Biodiesel has been in use for more than 20 years in various forms, Europe has had biodiesel based on canola for more than 20 years, diesel sold in France routinely contains up to 7% biodiesel, and a soy-based fuel is the most common biodiesel in the United States. In New Zealand, biodiesel is most commonly made from used cooking oil, oilseed rape (canola) and tallow.
It is estimated that there is enough suitable used cooking oil available in New Zealand on a commercial scale to manufacture around 4 million litres of biodiesel a year. Although this is a very small amount when compared to the almost 3,000 million litres of mineral diesel consumed each year in New Zealand, it is a step in the right direction, and has allowed us to become established as a leading biodiesel manufacturer in New Zealand.
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Growing oilseed rape for fuel purposes has only just begun in New Zealand and currently there is sufficient oilseed rape cropping in New Zealand to make around another 3 million litres of biodiesel a year. This cropping area will increase well beyond this as the demand for biodiesel increases.
Tallow also provides a feedstock resource of reasonable volume, with the potential to produce 50-100 million litres of biodiesel per year. Although tallow-derived biodiesels do not meet the cold temperature operational performance demanded by Biogold™ standards, these fuels are generally suitable for a range of applications, including furnace and boiler use.
Biodiesel New Zealand regularly assesses a number of other vegetable oil feedstock options available for the production of biodiesel.