Iowa’s 2016 biodiesel production reached a recording-breaking total of 297 million gallons, surpassing 2015’s total 242 million gallons by 55 million gallons. This 23 percent increase is largely attributed to policy certainty at the federal level during 2016, including the biodiesel tax incentive and Renewable Fuel Standard. State level policies targeting higher biodiesel blends, such as Iowa’s B11 excise tax differential, also helped drive demand.
“This record-busting year speaks volumes of the hard work and strength of Iowa’s biodiesel producers,” said Iowa Renewable Fuels Association Executive Director Monte Shaw. “Iowa is home to some of the most efficient biodiesel plants in the world and they took advantage of strong demand in 2016. As we turn the calendar forward to 2017, we unfortunately turn back to the policy uncertainty of prior years. The federal biodiesel tax credit expires on December 31st, and we don’t know for sure whether or when it will be reinstated in 2017. Regardless of the pending challenges of 2017, Iowa plants are well-positioned to remain number one in biodiesel production.”
Compared to 2015, soybean oil remained the largest feedstock for Iowa biodiesel production – holding steady at 66 percent. Animal fats dropped slightly to 14 percent of production, while corn oil held steady at around 10 percent. Used cooking oil and canola oil doubled their 2015 numbers, combining to account for roughly 10 percent of 2016 biodiesel production in Iowa.