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EPA approves fuel pathway for camellia

Agriculture.com Staff 02/25/2013 @ 1:41pm

The EPA has finalized its rule approving camelina oil as a new low-carbon feedstock under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The RFS requires a 50% greenhouse-gas emissions reduction for qualifying Biomass-based Diesel or Advanced Biofuel. Assessing whether a fuel pathway meets that threshold requires a comprehensive evaluation of the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of the renewable fuel as compared to the lifecycle emissions of the gasoline or diesel fuel that it replaces. Already, a handful of biodiesel feedstocks such as recycled cooking oil, soybean oil and animal fats qualify as Advanced under the program.

"This decision adds to the growing list of biodiesel feedstocks that meet the EPA's standards for Advanced Biofuel and gives us yet another option for producing sustainable, domestic biodiesel that displaces imported oil," said Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs for the National Biodiesel Board. "This is important for our energy security, for our economy and for addressing climate change, and we thank the EPA for conducting a thorough and fair review."

Made from an increasingly diverse mix of agricultural oils, animal fats and recycled cooking oil, biodiesel is the first and only commercial-scale fuel produced across the country to meet the EPA's definition as an Advanced Biofuel - meaning the agency has determined it reduces greenhouse gases by at least 50 percent compared with the petroleum alternative. The EPA has ruled that biodiesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 57 percent to 86 percent, depending on the feedstock used. It is produced in nearly every state in the country and supported more than 64,000 jobs nationwide in 2012, according to a recent economic study. It is a renewable, clean-burning diesel replacement that meets a strict fuel specification and can be used in existing diesel engines without modification.

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