As the world continues to devise ways to tackle climate change, researchers at the California Air Resources Board (CARB) have made some significant findings in their latest update for the state’s Low-Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) program. New data from CARB shows that low-carbon fuels, like biodiesel, are delivering the biggest reductions in transportation-related sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. While this may come as a shock to some, our Net-Zero Heroes™ know all about the environmental friendliness of biodiesel and renewable diesel!
From 2011 to 2020, biodiesel and renewable diesel usage reduced California’s greenhouse gas emissions by over 32.3 million metric tons, which represents 43% of the total emissions reductions under the LCFS. In 2020 alone, biodiesel and renewable diesel have reduced CO2 emissions by 6.8 million metric tons, which is the equivalent of removing more than 1.5 million vehicles from the road. Together, biodiesel and renewable diesel-generated a total of 6.8 credits under the LCFS program, which represents the highest credit share of any other fuel or technology.
Biodiesel and renewable diesel are able to generate these amazing emissions reductions because of their use of renewable feedstocks. Tallow, used cooking oil, corn oil, soybeans, and other feedstocks are all used in the production processes of biodiesel and renewable diesel. For California specifically, tallow, used cooking oil and inedible corn oil accounted for nearly 95% of LCFS biodiesel/renewable diesel credits generated in that state. Feedstocks, like soybeans, offset the small amount of CO2 produced from biodiesel and renewable diesel combustion by absorbing carbon dioxide during growing.
California’s success with biodiesel is due to its availability. Biodiesel and renewable diesel are available for use right now and require no modifications to existing diesel vehicles and equipment. Biodiesel and renewable diesel also utilize existing fuel infrastructure, so you won’t have to rely on future technology to reach market viability.
If you’d like to learn more about the California Air Research Board’s findings, check out this great article that shows the data behind their conclusions.