New Study Shows Energy Efficiency of Soy Biodiesel

Cindy Zimmerman

A new study shows that biodiesel offers an amazing 5-to-1 return over fossil energy sources.

The study by the University of Idaho and U.S. Department of Agriculture concludes that for every unit of fossil energy needed to produce biodiesel, the return is 5.54 units of renewable energy. This energy-in, energy-out ratio is called “energy balance” or “fossil energy ratio.”

“This study shows the clear trend that biodiesel production continues to improve when it comes to efficient use of resources,” said Don Scott, director of sustainability for the National Biodiesel Board. “No other fuel available in the U.S. comes close to such a high energy balance.”

Scott noted the most recent data available for this study was from 2006. “Using data from 2009 or 2010 would likely show an even greater gain in energy efficiency,” he said.

Read the study here.