Biodiesel Energy Balance Improves

Cindy Zimmerman

A new analysis was unveiled today at the National Biodiesel Conference in Orlando that shows the energy balance of biodiesel is a positive ratio of 3.5-to-1, up from the 3.2 to 1 ratio determined by the Department of Energy National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) and USDA in 1998.

According to a release from the National Biodiesel Board,
the new research conducted at the University of Idaho in cooperation with USDA.

NBB conference 08“The bottom line is that the energy balance of biodiesel has definitely improved in the last decade,” says University of Idaho Department Head of Biological and Agricultural Engineering Jon Van Gerpen, who credits Assistant Professor Dev Shrestha and graduate student Anup Pradhan for their work on the study. “The increase in soybean yields and a decrease in herbicide use greatly contributed to the increased energy balance. Meanwhile, energy used for crushing soybeans is significantly lower than what was reported in the NREL study.”

You can listen to an interview with Van Gerpen here: [audio:]

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