• Ron Kotrba

Yellow grease use in US biodiesel manufacturing bounces back in October

U.S. biodiesel production in October was 160 million gallons, up 1 million gallons from September, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Roughly 9 percent of the feedstock consumed by biodiesel manufacturing in October was yellow grease, more than doubling the amount used in May when the commodity was in short supply as a result of restaurant closures and lockdowns amid the early months of the pandemic.

Midwestern biodiesel production accounted for 71 percent of the U.S. total. Eighty-seven biodiesel plants with a total annual productive capacity of 2.5 billion gallons were responsible for the October volumes, according to EIA.

Producer sales of biodiesel in October included 74 million gallons sold as B100 and another 82 million gallons of B100 sold in blends with petroleum diesel fuel.

Approximately 1.17 billion pounds of feedstocks were consumed for U.S. biodiesel production in October, including:

  • 723 million pounds of soybean oil (62 percent), down from 737 million pounds in September

  • 108 million pounds of yellow grease (9 percent), the highest amount consumed in U.S. biodiesel manufacturing since the pre-pandemic month of January, up from 85 million pounds in September and more than doubling the 2020 low of 51 million pounds in May

  • 101 million pounds of distillers corn oil (9 percent), down significantly from 136 million pounds in September and 148 million pounds in August

  • 57 million pounds of white grease (5 percent), down from 73 million pounds in September, which was the highest amount consumed in domestic biodiesel production in years

  • 52 million pounds of tallow (4 percent), nearly double the 27 million pounds used in September but still shy of the year’s peak of 54 million pounds in July

  • 21 million pounds of poultry fat (2 percent)

  • 3 million pounds of “other” feedstocks

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