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Biodiesel Energy Balance


How much energy does biodiesel provide, compared to the amount of fossil energy it takes to make biodiesel?

This “fossil energy ratio” has been calculated most recently (as of 2011) to be 5.54. In other words, biodiesel provides 5.54 times more energy than the fossil energy used to make it.

Compare this to the energy ratio of petroleum, which has been calculated at .83 (see page v of the 1998 USDA study). In other words, it takes more energy to extract and transport petroleum than the energy in the petroleum itself.

The links on this page provide more information on biodiesel energy balance.

    • Biodiesel Energy Balance — This 5-page article is rebuttal to a 2005 article by Pimentel and Patzek which claimed that biodiesel had a negative energy balance.
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