Soy-based fuels have a positive economic impact

January 5, 2023

Biodiesel usage in petroleum diesel fuel is growing. An updated study late in 2022 indicated blending of the renewable fuel is at a higher rate than it was three years prior to that. “We are producing about 5 percent of the on-road diesel heavy-duty transportation fuel that’s being used in the United States,” according to Paul Winters, public affairs director at Clean Fuels Alliance America. “Biodiesel and renewable diesel reached 3.1 billion gallons last year; that is 5 percent of the market here in the United States.”

Growth continues with even more demand for soy-based combustibles, partly because of diversification into the sustainable aviation fuels sector. “We are the only industry that is actually producing commercial gallons of sustainable aviation fuel today,” said Winters. “We look to grow [bio-based fuel production] to about 6 billion gallons within this decade.”

That makes a significant economic impact with even more on the horizon, which Winters says begins with the number of people on the payroll in processing and other industries.

“We are supporting 75,000 jobs around the United States [and] we are generating about $23 billion in economic activity,” he said. “If we reach our goal of 6 billion gallons, that’s going to increase substantially; 187,000 jobs in the United States and more than $60 billion in economic activity.”

While the latest study indicates biodiesel growth, Winters says it also indicates an acceleration in biodiesel’s impact on the U.S. economy. “The rate of economic activity per 100 million gallons back then was about $780 million. Today, it’s more than $1 billion for every added 100 million gallons of fuel, so as we’re growing to 6 billion [gallons] it’s going to multiply and increase that economic activity and really contribute to the economy of the United States and to a lot of rural communities who are looking for those economic opportunities.”