Yokayo Biofuels produces about 400,000 gallons of biodiesel per year using a “100 mile diet” strategy: the entire process, from feedstock collection to biodiesel production and distribution, is all completed in Northern California. The company uses only recycled restaurant fryer oil for feedstock and has three trucks that collect oil from 900 restaurants and food service facilities.
Meanwhile, Bakersfield, Calif.-based Crimson Renewable Energy, produces between between 8 million and 10 million gallons annually and plans to expand its capacity to between 22 million and 25 million gallons a year, making it one of the largest biofuel producers in the state. The company credits California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS), which calls for lower emissions from transportation fuels, with driving demand for and growth of biofuels in the state.
These two companies and four others are highlighted in a case study by Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) that looks at the benefits of biodiesel and says a growing production in the state shows California companies have started capitalizing on this low-carbon fuel.
Commercially produced biodiesel can create a triple-win, the case study says. It reduces greenhouse gas emissions and improves air quality, it provides consumers with additional fuel choices at the pump and spurs green job growth.
The other four companies profiled in the case study are Biodico, North Star Biofuels, Imperial Western Products and Propel Fuels. Each demonstrates one of the six steps of the biodiesel value chain: research and development, feedstock, collection, production, blending, and retail and distribution.
California policies like the LCFS are helping the state become a leader in the biofuel industry, the case study says. If fuel standards like the federal Renewable Fuel Standard and the LCFS continue as planned, the advanced biofuels industry will have the ability to produce up to nearly 3 billion gallons of low-carbon fuel by 2015, EDF and E2 say.
According to E2 analysis, the biofuels market has the potential to be worth more than $60 billion within the next decade, creating more than 18,000 jobs from the nearly 30 biorefineries expected to open by 2015 in the US. California is home to nearly 30 advanced biofuel companies, E2 says.
The American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) and the American Petroleum Institute (API) have called on Congress to repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard program.