This fireside chat recap is from the FreightWaves Fuel Buyers Summit.
FIRESIDE CHAT TOPIC: Renewable diesel is a perfect substitute for petroleum diesel, and it has a lot of government backing.
DETAILS: There’s lots of investment going into renewable diesel, but an incentive to consume renewable diesel in California means that most of it is being used in that state.
SPEAKER: John Auers, executive vice president of Turner Mason & Co., interviewed by FreightWaves Editor at Large John Kingston.
BIO: Auers is a 40-year-plus veteran of the petroleum refining industry. He is currently executive vice president of Turner, Mason & Co., an international energy consulting firm in Dallas. He is the team leader of TM&C’s subscription products, including The Crude and Refined Products Outlook and the Worldwide Refinery Construction Outlook. He also leads assignments in the areas of refining economics and planning, LP modeling, refined product and crude market analysis, crude oil value assessment, downstream asset valuation, capital investment studies, and strategic planning. Auers joined the firm in 1987 after spending seven years with Exxon Corp., where he held various positions at its Baytown, Texas, refinery.
KEY QUOTES FROM AUERS:
“To become renewable diesel, it has to be hydrotreated, which means hydrogen needs to be introduced in a process very similar to that used in petroleum refining. Once it is hydrotreated, renewable diesel is essentially identical to petroleum diesel.”
“Biodiesel is not hydrotreated, produced from a less intensive process, which means a less expensive process. It is an inferior product from a blending and combustible perspective.”
“Renewable diesel is supported by government incentives and mandates, and the large majority of it is being consumed in California.”
Asked if a consumer could tell the difference when filling up with renewable diesel versus petroleum diesel: “You would have no idea.”
“There is a feedstock supply wall. Advantaged feedstocks from a producer point of view, like tallow and animal fats, those supplies aren’t growing. As demand for renewable diesel grows, you’re going to run out of that supply. So incremental supply is primarily going to come from soybean oil.”