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The biodiesel industry is still in the defining stages of development in the United States.

Biodiesel is a clean burning alternative fuel produced from renewable domestic resources that can help narrow the energy supply and demand gap. In North Dakota, biodiesel is primarily produced from canola oil feedstock, but can be made from any vegetable oil as well as from animal fats or used frying oils from restaurants and/or food manufacturing plants.

Currently, there is one biodiesel production facility operating in North Dakota, ADM Velva. Limited demand for biodiesel from within the state of North Dakota will limit the possibility of any new production plants in the state.

Biodiesel in North Dakota

  • North Dakota biodiesel production uses about 65 percent of the states’ canola production, or about 700,000 acres worth of canola.
  • Minnesota and Canadian mandates are creating a demand pull for North Dakota produced biodiesel.
  • The ADM Velva plant brings jobs and new tax base into the area.
  • The North Dakota State Research Center in Minot has been operating a field plot tractor, fueled by B100 canola biodiesel for 8 years with no mechanical issues.
  • Since the canola biodiesel plant was built, North Dakota canola farmers have enjoyed historically high canola seed prices.
  • State funding through the Centers of Excellence initiative has fostered a partnership between North Dakota State University and Monsanto to increase acreage and oil content of canola. The release of this new canola line in the near future will expand acreage and yields, increasing the available feedstock for biodiesel production in North Dakota.
  • Investments in the Renewable Energy Development Fund have enabled the Energy and Environmental Research Center to develop a bio-based diesel with traits identical to petroleum-based diesel. This has enabled the development of a demonstration plant hosted by Tesoro and allows Tesoro to consider placing this renewable fuel directly in its pipeline for export. The Biofuels PACE Program remains available as a financing incentive for new biofuel production facilities in North Dakota.
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