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Biodiesel is a fuel made from vegetable oil or animal fats. Biodiesel’s most common feedstock remains rapeseed oil, accounting for 49% of total production in 2015 but its position is decreasing considerably, mostly due to the higher use of recycled vegetable oil/used cooking oil (UCO). In fact, UCO has become the second-most important feedstock, led by the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Germany.Palm oil came in third place in terms of feedstock followed by sunflower oil (3% of the total biodiesel feedstock). More specific sources of biofuel such as wood, fatty acids or cottonseed oil are used depending on local/national production.


Biodiesel results from a chemical transformation of a fat (transesterification), which makes it less viscous. This fat can have various origins:

  • Oils of annual oilseed crops such as rapeseed, maize, sunfl ower, soya …
  • Perennial oilseed oils such as palm or palm kernel
  • Used oils and fats from households and HORECA
  • By-products of the wood industry
  • Oil from algae or microalgae


Biodiesel can be used either as fuel in vehicles or as fuel in boilers, generators or cogeneration engines for the production of heat and / or electricity. Biodiesel can be used in various proportions in road vehicles.