Renewable Diesel Basics

Renewable Diesel Production

Renewable diesel is made from the same renewable resources as biodiesel, but uses a different production process. The result is a renewable fuel that is more like petroleum diesel and meets the same ASTM D975 specification.

Renewable Diesel is Relatively New

Renewable diesel is one of the newer alternative fuels on the market but has quickly become popular because it effectively reduces emissions, delivers strong performance and has up to 85% less sulfur than ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD). As clean air regulations and sustainability goals become more common, this fuel will continue growing in popularity.

Renewable Diesel vs. Biodiesel

When looking at renewable diesel vs. biodiesel, the main similarities are that the fuels are made from the same feedstocks, offer lower carbon emissions than petroleum diesel and can be used in existing diesel equipment.

The differences are the production process and specifications. In biodiesel production, the feedstock is reacted with methanol to produce fatty acid methyl esters (FAME). With renewable diesel, the feedstock is reacted with hydrogen during a process called hydrotreating. Renewable diesel is a two-step process, verses just one step for biodiesel. Another difference is that renewable diesel has no oxygen in it, whereas biodiesel does. Today, renewable diesel also has lower production volumes than biodiesel, in the U.S., but that may change in the future. 

Renewable diesel blends extremely well with high-quality REG biodiesel — a product we call REG UltraClean BlenD™. It captures the best properties of the two fuels: high Cetane, increased lubricity, lower emissions and an excellent Cloud Point.