News and information about Biodiesel & alternative fuels.


Biodiesel Price Increases

Here's a note LC Biofuels sent to its customers about the recent biodiesel price increases; some quick highlights:
  • virgin soybean oil's price has tripled in the past year
  • lots of biodiesel plants have ceased production until prices fall
Dear LC Biofuels BUG Members,

Thanks for all the emails and phone calls voicing your concerns over the ever increasing price of biodiesel. The price increase is as frustrating for us as it is all of you, if not more. Though it seems the price of biodiesel is tied to petroleum diesel there are many other factors that drive the price up more significantly. Feedstock prices, production costs, transportation, and the weakening of the dollar all contribute to the high price of biodiesel.

The primary culprit is the high price of feedstock used to make the fuel. Our prices are dictated mostly by the CBOT (Chicago Board of Trade) and what soybean oil, tallow, rendered products and all the other feedstocks used in biodiesel production are being traded for. Over the past year we have seen the price of soybean oil triple. Two weeks ago, it reached a high of $0.70 per lb, or $5.25 per gallon to the producer. Add another dollar to that for production and shipping and you realize what virgin soy biodiesel would go for. The reason soy prices have increased the way they have is the U.S. is exporting the oil to other countries at a premium. With the low cost of the dollar, countries like China, who produce thousands of products that require soy oil in the ingredients, are happy to pay a premium for the oil since the dollar is so cheap. The traders are happy to drive the price up to pad their pockets as well.

This price increase has caused many biodiesel plants to cease production until prices come back down. With plants going off line every month, we have seen prices go up and up to the distributor. We tried to hold off on raising our prices by thinking the price increase was short term, but we now realize it is not. As soon as our costs begin to decrease you will certainly see it at the pump.

To help ease the pain of increasing costs we are offering $.05 off the posted price at the pump for prepayments of $200.00 or more payable by check or money order to LC Biofuels, LLC.

We value our customers and are striving to make biodiesel a mainstream product. We appreciate all feedback and support. Please give us a call with any other questions or concerns. Thanks again.

Pollution FUD

A NYTimes article sent by a friend, about companies illegally dumping biodiesel processing waste:
"After residents of the Riverbend Farms subdivision noticed that an oily, fetid substance had begun fouling the Black Warrior River, which runs through their backyards, Mark Storey, a retired petroleum plant worker, hopped into his boat to follow it upstream to its source.

It turned out to be an old chemical factory that had been converted into Alabama’s first biodiesel plant, a refinery that intended to turn soybean oil into earth-friendly fuel..."
It's unfortunate that some of these biodiesel producers aren't taking more precautions with their sanitation and waste runoff. It's pretty embarrassing, given that biofuels are supposed to be better for the environment and all.