EPA publishes final rule approving canola oil for advanced biofuels in the U.S.

Canola is another step closer to seeing major new demand from producers of advanced biofuels, as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has published its final rule approving the use of canola oil for renewable diesel, sustainable aviation fuel, and other advanced biofuels under the Renewable Fuel Standard (or RFS).

“We thank the EPA for completing the final rule and are pleased to see that canola oil now has the pathway to help contribute to reducing GHG emissions from transportation fuels in the U.S.,” says Jim Everson, president of the Canola Council of Canada (CCC), in a statement issued December 1.

Compared to older biofuels, such as biodiesel, the chemistry of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel is much closer to the fossil fuels they’re meant to replace, making them easier to use as a replacement in combustion engines. Demand for these advanced fuels is increasing as governments implement lower carbon fuel standards.

The CCC notes the EPA found canola-based fuels offer significantly lower lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions than fossil-based fuels — up to 90 per cent lower when compared with traditional diesel.

The council worked together with the Canadian Oilseed Processors Association (COPA) in supporting the U.S. Canola Association’s petition to the EPA, originally filed in 2020, to allow canola oil as a feedstock for making advanced biofuels.

The fact the U.S. has recognized canola oil, not just seed, as a feedstock is also significant for Canada’s canola industry, as it allows for processing to happen in Canada.

COPA has previously estimated 6.5 million tonnes of U.S. and Canadian canola could go toward North American biodiesel and renewable diesel production by 2030, compared to current demand of around 1.8 million tonnes.

Related:

Canola Council of Canada says advanced biofuels a new opportunity for growth

White House highlights plan to approve canola for renewable diesel under RFS

U.S. canola industry pushes for renewable fuel credits