Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Feasibility Study for Potential Biodiesel Industry in NY(ST7681-1)



Interest in blending biodiesel with petroleum-based diesel or home heating oil has been growing. Biodiesel is a non-toxic, biodegradable, high-British thermal unit (Btu) fuel similar to No. 2 petroleum diesel, made from new or used soybean and other vegetable oils, or animal fats. Energy legislation introduced in the last Congress contains provisions for a Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) that would require the nation's highway motor fuel supply to contain at least five billion gallons of renewable fuel by 2012. Under an RFS, the national demand for biodiesel fuel is projected to increase from 20 million gallons in 2003 to more than 500 million gallons by 2013, a total additional demand for biodiesel of 2.4 billion gallons over the next decade.

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Project Description

The feasibility study included: 1) an overview of supply and demand for both biodiesel feedstocks and products; 2) a summary of production technologies for biodiesel and byproducts; 3) a market assessment; 4) an overview of public policy in other states and federal programs; 5) an overview of technological trends and research needs; and 6) an overview of policy alternatives appropriate for New York State, including an analysis of cost and benefit impacts under various scenarios.


From environmental and energy-independence viewpoints, biodiesel-based fuel blends are highly attractive options to straight petroleum diesel, where economics can justify their use. New York State has an energy and environmentally conscious population; a vibrant agricultural sector that could supply oilseeds and/or animal fats as feedstock for biodiesel; and major urban areas that generate large quantities of waste restaurant greases that can also be recycled as biodiesel feedstock.

Project Results

The study concluded that: 1) New York can supply some but not all of the feedstock requirements for a statewide biodiesel industry that supports a 2% biodiesel (B2) mandate; 2) New York agriculture would benefit from an in-state biodiesel industry; 3) distributors would need to make investments in infrastructure that would create economic benefits; 4) a New York B2 incentive or policy should be phased in over time and should be linked to biodiesel capacity in New York; 5) a B2 incentive or policy will attract investment, expand the State economy, generate additional income for New Yorkers, and create new jobs. Each policy option described in the study has different revenue impacts for the State Treasury, and costs and benefits to the consumers. The report is posted on the NYSERDA website.


1255 Drummers Lane, Suite 320
Wayne, PA 10908

Principle Investigator

John Urbanchuk

Universities Involved


Project Type:

Research Study

Technologies Types:

NYSERDA Contact Information

Judy Jarnefeld


R&D - Environment & Energy Res

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST7681-1

Last Updated: 11/18/2010