Biodiesel Offers More Bang for Buck Than Ethanol

USDA research indicates that for every unit of energy it takes to make biodiesel, there are 3.4 units of energy produced compared to 1.6 for ethanol.

Published: 28-Jan-2006

Ethanol from corn may get more headlines, but biodiesel from soybean oil may actually give more bang for the buck, say advocates of the biodiesel industry.

Speaking Thursday before a group of Iowa business leaders, the CEO of West Central Cooperative in Ralston, Iowa, told of the value-added benefits of the soybean processing plant his co-op operates. Jeff Stroburg quoted USDA statistics that say biodiesel has a stronger energy balance than either ethanol or straight petroleum fuel.

Those numbers say that for every unit of energy it takes to make biodiesel, there are 3.4 units of energy produced. The comparable efficiency factor for ethanol is about 1.6; for petroleum, only .88 units of energy come from each unit of energy invested.

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