Nov 02, 2023

JBS Testing B100 in a Small Fleet of Its Trucks

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

JBS is the largest meat processor in the world and one of the largest biodiesel producers in Brazil and it has announced a project to test the use of B100 biodiesel in a small fleet of its trucks. This is all part of the company's commitment to decarbonize its operations.

The project will utilize B100 made from beef tallow with no petroleum diesel. The biodiesel will be produced in its facility in Lins, Sao Paulo and used to fuel three of its trucks.

Brazil's current biodiesel is B12 (12% vegetable oil blended with petroleum diesel) and it is programed to be B13 in 2024, B14 in 2025, and B15 in 2026. Brazil's biodiesel producers have the capacity to exceed those values and they have petitioned the government to authorize B20 in large urban areas already in 2024. Approximately 70% of the vegetable oil used to produce Brazil's biodiesel is soybean oil.

With biodiesel plants located in Lins, Sao Paulo, Mafra, Santa Catarina, and Campo Verde, Mato Grosso, JBS is one of the five largest biodiesel producers in Brazil and the leader in utilizing beef tallow, a subproduct of beef processing, to make biodiesel.

The Brazilian Association of Biofuel Producers (Aprobio) attest that biodiesel offers a series of benefits. Biodiesel can reduce air pollution by as much as 80% compared to petroleum diesel, which can result in health benefits for urban residents. Locally produced biodiesel can increase employment and incomes in rural areas and reduce Brazil's dependence on imported diesel fuel.

There are some critics in the transportation sector that cite potential problems with the use of B100, but the commercial director of JBS Biodiesel, indicates that B100 has been successfully utilized in the buses in the city of Curitiba in southern Brazil for over 10 years without problems. B100 has also been used successfully in European cities and the truck manufacturer Scania is producing two lines of trucks designed to use B100.

Early results from the test indicate that the trucks traveled an average of 1,200 kilometers per day and achieved miles per gallon similar to regular diesel.

JBS Biodiesel has the capacity to produce 720 million liters per year which is a little more than 10% of the 6.3 billion liters produced in Brazil in 2022.