This page describes the use and availability of biodiesel in various countries around the world.
Biodiesel subsidies are to be phased out by 2011, after the passing of the Fuel Tax Bill 2006.
All of the metropolitan trains and most of the metropolitan buses in Adelaide (capital of South Australia) operate on a B5 blend. The South Australian Government has stated that it will soon move to B20 or possibly higher blends.
In February 2005 the first retail outlet for Biodiesel opened in the Sydney suburb of Marrickville. It offers B20 and B50 blends to the general public, and caters to qualified fleets wishing to utilize B100.
Petrobras (the Brazilian national petroleum company) launched an innovative system, making biodiesel (called H-Bio) from the petroleum refinery. In Brazil, castor bean is the best option to make biodiesel, because it's easier to plant and costs less than soybean, sunflower or other seeds.
On December 27, 2006, Brazil's government announced they will advance the 5% biodiesel blend mandate to 2010 instead of 2013.
The Canadian government has stated a goal of producing 500 million liters of biodiesel by 2010. "Welcome to Canada Clean Fuels". Retrieved on 2008-05-12..
Costa Rica is a large producer of crude palm oil and this has spurred interest in biodiesel. Currently several small biodiesel production projects are starting in the country. There are also biodiesel reactor manufacturers in Costa Rica which provide equipment to the Central American and Caribbean region.
| Consumption of Biodiesel in the |
|1 toe = 11,63 MWh, n.a. = not available|
In Germany biodiesel is, for the most part, produced from rapeseed. Sales in Germany stood at two billion litres (about 600 million US gallons) in 2006. This amount was sufficient to meet the average yearly consumption of well over 2,000,000 automobiles. Diesel engines have become increasingly popular in Germany and almost half of all newly manufactured cars are diesel powered. This is in part due to the greater efficiency of diesel engines, the desire by consumers to use environmentally friendlier technologies and lower taxes on diesel fuel that make it cheaper than gasoline.
With 1,900 sales points, equal to one in every ten public gas stations, biodiesel is the first alternative fuel to be available nationwide. The industry is expecting a surge in demand since the authorisation at the beginning of 2004, through European Union legislation, of a maximum 5% biodiesel addition to conventional diesel fuel. In Germany biodiesel is also sold at a lower price than fossil diesel fuel.
IndianOil Corporation has tied up with Indian Railways to introduce biodiesel crops over 1 million square kilometers. Also, Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh have tied up with IndianOil to cultivate large tracts of land with jatropha, the choice of crop for Indian biodiesel plans. In order to organize the industry, BioDiesel Society of India has been formed to encourage energy plantations for increasing feedstock supplies.
Projects requiring Malaysian and Indonesian palm oil as feedstocks have been criticized by some environmental advocates. Friends of the Earth has published a report asserting that clearance of forests for oil-palm plantations is threatening some of the last habitat of the orangutan. Also, in a column for The Guardian, writer George Monbiot claimed that land clearance by cutting and burning large forest trees frees large amounts of carbon dioxide that is never reabsorbed by the smaller oil palms. If true, then biodiesel production from plantation-grown palm oil may be a net source of atmospheric carbon dioxide. How these issues are resolved may determine whether Malaysia eventually becomes a major producer of biodiesel.
The palm oil industry has recognized this concerned and in conjunction with the WWF has formed the Roundtable of Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) which endeavours to ensure development of palm oil in a sustainable way.
With the increase in awareness and importance attached to environmental issues such as global warming, more environment-friendly fuels are being developed as alternatives to fossil fuel. One such fuel, which has been gaining prominence in recent years, is biofuel. Clean and renewable, biofuel has been touted as the answer to the issue of the diminishing of energy reserves.
Led by Y. Bhg. Tan Sri Datuk Dr Yusof Basiron, former Director General of MPOB, MPOB has been the pioneer and is at the forefront in researching into palm biodiesel project. Since the 1980s, MPOB in collaboration with the local oil giant, PETRONAS, has begun to develop a patented technology to transform crude palm oil into a viable diesel substitute. This process involves the transesterification of crude palm oil into palm oil methyl esters or palm biodiesel. It has also been successfully demonstrated in a 3000 tonnes per year pilot plant located in the MPOB headquarters.
Palm biodiesel has been systematically and exhaustively evaluated as diesel fuel substitute from 1983 to 1994. These included laboratory evaluation, stationary engine testing and field trials on a large number of vehicles including taxis, trucks, passenger cars and buses. Exhaustive field trials with 30 Mercedes Benz of Germany mounted onto passenger buses have been successfully completed with each bus covered 300,000 km, the expected life of the engines.
The advantages of palm biodiesel, drawn from the field trials are no modification of the engines is required, good engine performance, cleaner exhaust emission and comparable fuel consumption in comparison with the petroleum diesel. The palm biodiesel can be used neat or blended with petroleum diesel in any proportions. Recently, to overcome the long standing pour point problem of palm biodiesel (pour point = 15°C), MPOB has developed a process to produce low pour point palm biodiesel (-21°C to 0°C) which is suitable for temperate countries.
Commercial PE Arriva trains running on palm biodiesel
In the recent development, the palm biodiesel produced from the 3 000 tonnes per annum capacity pilot plant in MPOB headquarters has been exported to Prignitzer Eisenbahn (PE) Arriva. PE Arriva is a subsidiary of UK-based Arriva group. Arriva is one of the largest transport services organizations in Europe and operates an extensive range of services including buses, express and commuter coaches, trains, taxis, ambulances and ferries. This has shown that palm biodiesel can be used in commercial trains without any problem. To-date, a total of 136 tonnes of palm biodiesel has been supplied by MPOB (36 tonnes) and MPOB technology licensee, "CAROTINO_SDN. BHD." (100 tonnes) and exported to PE Arriva to power their commercial trains. For operation in the winter season, a heating device is needed to be installed in the trains. Such heating device is not required if low pour point palm biodiesel is used.
3D Layout of Palm Biodiesel Plant
To promote palm biodiesel as in global biodiesel industry, MPOB has committed to assist (technically and financially) to build three 60 000 tonnes per year palm biodiesel plants in Malaysia together with three companies. The plants also include 30 000 tonnes per year low pour point palm biodiesel. The production technologies have been licensed to two companies, i.e. LIPOCHEM (M) SDN. BHD. for normal palm biodiesel and OILTEK SDN. BHD. for low pour point palm biodiesel. Interested parties can contact them directly for further enquiries. These biodiesel produced are mainly for overseas market. Palm biodiesel technology has great potential for commercialization as diesel engine application is widespread all over the world, especially in the agricultural and transport sector. The patented palm diesel technology is now in place - it is being exported to a company in Korea. This demonstrates that MPOB is able to develop and export Malaysian indigenous technology and thus further boost up the image of MPOB as an R & D centre of excellence.
Singapore was selected for the companies' first biodiesel plant in Asia because of its excellent connectivity. There is easy access to abundant palm oil feedstock from the neighboring countries of Malaysia and Indonesia. Also, Singapore has terminal facilities which allow the biodiesel to be shipped to markets around the world.
In 2007, several biodiesel plants are operating in Thailand using the excess palm oil / palm stearin and in some cases, waste vegetable oil as raw materials. The production capacity is about 1 million litre/day and should reach 2 million litre by early 2008. About 400 petrol stations are now distributing B5 (5% biodiesel with 95% diesel) in Chiangmai and Bangkok. The national biodiesel standard has been developed based on the European standard. The target of the Government is to mandate B2 by 2nd April 2008 and to increase to B5 by 2011 which will require almost 4 Million litres/day of biodiesel
The raw material will most likely come from palm oil, coconut oil, Jatropha Curcas Linn, and tallow. Several pilot plants are now operating such as the Royal Chitralada Projects , Rajabiodiesel in Surattani , Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency , Royal Naval Dockyard , , MTEC ,and Tistr [www.tistr.or.th].
Biodiesel is commercially available in most oilseed-producing states in the United States. As of 2005, it is somewhat more expensive than fossil diesel, though it is still commonly produced in relatively small quantities (in comparison to petroleum products and ethanol). Many farmers who raise oilseeds use a biodiesel blend in tractors and equipment as a matter of policy, to foster production of biodiesel and raise public awareness. It is sometimes easier to find biodiesel in rural areas than in cities. Similarly, some agribusinesses and others with ties to oilseed farming use biodiesel for public relations reasons. As of 2003 some tax credits were available in the U.S. for using biodiesel. In 2004 almost 30 million US gallons (110,000 m³) of commercially produced biodiesel were sold in the U.S., up from less than 0.1 million US gallons (380 m³) in 1998. Projections for 2005 were 75 million gallons produced from 45 factories and 150 million gallons (570 million liters). Due to increasing pollution control requirements and tax relief, the U.S. market is expected to grow to 1 or 2 billion US gallons (4,000,000 to 8,000,000 m³) by 2010.
The price of biodiesel in the United States has come down from an average $3.50 per US gallon ($0.92/l) in 1997 to $1.85 per US gallon ($0.49/l) in 2002. This appears economically viable with current petrodiesel prices, which as of 09/19/05 varied from $2.648 to $3.06. Nowadays, in 2007, retail, at the pump, prices including Federal and state motor taxes, of B2/B5 are lower than petroleum diesel by about 12 cents, and B20 blends are the same as petrodiesel.
Biodiesel retailers can be found in all states but Alaska, though all may not offer high percentage blends or B100.
Soybeans are not a very efficient crop solely for the production of biodiesel, but their common use in the United States for food products has led to soybean biodiesel becoming the primary source for biodiesel in that country. Soybean producers have lobbied to increase awareness of soybean biodiesel, expanding the market for their product.
A pilot project in Unalaska/Dutch Harbor, Alaska, is producing fish oil biodiesel from the local fish processing industry in conjunction with the University of Alaska Fairbanks. It is rarely economic to ship the fish oil elsewhere and Alaskan communities are heavily dependent on diesel power generation. The local factories project 3.5 million tonnes of fish oil annually.
In March 2002, the Minnesota State Legislature passed a bill which mandated that all diesel sold in the state must contain at least 2% biodiesel. The requirement took effect on June 30, 2005. In March 2006, Washington State became the second state to pass a 2% biodiesel mandate, with a start-date set for December 1, 2008.
In 2005, U.S. entertainer Willie Nelson was selling B20 Biodiesel in four states under the name BioWillie. By late 2005 it was available at 13 gas stations and truck stops (mainly in Texas). Most purchasers were truck drivers. It was also used to fuel the buses and trucks for Mr. Nelson's tours as well as his personal automobiles.
On October 16th, 2006, the city of Kalamazoo, Michigan announced an agreement with local Western Michigan University's biodiesel R & D program to use the biodiesel research to build a 100,000 gallons-per-year production system at the city wastewater treatment plant, and convert the city bus system to run entirely off of the fuel. Its use of "trap grease" from the waste tanks of restaurants around the city may be the first of its kind in the US.