US biodiesel producer the Renewable Energy Group (REG) recently released a slew of YouTube video interviews recapping the recent National Biodiesel Board annual conference and expo. In this video, Alan Weber with MARC-IV Consulting shares insight into current research and technology working to ensure an ample supply of feedstock for the biodiesel industry.
Given that that biofuel industry seems to be setting the trend for what next-generation feedstock will be like for the renewable chemical industry, and that feedstock supply and consumption in the biofuels market is also very much intertwined with the feedstock market dynamics for renewable chemicals, it is worthwhile knowing the developments in this sector.
An interesting development in the biodiesel industry is the increase use of distilled corn oil (DCO) also known as inedible crude corn oil as feedstock. More and more US ethanol producers have been installing corn oil separation technology in their plants to add margins, and some are even building integrated biodiesel facilities into their ethanol plants. DCO accounted for 11% of total US biodiesel feedstock consumed (excluding renewable diesel facilities) between January to July last year, while animal fats are 14%, according to the National Biodiesel Board. Soybean oil accounted for the largest share at 56%. The rest of US biodiesel feedstock was from recycled oils (14%) and canola oil (5%).
Related to renewable chemicals, the increase consumption of DCO could possibly also free up more tallow use for the oleochemicals sectors, as well as bring tallow prices down that will increase margins for domestic oleochemicals producers.