Higher biodiesel prices due to switch of diesel classes

Berlin, 17 October 2012 – According to the Agricultural Market Information Company (AMI), producers of biodiesel offer fuel suitable for autumn temperatures since beginning October 2012. The feedstock for biodiesel is governed by the Cloud Filter Plugging Point (CFPP value). This value indicates the temperature, given in degrees Celsius, below which the fuel no longer has the required filterability. In the worst case scenario, filter clogging and technical problems with the engine occur. Only biodiesel made from rapeseed oil (RME) meets the flowability requirements for biodiesel in winter, which is resulting in higher prices (graph in the appendix). 

The following temperature periods and CFPP values apply to the European climate region to which Germany belongs in accordance to DIN EN 14214: 15 April – 30 September max. 0 °C, 1 October – 15 November max. -10 °C, 16 November – 28 February max. -20 °C, and 1 March – 14 April max. -10 °C. Particularly in winter, the requirements on fluidity of biodiesel can only be fulfilled with biodiesel made from rapeseed oil. Due to the structure of its fatty acid, RME fuel remains liquid even at

-12 °C and has the necessary fluidity characteristics for high pressure injection systems and sufficient engine combustion. By using additives, called cold flow improvers, RME can meet the requirements even below -20 °C. This requirement is legally anchored in the 36th German Verordnung zur Durchführung der Regelungen der Biokraftstoffquote (36. BImSchV; Ordinance Governing the Implementation of the Regulations on Biofuels). As a result, compliance must be proved to the main customs offices. The requirement applies both to the use of biodiesel as neat fuel (tax concession) and to blends (quota allowance). The customs office can have these quality parameters verified.    

FAME (fatty acid methyl ester) is produced by transesterifying a variety of vegetable oils and mixing FAME that is made of various feedstock. According to VDB (Verband der Deutschen Biokraftstoffindustrie e. V., Association of the German Biofuels Industry) RME produced in Germany is made from sustainable and certified rape seed oil. This explains the price increase as biodiesel suppliers are switching from the summer grades to autumn and winter diesel. Studies have shown that additives used to improve biodiesel flowability in winter conditions do not improve the cold flow properties of palm oil biodiesel and do little to improve the cold flow properties of soybean oil biodiesel (fatty acid structure).