Iowa Produces Record 60 Million Gallons of Biodiesel in 2006

With more plants being built, Iowa's production capacity could triple by end of 2007.

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association says that Iowa biodiesel refineries will produce a record 60 million gallons in 2006. This production represents a 240% increase over the 25 million gallons produced by Iowa biodiesel refineries in 2005. In producing the record amount of biodiesel, Iowa's biodiesel refineries processed the oil from over 40 million bushels soybeans.

"Biodiesel production and demand is growing exponentially and Iowa is leading the way," says Monte Shaw, IRFA executive director. "Consider that last year the entire country produced only 75 million gallons of biodiesel and this year U.S. biodiesel production is estimated between 200 and 250 million gallons. Iowa farmers and entrepreneurs are leading the way – in production and quality. Iowa will produce roughly 25 to 30% of total U.S. biodiesel in 2006."

Iowa has eight biodiesel plants operating

Iowa currently has eight biodiesel refineries in operation with an annual production capacity of nearly 115 million gallons. In addition, there are six new plants and one major expansion under construction that will add over 200 million gallons of annual capacity. Several more projects are under development.

"Iowa is poised to extend its lead in biodiesel production," adds Shaw. "Iowans are taking full advantage of the economic possibilities biodiesel production represents and are building more new plants. In fact, demand is so strong that the real challenge isn't finding new markets, but rather ensuring cost-effective biodiesel production to fill the existing demand."

A list of Iowa's biodiesel refineries in operation and under construction can be found on the IRFA Web site at www.iowarfa.org/biodiesel_refineries.php. Production estimate is based on industry reports.

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association was formed in 2002 to represent the state's ethanol and biodiesel producers. The trade group fosters the development and growth of the renewable fuels industry in Iowa through education, promotion, legislation and infrastructure development.

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