Biodiesel produced by converting raw vegetable oils and fats to esters is a commercially proven pathway both on small and large scales. Biodiesel is predominantly manufactured from rapeseed, soybeans and palm oil.
In the United States, biodiesel production in 2012 was primarily based on soybean oil, although significant quantities of canola oil, corn oil, tallow, white and yellow grease were also used (U.S. EIA, 2013b). In 2009, rapeseed was used as the feedstock for around two thirds of biodiesel in the European Union, with 13% from imported palm oil, 10% from soybeans, 4% from refined vegetable oils and 3% each from sunflowers and tallow (Hamelinck, 2012). Argentina and Brazil also produce significant quantities of biodiesel, predominantly from soybeans. Thailand, Malaysia, Colombia, Indonesia and Singapore all produce biodiesel from palm oil.