Biodiesel on the West Coast

biodiesel_inputs.jpgIn a recent Seattle Times article, the discussion of a new biodiesel plant by Imperium Renewables suggests that this source of fuel many soon be able to compete with fossil fuels on price. The Seattle-based startup believes that it is positioning its product to beat regular diesel at the pump.

The company has long been evaluating its business model with the results that it predicts will flow to what it calls the “triple bottom line” of environmental, political and economic benefits. Imperium argues that it can compete on cost to the consumer as long as crude oil is priced at above $43 a barrel.

I don’t plan on becoming an expert on biodiesel, however I think that it’s important for us to better understand this issue in order to make good decisions that will have a substantial impact on our community. That’s why I appreciate author Luke Timmerman’s thorough anaylsis of all the elements of the production process that effect the end price to the consumer. Check it out.

One Comment

  1. Bruce Anderson said:

    As of September 29, 2005, Minnesota law has required that all diesel fuel sold for on-road use contain 2% biodiesel by volume (see There is currently about 63 million gallons per year of production volume in Minnesota, and the opportunity to develop much more production capacity.

    I for one am very much in favor of bringing biodiesel (and cellulosic ethanol) production to the Northfield area. Both can and should be part of a local sustainable development stategy, and could provide major local investment opportunities. Neither should be equated with corn-based ethanol production.

    December 20, 2006

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