While traditional and next generation ethanol came out negative in the National Research Council report out this week, the biodiesel industry was pleased with the findings.
Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs for the National Biodiesel Board, said the report reaffirms that biodiesel is an advanced biofuel that can meet the biomass-based diesel targets under the EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS2). “We were happy that the authors recognized a wide variety of environmental and economic benefits from biodiesel,” said Steckel. “For example, they noted that soy biodiesel – about half of U.S. biodiesel production – has a positive impact on livestock feed prices, helping hold down costs. This is because only the oil – which accounts for about 18 percent of a soybean – can be used for fuel, and the highly nutritious soybean meal is used for feed. The report also reaffirmed that biodiesel significantly reduces particulate matter and other harmful tailpipe emissions when compared to petroleum diesel.”
Steckel added that the report noted that there are significant uncertainties surrounding the hypothetical modeling used to calculate indirect land-use change for biofuels. “We believe the evidence demonstrates that biodiesel compares very favorably when compared to petroleum, as the EPA found in its most recent analysis, which shows that biodiesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 57 percent to 86 percent, depending on the feedstock used,” she said.