In this short article, we look at pure biodiesel production for 2019. Pure or traditional biodiesel is known as Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME). Renewable diesel (also known as Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil or HVO) and FAME often are confused. These both are made from organic biomass, but are different products due to the production process and quality attributes. The U.S. Energy Information Administration publishes only pure FAME-type biodiesel production in its Monthly Biodiesel Production Report. Therefore, this descriptive analysis only looks at monthly pure FAME-type biodiesel production for the last two years and first two months in 2019.
Figure 1 shows monthly production of pure biodiesel from 2017 to 2019. The U.S. production of pure biodiesel in February 2019 was 131 million gallons, 13 million gallons lower than the January 2019 production. The production in February 2019 is just three million gallons higher than the production in February 2018.
There were approximately 927 million pounds of total feedstocks used to produce biodiesel in February 2019. Soybean oil remained the largest biodiesel feedstock accounting for 60 percent (560 million pounds) in February 2019. Corn distillers oil accounted for 15 percent (137 million pounds) in February 2019. Yellow grease and Choice white grease accounted for 13 percent (124 million pounds) and 5 percent (49 million pounds) respectively, in total feedstocks during February 2019.