(Ankeny, Iowa)—March 18 is National Biodiesel Day, and the Iowa Biodiesel Board is celebrating the versatile Iowa “plants” that contribute to the state.
Biodiesel comes to us from plants: Soybean plants. Canola plants. Rendering plants. Biodiesel manufacturing plants. All of these plants share a common thread in our industry: they are the basis for a sound U.S. energy policy. And all of them grows Iowa jobs and the economy.
Biodiesel supports more than 3,000 full time equivalent jobs annually, in all sectors of the Iowa economy, according to ABF Economics.
“Our biodiesel plants use a lot of Iowa-grown soybeans,” said Iowa Biodiesel Board Executive Director Grant Kimberley. “ No matter how you look at biodiesel, it’s good for Iowa—it keeps our economy moving, is a home-grown fuel, and is environmentally friendly.”
Biodiesel reduces lifecycle carbon dioxide by 78 percent compared to diesel.
While biodiesel may seem new to some folks, inventor Rudolf Diesel planted the idea of biodiesel long ago. The diesel engine, developed in the 1890s by Diesel, has become the engine of choice for its fuel efficiency, reliability and power. Diesel himself hoped for a day when vegetable oils could power engines in areas where diesel wasn’t available. He ran early models on peanut oil, and Biodiesel Day is celebrated on his birthday. The work in modern times on biofuels puts his dream into reality.
“Iowa’s 12 biodiesel plants produced more than 300 million gallons of biodiesel in 2017,” said Kimberley. “The production of this advanced biofuel yields 5.5 times more energy than it takes to produce it.”
Interested in learning more about America’s homegrown, advanced biofuel? Check out these 25 fun facts from the National Biodiesel Board.
Biodiesel is an advanced biofuel made from agricultural byproducts and co-products, such as soybean oil. The Iowa Biodiesel Board is a state trade association representing the biodiesel industry.