Canola Oil Proposed as Advanced Biofuel Feedstock

Cindy Zimmerman

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to approve Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) pathways for biofuels produced from canola/rapeseed oil. The agency issued a proposed notice of rulemaking this week and is providing an opportunity for comment on the lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) analysis of these pathways.

EPA’s assessment considers diesel, jet fuel, heating oil, naphtha, and liquefied petroleum gas produced from canola/rapeseed oil via a hydrotreating process and proposes to find that these pathways would meet the lifecycle GHG emissions reduction threshold of 50 percent required to qualify to generate RINs for advanced biofuels (D5) and biomass-based diesel (D4) under the RFS program.

The U.S. Canola Association (USCA) is pleased with the action, which was announced by the White House this week as part of a package to help lower gas prices for consumers. “Growing demand for lower carbon fuels makes the proposed canola oil pathways important as the United States seeks to diversify its long-term energy sources,” said Andrew Moore, canola grower and president of the USCA, which petitioned the EPA in 2020 to approve canola oil as a feedstock for renewable diesel.

The new canola oil pathways for biofuels would give parity among vegetable oils and fats in the market, give canola farmers new channels for their crops in times of surplus production and provide renewable fuel producers diversified feedstock options.

Clean Fuels Alliance America also applauded the action. “We greatly appreciate EPA’s commitment to approving new RFS pathway petitions for renewable fuels that can provide greenhouse gas benefits as well as reduce reliance on foreign oil,”said Kurt Kovarik, Vice President of Federal Affairs for Clean Fuels. “With current diesel fuel shortages and high prices for foreign oil, homegrown biodiesel and renewable diesel are crucial to keep the economy moving.”

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