Business

Iowa generates 365 million gallons of biodiesel

State makes up 20 percent of U.S. production

The Clinton BioDiesel BioFuels plant owned by Natural Chem Holdings LLC of Houston, Texas, is located at 5640 44th Ave. South near Clinton, Iowa.  (Erin Murphy/Gazette-Lee Des Moines Bureau)
The Clinton BioDiesel BioFuels plant owned by Natural Chem Holdings LLC of Houston, Texas, is located at 5640 44th Ave. South near Clinton, Iowa. (Erin Murphy/Gazette-Lee Des Moines Bureau)

Iowa produced some 365 million gallons of biodiesel in 2018, the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association said Thursday, a boost of some 80 million gallons from the year before.

The state’s biodiesel production is expected to have made up almost 20 percent of total production in the United States for 2018, the association reported.

“We are extremely excited and proud of what was accomplished last year, but the fact remains we still have unused capacity,” Monte Shaw, the association’s executive director, said in a news release.

“Iowa’s biodiesel plants are ready to grow and produce beyond expectations, and 2018 proved that when the law is enforced equitably they can do just that.

“But when producers are hampered by timid RFS (renewable fuel standards) levels or demand-destroying exemptions they cannot achieve their full potential.”

Shaw in the news release referred to decision by the U.S. International Trade Commission in April 2018 against Argentina and Indonesia that caused the level of biodiesel imports to “plummet.” The United States had been leveling “steep” tariffs against the two nations since late 2017.

Iowa produced about 297 million gallons of biodiesel in 2016 and some 286 million in 2017.

The state has a dozen biodiesel facilities in operation.

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