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Global Glycerin Market Update

September, 2021

By: Petrina Ng, Senior Category Account Executive

Did you know that approximately 68% of the global supply of crude glycerin is generated from biodiesel production? Since the early 2000s, glycerin users have benefitted from the exponential growth of conventional biodiesel and the corresponding supply of crude glycerin. However, this is changing, with a rapid shift from conventional biodiesel to renewable diesel, or hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) in the U.S. As the HVO technology does not generate any crude glycerin co-product, the expansion of HVO could impact the supply of crude glycerin in the U.S.

Several factors are affecting this shift in the market, most notably feedstock and government incentives. As both HVO and conventional biodiesel plants compete for the same feedstock, non-integrated biodiesel plants may be at a competitive disadvantage.

Below are some examples of how government incentives could support the shift to HVO:
• HVO has a lower carbon intensity (CI), a measure of greenhouse gas emissions based on a complete lifecycle analysis, which would help fuel providers meet the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) benchmark.
• HVO generates more Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) per gallon (1.7 RINs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) Program, which allows refiners and fuel importers to meet their obligations.

For more information on LCFS and RFS, please visit the below websites.

California Air Resources Board
Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. Department of Energy
U.S. Energy Information Administration

With expected increases in HVO capacity over the next few years in the U.S., the conventional biodiesel industry will be under pressure to compete. The possible reduction in conventional biodiesel operating rates and the corresponding reduction in crude glycerin generation may put the future supply of glycerin in the U.S. under a cloud of uncertainty.

Since the 1800s, P&G Chemicals has been producing high quality refined glycerin in our domestic state-of-the-art Cincinnati facility, backed by a dedicated regulatory and quality team. We are carefully monitoring market changes and actively putting action plans in place to protect supply to our valued customers. P&G Chemicals will continue to adapt and remain your reliable high quality glycerin supplier.