Tracking the Profitability of Biodiesel Production

AgMRC Renewable Energy Newsletter
Created June 2009

(updated monthly)

Don HofstrandDon Hofstrand
Professor Emeritus
Iowa State University


The profitability of biodiesel production is extremely variable. Due to the volatile price nature of biodiesel and soybean oil, its major feedstock, biodiesel profitability can change rapidly from month to month. In addition, price variability of two of its other inputs, methanol and natural gas, add to the variability of biodiesel profitability.

The profitability of a typical soybean oil biodiesel production facility is computed every month using current biodiesel, soybean oil, methanol, and natural gas prices.

You can view the current profitability of this biodiesel model production facility anytime by visiting the Biodiesel-Profitability section of the AgMRC Web site. 

View the monthly profitability and underlying assumptions.