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Biodiesel around the World

This page describes the use and availability of Biodiesel in various countries around the world. More information on biodisel can be found at the Biodiesel page.


The Fuel Standard (Biodiesel) Determination 2003 was signed by the Minister for the Environment and Heritage on 18 September. The determination sets out the physical and chemical parameters of the Biodiesel standard. It also sets out the associated test methods that the Government will use to determine compliance.

Australian Farmers Fuel (SAFF) has been retailing B100 to the public in South Australia since 2001 and now also sells B20 (marketed as "Premium Diesel") at some 52 service stations across 4 states.

All of the metropolitan trains and most of the metropolitan buses in Adelaide (capital of South Australia) operate on a B5 blend. The South Australian Government has stated that it will soon move to B20 or possibly higher blends.

Several councils (local Governments) across Australia are using B20 (including Adelaide City Council, Sydney City Council and Newcastle City Council).

In February of 2005 the first retail outlet for Biodiesel opened in the Sydney suburb of Marrickville. It offers B20 and B50 blends to the general public, and caters to qualified fleets wishing to utilize B100.


Brazil opened a commercial biodiesel refinery in March 2005. It is capable of producing 12,000 m³ (3.2 million US gallons) per year of biodiesel fuel. Feedstocks can be a variety of sunflower seeds, soybeans, or castor beans. The finished product will be currently a blend of gas oil with 2% biodiesel and, after 2011, 5% biodiesel, both usable in unmodified diesel engines. As of 2005, there were 3 refineries and 7 that are planned to open. These three factories were capable of producing 45.6 million of litres per year.

Petrobras (the Brazilian national petroleum Company) launch a inovative system, making biodiesel (called H-Bio) from the petroleum refinary.


In Belgium, there are refineries in Ertvelde (belonging to the company Oléon) and at Feluy.


Rothsay of Ville Ste Catherine, Quebec produces 35,000 m³ of biodiesel per year.

The Province of Nova Scotia uses biodiesel in some public buildings for heating as well as (in more isolated cases) for public transportation. Halifax Regional Municipality has converted its bus fleet to biodiesel, with a future demand of 7,500 m³ of B20 (20% biodiesel fuel mixture) to B50—reducing biodiesel content in low temperatures to avoid gelation issues—and 3,000 m³ split between B20 and B100 for building heat. The municipality forecasts a greenhouse gas reduction of over 9,000 tonnes CO2 equivalents (4,250 tonnes from fleet use and 5,000 tonnes from building heating) if fully implemented.

Private sector uptake is slower—but not unheard of—possibly due to a lack of price differential with petroleum fuel and a lack of federal and provincial tax rebating. Ocean Nutrition Canada produces 6 million gallons (23,000 m³) of fatty acid ethyl esters annually as a byproduct of its Omega-3 fatty acid processing. This surplus is used by Wilson Fuels to produce blended biodiesel for use as transportation and heating fuel. Wilson Fuels have also opened a biodiesel station in Moncton, New Brunswick.

In Ontario, Biox Corporation of Oakville is building a biodiesel processing plant in the Hamilton harbour industrial lands, due for completion in the first half of 2006. There are also a few retail filling stations selling biodiesel to motorists in Toronto and Unionville.

Manitoba has seen a rush of building in biodiesel plants in 2005 and 2006, starting in June 2005 with Bifrost Bio-Diesel in Arborg, Manitoba.

In addition, biodiesel is made by individuals and farmers for personal use. BioFuel Canada Ltd has small scale affordable plants for farmers and off-road users.

Czech Republic

Czech production of biodiesel was already above 60,000 m³ per year by the early 1990s and is now even larger. Many of the plants are very large, including one in Olomouc which produces almost 40,000 m³ per year. From the summer of 2004, Czech producers of biodiesel for blend receive a subsidy of roughly CEK 9.50/kg. All Škoda diesels built since 1996 are warrantied for biodiesel use


Biodiesel is available at Favora fuel stations


Neste Oil will begin production of alkyl biodiesel using the NExBTL process in summer in Finland, with a capacity of 170000 tons/year. A contract has been signed with the French Total, to begin production in some Total refineries in 2008.

NExBTL diesel, in contrast to rapeseed methyl ester, is a clear and colorless paraffin, and contains no oxygen. It is used to improve the quality of petro-diesel; its' quality is higher since it has a homogenous source, namely plant-synthesized fatty acids. It doesn't require any special engine repairs and it doesn't foul systems like ester biodiesel. It is produced by direct hydrogenation of the plant oil (chemically, triglyceride) into alkane, water and carbon oxides on a nickel-molybdenum catalyst. The total CO2 produced in the entire lifecycle is only 0.45 to 1.33 kg CO2/kg oil, in contrast to transesterified fuel with 1.4-2.0 kg CO2/kg oil, or mineral diesel with 3.4 kg CO2/kg oil. [http://www.termo.hut.fi/Ene-39/006/biodiesel1.ppt] Therefore, it's not only an "oil derivative" like ester


According to the Union zur Foerderung von Öl- und Proteinpflanzen UFOP (Union to promote oil- and protein plants), in 2004 the sale of biodiesel through German gas stations rose to 375,000 m³, although it was only available at a limited number of outlets. In 2004, 45% of all biodiesel sales went directly to large end users, such as trucking companies.

Production capacity for biodiesel, for the most part produced from rapeseed, is expected to rise to over 2,000,000 m³ per year in 2006. Sales in Germany have doubled to 376.6 million litres (about 99 million US gallons) from 2002 to 2004. This amount is sufficient to meet the average yearly consumption of well over 300,000 automobiles. Diesel engines have become increasingly popular in Germany and almost half of all newly manufactured cars are diesel powered. This is in part due to the greater efficiency of diesel engines, the desire by consumers to use environmentally friendlier technologies and lower taxes on diesel fuel that make it cheaper than gasoline.

With 1,900 sales points, equal to one in every ten public gas stations, biodiesel is the first alternative fuel to be available nationwide. The industry is expecting a surge in demand since the authorisation at the beginning of 2004, through European Union legislation, of a maximum 5% biodiesel addition to conventional diesel fuel. In Germany biodiesel is also sold at a lower price than fossil diesel fuel.


Biodiesel is now being produced locally in India for use in three-wheeler motor rickshaws. These engines actually run on regular diesel fuel or CNG, but in the past kerosene was used because it was far cheaper, and worked just as well. However, kerosene was dirty and wasn't as clean-burning. Biodiesel is rapidly replacing both kerosene and diesel as a more efficient, cheap, and clean alternative. Today plans are being chalked out to cultivate Jatropha plants on barren land to use its oil for biodiesel production. Now it is used for Railway engines and the plantations are recommended to plant these plants everywhere in unused areas through government sectors. Biodiesel is being used experimentally to run state transport corporation buses in Karnataka. University of Agriculture Sciences at Bangalore has identified many elite lines of Jatropha Curcas and Pongamia. Large scale activities have been initiated quite recently. For example, large-scale plantations have been initiated in North-East India and Jharkhand through an Memorandum of Understanding signed between D1 Oils and Williamson Magor. The hilly areas of the North-East are ideal for growing this hardy, low-maintenance plant.


Biodiesel is not yet sold on the market, things start to change and bio diesel is been produced on two small-scale experiments. The amounts that are been produced on these experiments are up to 10,000 liters a month. The lack of production of bio diesel in Israel is in contrary with the RND abilities of the country, for Israel is a center of development for agriculture technologies. The Israel North Recycle Group (INRG) is forecasting much progress in the next year, including consumption agreements with municipal bodies, as part the wider view of the municipalities on the subject.


Biodiesel called the Envo Diesel was launched by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Tuesday 22 March 2006 [6]. Malaysia currently produces 500,000 tonnes of biofuel annually and the government hopes to increase this number this year. Envo diesel blends 5% processed palm oil (vegetable oil) with 95% petrodiesel. In contrast, EU's B5 blends 5% methyl ester with 95% petrodiesel.

Projects requiring Malaysian and Indonesian palm oil as feedstocks have been criticized by some environmental advocates. Friends of the Earth has published a report asserting that clearance of forests for oil-palm plantations is threatening some of the last habitat of the orangutan. Also, in a column for The Guardian, writer George Monbiot claimed that land clearance by cutting and burning large forest trees frees large amounts of carbon dioxide that is never reabsorbed by the smaller oil palms. If true, then biodiesel production from plantation-grown palm oil may be a net source of atmospheric carbon dioxide. How these issues are resolved may determine whether Malaysia eventually becomes a major producer of biodiesel.


Biodiesel is not in common use in Norway. The three biodiesel pumps in Norway at Lillehammer, Hadeland and Oslo are managed by the Norwegian oil-company Hydro-Texaco.


Biodiesel is available in different spanish biofuel stations, like in Los Alcazares, Murcia, Spain [9].


Two biodiesel plants will be built on Jurong Island, Singapore's petrochemicals hub. The first plant, by Peter Cremer (S) GMBH, will have a capacity of 200,000 tons/year and it is expected to be ready by early , while the second is a joint venture between Wilmar Holdings and Archer Daniels Midland Company, to be operational by end 2006 with an initial capacity of 150,000 tons/year.

Singapore was selected for both companies' first biodiesel plant in Asia because of its excellent connectivity. There is easy access to abundant palm oil feedstock from the neighbouring countries of Malaysia and Indonesia. Also, Singapore has terminalling facilities which allow the biodiesel to be shipped to markets around the world.

Taiwan, Republic of China

In 2004, several companies started making biodiesel, and has produced more than 5,000 kilotons in a year since then. In 2006, the Bureau of Energy launched the first biodiesel buses on Earth Day.


Thailand was the first country to launch biodiesel as a national program on July 10th 2001. It was reported that the work was initiated by the Royal Chitralada Project, a royal -sponsored project to help rural farmers . International co-operation among ASEAN country was also starting by the Renewable Energy Institute of Thailand (Dr.Samai Jai-In) and Asia-Pacific Roundtable for Sustainable consumption and Production (Dr.Olivia Castillo,). The primary aims of the project in Thailand are:

  • an alternative output for excess agricultural produce
  • substituting diesel imports

In 2006, several biodiesel plants are operating in Thailand using the excess palm oil / palm stearin and in some cases, waste vegetable oil as raw materials. About 15 petrol stations are now distributing B5 (5% biodiesel with 95% diesel) in Chiangmai and Bangkok. The national biodiesel standard has been developed based on the European standard. The target of the Government is to mandate B5 by 2011 which will require almost 4 Million litres/day of biodiesel.

The raw material will most likely come from palm oil, coconut oil, Jatropha Curcas Linn, and tallow. Several pilot plants are now operating such as the Royal Chitralada Projects, Rajabiodiesel in Surattani, Department of Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency, Royal Naval Dockyard, and Tistr.

United Kingdom

Biodiesel is sold by a small but growing number of filling stations in B5 and B100 blend. Some farmers have been using small plants to create their own biodiesel for farm machinery since the 1990s. Several Co-ops and small scale production facilites have recently begun production, typically selling fuel several pence per litre less than petrodiesel. The first large scale plant, capable of producing 50 million litres (13 million US gallons) a year, opened in Scotland in 2005. Biodiesel is treated like any other vehicle fuel in the UK and the paperwork required to register as a producer is a major limiting factor to growth in the market

United States

Biodiesel is commercially available in most oilseed-producing states in the United States. As of 2005, it is somewhat more expensive than fossil diesel, though it is still commonly produced in relatively small quantities (in comparison to petroleum products and ethanol). Many farmers who raise oilseeds use a biodiesel blend in tractors and equipment as a matter of policy, to foster production of biodiesel and raise public awareness. It is sometimes easier to find biodiesel in rural areas than in cities. Similarly, some agribusinesses and others with ties to oilseed farming use biodiesel for public relations reasons. As of 2003 some tax credits are available in the U.S. for using biodiesel. In 2004 almost 30 million US gallons (110,000 m³) of commercially produced biodiesel were sold in the U.S., up from less than 0.1 million US gallons (380 m³) in 1998. Projections for 2005 were 75 million gallons produced from 45 factories. Due to increasing pollution control requirements and tax relief, the U.S. market is expected to grow to 1 or 2 billion US gallons (4,000,000 to 8,000,000 m³) by 2010. The price of biodiesel in the United States has come down from an average $3.50 per US gallon ($0.92/l) in 1997 to $1.85 per US gallon ($0.49/l) in 2002. This appears economically viable with current petrodiesel prices, which as of 09/19/05 varied from $2.648 to $3.06.

Soybeans are not a very efficient crop solely for the production of biodiesel, but their common use in the United States for food products has led to soybean biodiesel becoming the primary source for biodiesel in that country. Soybean producers have lobbied to increase awareness of soybean biodiesel, expanding the market for their product.

A pilot project in Unalaska/Dutch Harbor, Alaska is producing fish oil biodiesel from the local fish processing industry in conjunction with the University of Alaska Fairbanks. It is rarely economic to ship the fish oil elsewhere and Alaskan communities are heavily dependent on diesel power generation. The local factories project 3.5 million tonnes of fish oil annually.




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