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Iowa sets new biodiesel production record

A record for biodiesel production has been claimed this August by the US state of Iowa.

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) believes a combination of ‘a strong federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and reinstatement of the federal biodiesel blenders’ tax credit’ has led to state facilities producing 56.7 million gallons of biodiesel during the second quarter of 2013.

The IRFA also claims a figure of 99.5 millions gallons manufactured in the first six months of the year is also a record.

‘Record biodiesel production this quarter is providing a noticeable boost to Iowa soyabean farmers and livestock producers,’ states IRFA communications director TJ Page. “With a strong RFS and the tax incentive helping to level the playing field against long-standing petroleum subsidies, biodiesel is successfully competing in the marketplace.’

The biodiesel blender credit is due to expire at the end of this year however and that, coupled with the constant lobbying of the petroleum industry against renewable fuels, means there will be challenges ahead.

‘Given petroleum’s advantages in current federal policy, we have to protect the RFS and extend the biodiesel tax credit,’ added Page.  ‘Provided a fair chance, Iowa’s biodiesel producers could continue to set records and provide consumers with a clean, homegrown fueling option.’

Iowa is a hub of biodiesel production in the US as it boasts 12 biodiesel facilities with the capacity to produce nearly 315 million gallons annually. In addition, it has 41 ethanol refineries capable of producing over 3.7 billion gallons per year, with one wet mill and three cellulosic ethanol facilities currently under construction.