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U.S. companies are gambling that biodiesel will continue to grow despite the hurdles they have to maneuver. There are currently 115 biodiesel production facilities with a combined capacity of 865 million gallons per year. Nearly 80 more plants are under construction and the total production is expected to increase to over two billion gallons in the next 18 to 36 months. “When you see how immense the energy market in the United States is…it’s impossible to replace that with renewable fuels,” said Ron Marr, a consultant with Lake Erie Biofuels, which is building a biodiesels plant in Pennsylvania.
Biodiesel can be used to provide heat and fuel for diesel powered vehicles. It is made from various sources such as vegetable oils, animal fat or turkey manure; each source is processed differently. A major tax credit expires next year and the industry is lobbying to get it extended.