Renewable Diesel Gains Traction as Cleaner Alternative to Traditional Diesel

The US is expected to produce 5.1 billion gallons of renewable diesel annually by 2024, driven by the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Renewable diesel, produced from organic sources, offers a cleaner alternative to traditional diesel with numerous environmental benefits.

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Renewable Diesel Gains Traction as Cleaner Alternative to Traditional Diesel

Renewable Diesel Gains Traction as Cleaner Alternative to Traditional Diesel

The biofuels sector, including renewable diesel, is gaining attention for its potential to reduce emissions and contribute to a low-carbon future. Renewable diesel, produced from organic sources, offers a cleaner alternative to traditional diesel and is expected to see significant growth in the coming years.

According to industry projections, the US is expected to produce 5.1 billion gallons of renewable diesel annually by 2024. This shift towards cleaner fuel sources is driven by the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

Why this matters: The adoption of renewable diesel could play a crucial role in reducing the transportation sector's carbon footprint, which is currently one of the largest contributors to greenhouse gas emissions. As the world transitions to a low-carbon economy, the growth ofus, facing, challenge of renewable diesel could have significant implications for the environment, public health, and the economy.

Emily Skor, a prominent voice in the biofuels industry, notes that the pushback against biofuels has historically come from oil refiners who resist blending ethanol with gasoline, fearing a loss of market share. "Historically a big part of the pushback has been from oil refiners. They don't want to blend more ethanol with gasoline because that's less market share for them," Skor explains.

However, this opposition is starting to shift as major integrated refineries recognize the benefits of renewable diesel and biofuels in reducing carbon emissions. "Many of the big integrated refineries are understanding as they are starting to look at renewable diesel, they're looking at biofuels as a way that they can keep liquid fuels, low carbon. And so they're starting to change their perspective on the renewable fuel standard, which is exciting," Skor adds.

Renewable diesel produced through Gas-to-Liquids (GTL) processes offers several environmental benefits compared to traditional diesel. GTL fuels are virtually sulfur-free, producing fewer sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions when burned, leading to improved air quality and fewer acid rain events. They also have lower nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, reducing smog formation and respiratory issues.

GTL diesel burns more cleanly than traditional fuels, leading to reduced particulate matter emissions, which contribute to respiratory diseases and environmental degradation. It also has a higher cetane number, indicating a more efficient combustion process, resulting in lower carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrocarbon emissions.

The growth of the renewable diesel sector is not without challenges. Senator Chuck Grassley has expressed concerns about the Environmental Protection Agency's recently updated GREET Model, arguing that it is too restrictive and will limit market opportunities for farmers.

Despite these hurdles, the biofuels industry remains optimistic about the future of renewable diesel. Growth, calling for leaders in Washington to embrace biofuels as a key component of a low-carbon future.

As the US aims to produce 5.1 billion gallons of renewable diesel annually by 2024, the shift towards cleaner, more sustainable fuel sources is well underway. With its numerous environmental benefits and potential to reduce carbon emissions, renewable diesel is poised to play a significant role in the transition to a low-carbon future.

Key Takeaways

  • US to produce 5.1 billion gallons of renewable diesel annually by 2024.
  • Renewable diesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions and mitigates climate change.
  • GTL diesel burns cleaner, producing fewer emissions and improving air quality.
  • Biofuels industry growth faces challenges, but remains optimistic about the future.
  • Renewable diesel is crucial for reducing transportation sector's carbon footprint.