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Biodiesel in the 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).[1] 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.

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. [2] In March 2006, Washington State became the second state to pass a 2% biodiesel mandate, with a start-date set for December 1, 2008. [3]

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.[4]

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.[5]



In some states no biodiesel is sold: Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. [1]


In addition to the states above, B20 is also not sold in Nevada, Wisconsin, and Ohio. [2]

The city of Tulsa, Oklahoma urban transportation division, the Metropolitan Tulsa Transit Authority, has completed conversion of 100% of it's municiple buses to run on B20 biodiesel as of November 26th, 2007. [3]


Prices for B100 in Ohio and Florida have been lower than petroleum diesel. [4]


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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Biodiesel_in_the_United_States". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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