This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

December 18, 2002

New Biodiesel Facility Begins Operation in Iowa

A new facility with the capacity to produce 12 million gallons of biodiesel per year started operating in Ralston, Iowa, in early December. The West Central Soy plant is owned and operated by a farmers' cooperative and produces the biodiesel from soybeans. According to the National Biodiesel Board, the new facility is one of 18 dedicated biodiesel plants in the United States, with more than a dozen others in the planning stages. See the National Biodiesel Board press release (PDF 122 KB). Download Acrobat Reader.

The National Biodiesel Board also noted recently that tests on biodiesel by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) show a 47 percent reduction in particulate emissions compared to diesel fuel. The test also showed that the emissions benefits from using B20, a 20 percent blend of biodiesel with 80 percent diesel fuel, are greater than would be expected from the pure biodiesel results. As summarized by Steve Howell, technical director of the National Biodiesel Board, "Using B20 in 100 vehicles will actually reduce more pollution overall than using B100 (pure biodiesel) in 20 vehicles." See the board's press release (PDF 20 KB) and the draft EPA report (PDF 767 KB) on the National Biodiesel Board Web site.

One biodiesel manufacturer that is aggressively pursuing new facilities and outlets is Southern States Power Company, Inc. The company is currently planning to develop biodiesel production facilities in Riverside, California, and Phoenix, Arizona. The Riverside facility, if built, is expected to produce about 35 million gallons of biodiesel per year. The company is also working with U.S. Fuel Partners LLC to distribute and sell biodiesel in Colorado. See the recent Southern States press releases.