel by 2010.

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a large producer of crude palm oil and this has spurred interest in biodiesel. Currently several small biodiesel production projects are starting in the country. There are also biodiesel reactor manufacturers in Costa Rica which provide equipment to the Central American and Caribbean region.

Czech Republic

Czech production of biodiesel was already above 60,000 m³ per year by the early 1990s and is now even larger.[4] Many of the plants are very large, including one in Olomouc which produces almost 40,000 m³ per year. From the summer of 2004, Czech producers of biodiesel for blend receive a subsidy of roughly CEK 9.50/kg. All Škoda diesels built since 1996 are warrantied for biodiesel use.


Biodiesel is available at Favora fuel stations.


Neste Oil will begin production of alkyl biodiesel using the NExBTL process in summer 2007 in Finland, with a capacity of 170000 tons/year. Decision on another production plant of similar capacity of 170000 tons/year has been made with targeted start of production in 2009 in Finland. In November 2007 the company made a decision to build a plant with capacity of 800000 tons/year in Singapore.

NExBTL diesel, in contrast to rapeseed methyl ester, is a clear and colorless paraffin, and contains no oxygen. It is used to improve the quality of petro-diesel; its' quality is higher since it has a homogenous source, namely plant-synthesized fatty acids. It doesn't require any special engine repairs and it doesn't foul systems. It is produced by direct hydrogenation of the plant oil (chemically, triglyceride) into alkane, water and carbon oxides on a nickel-molybdenum catalyst. The total CO2 produced in the entire lifecycle is only 0.45 to 1.33 kg CO2/kg oil, in contrast to transesterified fuel with 1.4-2.0 kg CO2/kg oil, or mineral diesel with 3.4 kg CO2/kg oil. [5] Therefore, it's not only an "oil derivative" like ester.


According to the Union zur Förderung von Öl- und Proteinpflanzen UFOP[6] (Union to promote oil- and protein plants), in 2006 the sale of biodiesel through German gas stations rose to 2,000,000 m³, although it is only available at privately-owned filling stations and generally not available at outlets operated by major petroleum companies, such as Shell and Esso/Exxon (the petroleum companies see biodiesel as competition to their core petroleum business). In 2004, 45% of all biodiesel sales went directly to large end users, such as trucking companies.

In Germany biodiesel is, for the most part, produced from rapeseed. Sales in Germany stood at two billion litres (about 600 million US gallons) in 2006. This amount was sufficient to meet the average yearly consumption of well over 2,000,000 automobiles. Diesel engines have become increasingly popular in Germany and almost half of all newly manufactured cars are diesel powered. This is in part due to the greater efficiency of diesel engines, the desire by consumers to use environmentally friendlier technologies and lower taxes on diesel fuel that make it cheaper than gasoline.

With 1,900 sales points, equal to one in every ten public gas stations, biodiesel is the first alternative fuel to be available nationwide. The industry is expecting a surge in demand since the authorisation at the beginning of 2004, through European Union legislation, of a maximum 5% biodiesel addition to conventional diesel fuel. In Germany biodiesel is also sold at a lower price than fossil diesel fuel.


Main article: Jatropha and Pongamia incentives in India

Biodiesel is now being produced locally in India for use in three-wheeler motor rickshaws. These engines actually run on regular diesel fuel or CNG, but in the past kerosene was used because it was far cheaper, and worked just as well. However, kerosene was dirty and wasn't as clean-burning. Biodiesel is rapidly replacing both kerosene and diesel as a more efficient, cheap, and clean alternative. Today plans are being chalked out to cultivate Jatropha plants on barren land to use its oil for biodiesel production. Now it is used for Railway engines and the plantations are recommended to plant these plants everywhere in unused areas through government sectors. Biodiesel is being used experimentally to run state transport corporation buses in Karnataka. University of Agriculture Sciences at Bangalore has identified many elite lines of Jatropha Curcas and Pongamia pinnata. Large scale activities have been initiated quite recently. For example, large-scale plantations have been initiated in North-East India and Jharkhand by D1 Williamson Magor Bio Fuel Limited, a joint venture between D1 Oils of U.K. and Williamson Magor of India. The hilly areas of the North-East are ideal for growing this hardy, low-maintenance plant.

In order to organise the Industry, BioDiesel Society of India has been formed to encourage Energy Plantations for increasing feedstock supplies.


Since September 2005, Eterindo Group has been producing Biodiesel using Palm Oil derivatives as its raw materials. Currently the production capacity of Eterindo Group has reached 120,000 tonnes of Biodiesel annually. Meeting the standard requirements of ASTM D-6751 and EN 14214, in 2006 the group begin to export its Biodiesel to United States, Germany and Japan. It is now exploring another export destinations, i.e.: Asia Pacific countries, etc.


Biodiesel is not yet sold on the market, things start to change and biodiesel is being produced in two small-scale experiments. The amounts produced in these experiments are up to 10,000 liters a month. The lack of production of biodiesel in Israel is in contrary with the Research and Development abilities of the country, for Israel is a center of development for agriculture technologies.[citation needed] The Israel North Recycle Group (INRG) is forecasting much progress in the next year, including consumption agreements with municipal bodies, as part of the wider view of the municipalities on the subject.


Biodiesel called the Envo Diesel was launched by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Tuesday 22 March 2006 [7]. Malaysia currently produces 500,000 tonnes of biofuel annually and the government hopes to increase this number this year. Envo diesel blends 5% processed palm oil (vegetable oil) with 95% petrodiesel. In contrast, EU's B5 blends 5% methyl ester with 95% petrodiesel. Diesel engine manufacturers prefer the use of palm oil methyl ester blends as diesel engines are designed to handle 5% methyl esters meeting the EN14214 biodiesel standard, which palm oil cannot meet.

Projects requiring Malaysian and Indonesian palm oil as feedstocks have been criticized by some environmental advocates. Friends of the Earth has published a report asserting that clearance of forests for oil-palm plantations is threatening some of the last habitat of the orangutan.[8] Also, in a column for The Guardian, writer George Monbiot claimed that land clearance by cutting and burning large forest trees frees large amounts of carbon dioxide that is never reabsorbed by the smaller oil palms. If true, then biodiesel production from plantation-grown palm oil may be a net source of atmospheric carbon dioxide.[9] How these issues are resolved may determine whether Malaysia eventually becomes a major producer of biodiesel.

The palm oil industry has recognized this concerned and in conjunction with the WWF has formed the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil RSPO[10] which endeavours to ensure development of palm oil in a sustainable way.

With the increase in awareness and importance attached to environmental issues such as global warming, more environment-friendly fuels are being developed as alternatives to fossil fuel. One such fuel, which has been gaining prominence in recent years, is biofuel. Clean and renewable, biofuel has been touted as the answer to the issue of the diminishing of energy reserves.

Led by Y. Bhg. Tan Sri Datuk Dr Yusof Basiron, former Director General of MPOB, MPOB has been the pioneer and is at the forefront in researching into palm biodiesel project. Since the 1980s, MPOB in collaboration with the local oil giant, PETRONAS, has begun to develop a patented technology to transform crude palm oil into a viable diesel substitute. This process involves the transesterification of crude palm oil into palm oil methyl esters or palm biodiesel. It has also been successfully demonstrated in a 3000 tonnes per year pilot plant located in the MPOB headquarters.

Palm biodiesel has been systematically and exhaustively evaluated as diesel fuel substitute from 1983 to 1994. These included laboratory evaluation, stationary engine testing and field trials on a large number of vehicles including taxis, trucks, passenger cars and buses. Exhaustive field trials with 30 Mercedes Benz of Germany mounted onto passenger buses have been successfully completed with each bus covered 300,000 km, the expected life of the engines.

The advantages of palm biodiesel, drawn from the field trials are no modification of the engines is required, good engine performance, cleaner exhaust emission and comparable fuel consumption in comparison with the petroleum diesel. The palm biodiesel can be used neat or blended with petroleum diesel in any proportions. Recently, to overcome the long standing pour point problem of palm biodiesel (pour point = 15°C), MPOB has developed a process to produce low pour point palm biodiesel (-21°C to 0°C) which is suitable for temperate countries.

Commercial PE Arriva trains running on palm biodiesel

In the recent development, the palm biodiesel produced from the 3 000 tonnes per annum capacity pilot plant in MPOB headquarters has been exported to Prignitzer Eisenbahn (PE) Arriva. PE Arriva is a subsidiary of UK-based Arriva group. Arriva is one of the largest transport services organizations in Europe and operates an extensive range of services including buses, express and commuter coaches, trains, taxis, ambulances and ferries. This has shown that palm biodiesel can be used in commercial trains without any problem. To-date, a total of 136 tonnes of palm biodiesel has been supplied by MPOB (36 tonnes) and MPOB technology licensee, "CAROTINO_SDN. BHD." (100 tonnes) and exported to PE Arriva to power their commercial trains. For operation in the winter season, a heating device is needed to be installed in the trains. Such heating device is not required if low pour point palm biodiesel is used.

3D Layout of Palm Biodiesel Plant

To promote palm biodiesel as in global biodiesel industry, MPOB has committed to assist (technically and financially) to build three 60 000 tonnes per year palm biodiesel plants in Malaysia together with three companies. The plants also include 30 000 tonnes per year low pour point palm biodiesel. The production technologies have been licensed to two companies, i.e. LIPOCHEM (M) SDN. BHD. for normal palm biodiesel and OILTEK SDN. BHD. for low pour point palm biodiesel. Interested parties can contact them directly for further enquiries. These biodiesel produced are mainly for overseas market. Palm biodiesel technology has great potential for commercialization as diesel engine application is widespread all over the world, especially in the agricultural and transport sector. The patented palm diesel technology is now in place - it is being exported to a company in Korea. This demonstrates that MPOB is able to develop and export Malaysian indigenous technology and thus further boost up the image of MPOB as an R & D centre of excellence.


Biodiesel is not in common use in Norway. The three biodiesel pumps in Norway at Lillehammer, Hadeland and Oslo are managed by the Norwegian oil-company Hydro-Texaco. Biodiesel is also available in Bergen and supplied by Milvenn AS tel. 0047 91 61 29 07 for details.

Papua New Guinea - Bouganville

Biodiesel is produced from Copra oil (oil extracted from coconuts) in a processing plant at Buka[citation needed] on the island of Bouganville, vehicles which run on this fuel have a sticker on the doors which says "powered by Coconuts". This fuel is cheaper and more readily available than imported PetroDiesel.[citation needed] The oil-company StatoilHydro has recently started to distribuate biodiesel too.


It is possible to buy biodiesel, mixed with diesel fuel, in more than 250 petrol stations around the country [11]. Besides, B100 is sold in two petrol stations around Pamplona, in Navarre.


Two biodiesel plants will be built on Jurong Island, Singapore's petrochemicals hub. The first plant, by Peter Cremer (S) GMBH, will have a capacity of 200,000 tons/year and it is expected to be ready by early 2007, while the second is a joint venture between Wilmar Holdings and Archer Daniels Midland Company, to be operational by end 2006 with an initial capacity of 150,000 tons/year.

In November 2007, Neste Oíl Corporation, a Finnish oil and refining company made a decision to build a biodiesel plant with capacity of 800,000 tons/year in Singapore with targeted production start up in 2010.

Singapore was selected for the companies' first biodiesel plant in Asia because of its excellent connectivity. There is easy access to abundant palm oil feedstock from the neighbouring countries of Malaysia and Indonesia. Also, Singapore has terminalling facilities which allow the biodiesel to be shipped to markets around the world. [12]


In 2004, several companies started making biodiesel,[citation needed] and has produced more than 5,000 kilotons in a year since then.[citation needed] In 2006, the Bureau of Energy launched the first biodiesel buses on Earth Day.


Thailand was the first country to launch biodiesel as a national program on July 10th 2001. It was reported that the work was initiated by the Royal Chitralada Project, a royal -sponsored project to help rural farmers [13]. International co-operation among ASEAN country was also starting by the Renewable Energy Institute of Thailand (Dr. Samai Jai-In) and Asia-Pacific Roundtable for Sustainable consumption and Production (Dr. Olivia Castillo, [14]). The primary aims of the project in Thailand are:

  • an alternative output for excess agricultural produce
  • substituting diesel imports

In 2007, several biodiesel plants are operating in Thailand using the excess palm oil / palm stearin and in some cases, waste vegetable oil as raw materials. The production capacity is about 1 million litre/day and should reach 2 million litre by early 2008. About 400 petrol stations are now distributing B5 (5% biodiesel with 95% diesel) in Chiangmai and Bangkok. The national biodiesel standard has been developed based on the European standard. The target of the Government is to mandate B2 by 2nd April 2008 and to increase to B5 by 2011 which will require almost 4 Million litres/day of biodiesel [15].

The raw material will most likely come from palm oil, coconut oil, Jatropha Curcas Linn, and tallow. Several pilot plants are now operating such as the Royal Chitralada Projects [16], Rajabiodiesel in Surattani [17], Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency [18], Royal Naval Dockyard [19], [20], MTEC [21],and Tistr [].

United Kingdom

Biodiesel is sold by a small but growing number of filling stations in B5 and B100 blend,[22] including a significant fraction of supermarket filling stations[23][24]. Some farmers have also been using small plants to create their own biodiesel for farm machinery since the 1990s. Several Co-ops and small scale production facilities have recently begun production, typically selling fuel several pence per litre less than petrodiesel. The first large scale plant, capable of producing 50 million litres (13 million US gallons) a year, opened in Scotland in 2005,[25] soon followed by a large plant co-owned by Tesco and Greenergy (Tesco sell biodiesel at many of their petrol stations[26]). Biodiesel is treated like any other vehicle fuel in the UK and the paperwork required to register as a producer is a major limiting factor to growth in the market.Although since July 2007 home users may produce 2500 litres per year for personal use without registering or paying duty.

United States

Biodiesel is commercially available in most oilseed-producing states in the United States. As of 2005, it is somewhat more expensive than fossil diesel, though it is still commonly produced in relatively small quantities (in comparison to petroleum products and ethanol). Many farmers who raise oilseeds use a biodiesel blend in tractors and equipment as a matter of policy, to foster production of biodiesel and raise public awareness. It is sometimes easier to find biodiesel in rural areas than in cities. Similarly, some agribusinesses and others with ties to oilseed farming use biodiesel for public relations reasons. As of 2003 some tax credits were available in the U.S. for using biodiesel. In 2004 almost 30 million US gallons (110,000 m³) of commercially produced biodiesel were sold in the U.S., up from less than 0.1 million US gallons (380 m³) in 1998. Projections for 2005 were 75 million gallons produced from 45 factories and 150 million gallons (570 million liters).[27] Due to increasing pollution control requirements and tax relief, the U.S. market is expected to grow to 1 or 2 billion US gallons (4,000,000 to 8,000,000 m³) by 2010.

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 09/19/05 varied from $2.648 to $3.06. Nowadays, in 2007, retail, at the pump, prices including Federal and state motor taxes, of B2/B5 are lower than petroleum diesel by about 12 cents, and B20 blends are the same as petrodiesel. [1]

Biodiesel retailers can be found in all states but Alaska, though all may not offer high percentage blends or B100.[2]

Soybeans are not a very efficient crop solely for the production of biodiesel, but their common use in the United States for food products has led to soybean biodiesel becoming the primary source for biodiesel in that country. Soybean producers have lobbied to increase awareness of soybean biodiesel, expanding the market for their product.

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 local factories project 3.5 million tonnes of fish oil annually.

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. [28] In March 2006, Washington State became the second state to pass a 2% biodiesel mandate, with a start-date set for December 1, 2008. [29]

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.[30]

On October 16th, 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 100,000 gallons-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.[31]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^
  • ^  Buckland, Helen. The oil for ape scandal. Friends of the Earth. Retrieved on 2005-12-14.
  • ^  Monbiot, George. Worse than fossil fuel. Retrieved on 2005-12-14.
  • ^  Thurmond, William. Biodiesel 2020: A Global Market Survey. Retrieved on 2006-11-05.
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Biodiesel_around_the_world". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE