Aveno's Monthly OILS & FATS bulletin for June - The Biodiesel files

The Biodiesel Files..

What are biofuels?

First generation biofuels (from edible crops)

Biofuels from the first generation can be an alternative for mineral oil diesel: biodiesel produced by transesterification of any oil or fat in a catalyzed reaction with an alcohol = FAME (fatty acid methyl ester). Or sugars and starch (from grain) can be fermented to produce bio-ethanol as an alternative to gasoline (petrol).

Second generation or advanced biofuels (from energy crops, non-food biomass, waste)

After the success of the first generation biofuels, discussion rose about using food crops for fuel which led to producing fuels from non-food biomass. For the production of biodiesel, nonedible crops are planted to produce vegetable oil. Bio-ethanol is produced from fermenting sugars available after the biochemical breakdown of lignocellulosic structures. Non-food energy crops: short rotation forestry crops like eucalyptus, poplar and willow or Jatropha for vegetable oil production.

Third generation biofuels

Since energy crops of the second generation still use land and the total arable area is limited, energy production by algae can be seen as a solution for producing renewable oil on ‘useless’ land or in water. Algae convert water, CO2, nutrients and sunlight into oils, which can be used for energy production.

The term “biodiesel” is used to refer to FAME (= fatty acid methyl ester), hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO) and biofuels made from vegetable oils in petroleum refineries.

How much biodiesel is produced on a global scale?

Depending on the source the number for 2017 ranges between 34.3 and 36 million tons. This year the global production is expected to reach 40 million tons which is 17% of the global production of vegetable and animal oils & fats (235 million tons) and a study from the International Energy Agency, forecasts a 60 million tons biodiesel production in 2023.

How much oils & fats is produced on a global scale?

What oils and fats are mostly used for biodiesel production?

In Europe biodiesel is mainly based on rapeseed and in the America’s soybean oil is the primary source. In the main palm oil producing countries, Indonesia and Malaysia, biodiesel production is on the rise, driven by increasing palm production and…. stocks and the associated price pressure. These countries are increasing their blending quota requirements to stabilize oil prices. This month the Indonesian government said that the 100 percent biodiesel program (B-100), now being developed by the Ministry of Agriculture, can save up to $7 billion in foreign exchange once it is widely used. The country’s currency has suffered under the weight of foreign exchange required for fossil fuel imports, which re-enforces the wish to quickly ramp up domestic blending. And this is only one of the many projects in Asia.

Needless to say that biodiesel production is a big influencer in the price formation of edible oils.

source: UFOP

Europe is the biggest producer of biodiesel

Biodiesel has been produced on an industrial scale in the E.U. since 1992. According to the European Biodiesel Board the production capacity, in 2017, was about 21 million tons calculated basis 330 working days per year (including most HVO-diesel production capacity). But a big part of the installed capacity is not utilized and must be considered as not effectively able to start or operate biodiesel production on the short term. The production of 13.6 million MT biodiesel in 2017 consumed 60% of the Europe’s rapeseed oil production:

Source: UFOP

Compared to biodiesel, food and other usage of rapeseed oil influence demand much less. But rapeseed oil for biofuels use is on a declining trend due to increased competition from animal fats and recycled oils like UCO. The use of palm oil for biofuels production is on the rise due to its increased use for hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO) production. As Europe recognized U.S. soybeans as sustainable, the share of soybean oil in biofuels production may also increase. The industry directly depends on the RED (Renewable Energies Directive) biofuels policy decisions. And there is a lot of uncertainty coming from (political) changes in the RED. RED II foresees a rise in the target value for the share of renewable energies in the final energy consumption to 32 % + their increased share in the transport sector of 10 % in 2020 to 14 % in 2030 . There is much debate on how to count the tons for fulfilling these targets with first generation biofuels and fuels from waste and residual materials, as well as the share of renewable electricity in e-mobility and railroad. Not to mention the discussions about ILUC (indirect land use change pushing deforestation etc.) and the sustainability of palm and South American soybean oil. Surprises are usually just around the corner…

How much UCO (used cooking oil) is available a global scale?

Nobody really knows. One study points out China has a potential of 19 million tons and in Europe 1 million tons would be available. Most UCO used in E.U. is imported and China is the biggest supplier. In the U.S. “restaurant fat” or yellow grease is still used in animal feed applications to bring energy to the ration; unless it can be sold at higher prices for biodiesel production in the U.S. or Europe. There is not an endless supply of UCO! Because, with exception of the residue of the deep frying process, oils and fats are eaten. Processes like biodiesel or margarine production… do not yield UCO and not everyone in the world eats fish and chips.


Source: UFOP

Is the future electric? for cars, trains and boats and planes? Where would the electricity come from? How environmentally friendly is the production of batteries? If you ever got frustrated by the challenge of keeping your smartphone charged when travelling, consider the problem of keeping a car that weighs 9.000 times more, fully charged or in the case of a plane being 1.3 million times heavier…. you’d also have to lift it 10 km in the air and keep it there for several hours. A mighty big job for the Duracell Rabbit! Might be safer to fly on used cooking oil! Nevertheless AVENO says: “Enjoy your holidays and stay safe!”

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Aveno NV - The one stop shop for all your Oils and Fats: Aveno's Monthly OILS & FATS bulletin for June - The Biodiesel files
Aveno's Monthly OILS & FATS bulletin for June - The Biodiesel files
Aveno NV - The one stop shop for all your Oils and Fats
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