What is Biodiesel?

Biodiesel is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement that is reducing U.S. dependence on foreign petroleum, creating jobs and improving the environment.

Made from a diverse mix of feedstocks including recycled cooking oil, soybean oil, and animal fats, it is the first and only EPA-designated Advanced Biofuel in commercial-scale production across the country and the first to reach 1 billion gallons of annual production. Meeting strict technical fuel quality and engine performance specifications, it can be used in existing diesel engines without modification and is covered by all major engine manufacturers’ warranties, most often in blends of up to 5 percent or 20 percent biodiesel. It is produced at plants in nearly every state in the country.(read more)

Benefits of Biodiesel

Reduces emissions of harmful air pollutants such as asthma-causing fine particles, greenhouse gases, and acid rain forming sulfur dioxides.

Reduces carbon dioxide emissions.

When waste cooking oil is used in the production of biodiesel, a waste is diverted from municipal solid waste landfills and sewer systems.

The energy from waste cooking oil is recovered and converted into a product – a domestic, renewable, alternative fuel.

Local water quality is significantly improved. Therefore, fewer sewer spills contaminating streams, lakes, and bays happen because less fat, oil and grease accumulates in the public sewer pipes.
Unlike conventional diesel, biodiesel is non-toxic, biodegradable and safer to ship. Spills do not require emergency response clean-up activities.
Biodiesel is a renewable resource that can be produced domestically from animal fat, vegetable oil or used cooking oil. This decreases the country’s dependence on imported foreign oil. The Department of Energy analyzed the full biodiesel life-cycle and found that for every unit of fossil fuel used to produce biodiesel, 3.2 units of energy were gained. By contrast, petroleum diesel’s life cycle yields only 0.83 units of fuel product energy.

Eight Common Myths About Biodiesel


Despite evidence to the contrary, these myths, and many more, persist. Click here to find out the whole story.

  • Meeting biofuels mandates would cause the United States to radically lower food production, causing worldwide price increases as well as food riots around the world.
  • Biofuels cause higher carbon emissions, instead of lowering them.
  • Biofuels use more energy in their production than they provide as a transport fuel.
  • All biofuels have lower fuel economy than comparable fossil fuels.
  • Cellulosic biofuels will be five years away, forever.
  • President Obama wants everyone to use algae-based biofuels that cost $26 per gallon.
  • Biofuels require massive subsidies.
  • Natural gas is a renewable fuel, too, and should receive the same advantages as biofuels.