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2015 National Biodiesel Conference

2015 National Biodiesel ConferenceIt’t that time! Time to look ahead to the 2015 National Biodiesel Conference. Here’s an excerpt from NBB CEO, Joe Jobe, as he looks ahead.

In my seventeen years in the biodiesel world the most predictable dynamic of this growing industry has been unpredictability; a constant evolution of the market and its ever-transforming challenges. Managing through the ups and downs of business cycles and market changes is a part of every business. But we have had more than our fair share. For many it has been do or die at almost every turn. Since day one, this industry’s success, or size, or even very birth has been peppered with unknowns and all out battles for a spot at the transportation energy table. This year is no different.

So get registered if you have not yet and make your plans. Besides great professional improvement and motivating speakers there will be lots of opportunities for industry networking. Let’s get motivated and we’ll see you there.

Young Scientist’s Share Passion for Biodiesel

nbb-14-three-studentsStudents from across the country took advantage of this year’s National Biodiesel Conference and presented their research to gain feed back and awareness of the biodiesel industry. This opportunity also allowed them to network with fellow researchers and learn more about the biodiesel community.

Chuck met up with three of the young people and they shared what sparked their interest in biodiesel and what their research has consisted of. All three were really excited to see how respective the professionals they presented to were to their new ideas and research.

They also committed about the opportunity to met and ask questions from other fellow students who attended the event. Peer review is an essential part of these in-depth research studies.

You can listen to Chuck’s complete interview with these young scientists here: Interview with Student Scientists

2014 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Biodiesel’s Role in Bio-based Products

soy-biobased-erkerDirector of bio-based products for the United Soybean Board (USB), Michael Erker, was one of the many attendees of the 2014 National Biodiesel Conference. He works with many bio-based products including biodiesel. He gives insights into what bio-based products that contain biodiesel include and shares how involved USB is in funding biodiesel research.

“When we talk about bio-based products made from soybean oil or meal, that includes biodiesel. Biodiesel soy methyl ester are a great solvents. You not only get biodiesel, you get many other products like hand cleaners, paint strippers or other personal care products.”

USB gets very involved with research projects and are major funders for biodiesel. You can bet that they have had their hand in about all research projects the National Biodiesel Board has conducted. Michael also shared their investment with Ford and research to bring soy tires to vehicles nationwide.

You can listen to Chuck’s complete interview with Michael here: Interview with Michael Erker

2014 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Biodiesel Foundation’s Never Ending Support

nbb-14-foundationIt is easy to say that many of the promotional opportunities we see from the biodiesel industry wouldn’t be possible without the Biodiesel Foundation. During the 2014 National Biodiesel Conference the foundation was hard at work to raise money in order to increase awareness.

Beth Calabotta, Vice President of the Biodiesel Foundation, shared with Chuck in an interview that their goal is to work to promote biodiesel education, infrastructure and awareness.

“We promoted a sustainability tour where we brought a lot of policy makers and their support staff out to see farms in Iowa and biodiesel plants. They really got a feel for what the renewable fuels industry is. We have co-hosted a tour of some environmental groups from California who had never been to a farm before and actually see how biodiesel is made. We have also been sponsoring some educational studies at Purdue University aimed at really understanding what this indirect land use change is and really improving the science.”

The Foundation has a very wide variety of people on it’s board, including producers, farmers and many others involved and passionate about the industry. Those interested in doing their part and contributing to the Biodiesel Foundation can do so at www.BiodieselFoundation.org.

You can listen to Chuck’s complete interview with Beth here: Interview with Beth Calabotta

2014 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Farm Polices Impact on Precision Ag

nbb-14-kevin-rossMember of the National Corn Growers Association Board and director of Western Iowa Energy, LLC, Kevin Ross, chatted with Chuck after the opening session at the 2014 National Biodiesel Conference. They discuss farm policy and how precision agriculture technology has impacted his farming operation where he raises cattle and grows corn and soybeans.

Kevin shared that if we don’t move past what RFS has already provided then we become stuck and the innovation stops. He says everyone needs to do what they can to ensure the investments continue and technologies are utilized. He feels the government has given mixed signals and believes simple education on the issue could help.

“The Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS) itself is vitally important to my operation at home and to my neighbors. Not just from the farming side, but also from the livestock side. Especially, operations like mine in western Iowa where we can utilize the fats and add value back to the livestock. I am not sure how many people know that its even possible. Let alone be done on an industrial scale. Agriculture is about value-added. Creating markets in those new economies within a broader ag industry is what it is all about.”

Kevin goes on to discuss what types of precision agriculture they have taken advantage of on his operation.

“On our farm it has been a fast ramp up of precision technology. Just a couple years ago on our own farm we’ve gone to auto steer. I couldn’t plant straight rows if I tried. We also use single row shut-offs and it has been a huge plus for us. Overall newer equipment is more efficient with yield monitors and data that we collect. We are going into a new soil data collection phase on our farm which is an entirely new way of doing it then before. We have made major advancement in the recent years and profitability in ag and RFS have really had a huge role in making that possible.”

You can listen to Chuck’s complete interview with Kevin here: Interview with Kevin Ross

2014 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Growing Use of Technology for Growers

nbb-14-frank-legnerCommodity groups across the country also took interest in the happenings at the recent National Biodiesel Conference. Frank Legner, Legner Farms is a member of the Illinois Soybean Association and attended the conference to relay the update on biodiesel to growers in Illinois. He talks about how he uses precision agriculture on his farm where they grow 50/50 soybeans and corn.

“With the high prices of commodities in the years previous farmers have used their capital in many different ways. Our farming operation decided to put our capital towards technology. Where we farm you could have about four different soil types on a piece of land and those soil types all have different productivity indexes that have been benchmarked from the University of Illinois. We use those soil maps as a good foundation of how we are going to come up with a plan. We soil sample on two and a half acre grids and when we make these sample sites we overlay them on our SMS advance desktop software to make sure that sample site is in one soil sample. When we get the readings from the lab, we use that to write our VRT recommendations.”

They can then compare results from previous years and start selecting what hybrids will work in each field. Frank said it is kind of like a draft. The multiple hybrid planting is something that he sees them utilizing in the very near future as well.

Frank also shared that colors don’t mix when you are dealing with this level of technology. He shared that precision planting has been the best way for them to use their green planter with their red tractor. Legner Farms has truly adopted the use of technology to create efficiency and increase profitability. He goes on to explain how they have taken advantage of different precision ag company’s innovations and looks forward to seeing what’s next.

You can listen to Chuck’s complete interview with Frank here: Interview with Frank Legner

2014 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Algae Biodiesel Fuel From Utah State

nbb-14-rhesa-ledbetterRhesa Ledbetter from Utah State University was one of the students who attended the 2014 National Biodiesel Conference. Chuck caught up with her for an interview and she explains her research in algae biodiesel fuel.

Rhesa finished her master’s in micro-biology and then decided she wanted to do a project that was really applied. To her biodiesel products seemed to make a lot of sense and something that would work well with her background.

“Our group at Utah State is focusing on biodiesel produced from algae. We have characterized a lot of properties and we also have a diesel streamliner we have been able to run out on the salt flats. It’s been great for me to be able to learn so much about a topic that I wasn’t really familiar with. Being able to interface with all these experts has been invaluable. I think collaborations will develop from this event will end up enhancing our research.”

In the future Rhesa and her team look to continue seeking more efficient ways to produce the fuel and promoting all the great traits biodiesel has.

2014 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Gas Hole’s Impact on the Industry

nbb-14-gasholeWhen Jeremy Wagner and Scott Roberts made the movie Gas Hole a couple of years ago, they had no idea the impact it would have. During the recent 2014 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo the co-directors/producers presented to attendees, showed an extended excerpt from the movie and did a little Q & A.

Chuck caught up with the team and they shared how they decided a film about the oil industry was their goal and what research it took to accomplish such an endeavor.

Scott said the idea come to them “when the gas prices hit an all-time high. At the time I think it was only $3.25, it was unheard of at the time. We saw an article in a newspaper written by a gentlemen who remembered seeing a vehicle back in the 50’s that he was told got a 100 mph. What happened to that technology and why aren’t we using it?”

They knew they wanted to do a documentary together, but hadn’t decided on a topic. After this discovery they hunted down the man from the article and the rest is history.

“As we started to learn about the history of oil and what happened going back to standard oil. How that became a giant monopoly and then broken up and how it moved us into the 70’s and then we had the oil embargo. The story is so enormous and fascinating we kept running in to these things that you don’t really think about or know unless you have researched it,” Jeremy said. He continued by saying, “We started researching alternative fuels and seeing what was the most viable thing and we came across biodiesel and what was happening in that industry.”

The duo share that their message to viewers is to explain this concept that has been made very complex, when it shouldn’t be. Gas Hole presents the idea that the solutions to our oil dependency is relatively simple.

“We hope through the film we can open people’s eyes and make them think about things they have never thought about before and takeaway all the great things in history that have been accomplished. It took hard work and determination, we are a great country – we have great innovators. This is a perfect example being here at this conference and seeing the people that are doing just that.” added Scott.

If you are interested in purchasing Gas Hole, visit GasHoleMovie.com. It is also available on iTunes, Netflix, Amazon and basically all the major outlets.

You can listen to Chuck’s complete interview with Jeremy & Scott here: Interview with Jeremy Wagner & Scott Roberts

2014 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Chrysler Features 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee

nbb-14-jeepChrysler featured their new B20-approved 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee diesel during the Vehicle Showcase. It’s equipped with a 3.0L EcoDiesel engine and boasting a best-in-class highway fuel economy rating of up to 30 mpg, running over 730 miles on one tank of fuel.

Chrysler/Jeep’s, Brad Beauchamp is the Vocational Account Executive for the Energy Segment of the Chrysler Group LLC. He spoke on behalf of the company and shared his excitement to see diesels coming back into the marketplace.

“The engine itself is coupled with a 8 speed automatic transmission and has 240 horsepower, but better yet it has 420 pound feet of torque at 2,000 engine rpm. As the most awarded SUV, it makes a great addition to the power train that adds miles to the gallon on highway or urban cycle verses it’s gasoline counter-part.”

You can listen to Brad’s remarks here: Brad Beauchamp Remarks

2014 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Hino Trucks Highlight New Game-Changer

nbb-14-hinoDuring the 2014 National Biodiesel Conference, Hino Trucks showcased their new game-changer: the Hino COE 195h hybrid truck at the Vehicle Showcase. The COE 195h is making its mark in the medium duty truck segment running clean and quiet on B20 biodiesel blends and electric power.

Hino Trucks’ Spencer Nicol is the senior manager for Hino’s Strategic Product Applications. Spencer talks about how using the B20 reducers your carbon footprint and he can’t wait to see it throughout the Midwest.

“This vehicle qualifies for the California HVIP and new New York HVIP where you can get money off. We brought this vehicle into the country last year. Over 300 were sold here in California and they are just starting to expand to the New York City market. By using the B20 we think you can get your payback in about four to five years.”

You can listen to Spencer’s remarks here: Spencer Nicol Remarks

2014 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Ford Displays America’s Best-Selling Truck

nbb-14-fordFord Motor Company presented its brand new 2014 Ford F350 Super Duty during the Vehicle Showcase. The F350 Super Duty has been America’s best-selling truck for over 35 straight years, built Ford tough and approved for use with B20 biodiesel blends.

Steve Kelley is Fleet Manager for Mossy Ford San Diego. He shares insights into Ford’s new F350 and walks you through all aspects of the Super Duty’s traits.

“This particular engine is a 6.7, it has a 400 horsepower and 800 foot pounds of torque. It also has a 12,500 towing capacity on it. The Platinum, top of the line truck, is $67,000.”

You can listen to Steve’s remarks here: Steve Kelley Remarks

2014 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

2014 Chevy Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel Showcased

nbb-14-farmerThe Vehicle Showcase drew many with a vested interest in what’s new in biodiesel fleets. General Motors showcased their new 2014 Chevy Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel, the first light duty passenger car in the U.S. to be fully approved for use with B20 biodiesel blends nationwide. The 2014 Chevy Cruze Clean Turbo Diesel was the winner of the biodiesel industry’s coveted Innovation Award for 2014.

Chevrolet/GM’s Chris Farmer is the Manager of After Sales for Chevrolet Southern California and spoke on behalf of their showcased vehicle taking attendees through each of the car’s specs.

“A couple of key takeaways about the Chevy Cruz Diesel is it gets the best highway fuel economy of any non-hybrid passenger car in America – 46 MPG. The vehicle also has segment leading torque and horsepower. It has a 151 horsepower and 264 foot pounds of torque. It comes standard with Chevorlet’s Mylink Infotainment System, which is very easy to use. The vehicle is available for right around $26,000.”

You can listen to Chris’s remarks here: Chris Farmer Remarks

2014 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Caterpillar Highlights Their Off-Road Biodiesel Equipment

nbb-14-caterpillarFor the Vehicle Showcase at NBB Convention, Caterpillar highlighted the performance benefits of biodiesel in their off-road equipment market, showcasing Caterpillar 938K Wheel Loader powered by B20.

Caterpillar’s Jeff Woods, presents what’s new in their off-road equipment line and stresses the company’s commitment to clean air and sustainability.

“This engine produces about 175 horsepower. The DPF system catches about 99% of all particular matters that comes out of this engine. Essentially, you can see no smoke that comes out of these motors. When I started in this industry one of the ways we located early CAT machines was to find the black smoke on the side of hillsides. Today, with this machine we locate it with GPS.”

You can listen to Jeff’s remarks here: Jeff Woods Remarks

2014 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

UC San Diego Showcases Their Bluebird

nbb-14-busDuring the 2014 National Biodiesel’s Vehicle Showcase, UC San Diego, one of San Diego’s best known green fleets, showcased their Bluebird bus with a Caterpillar C7 engine, providing UCSD students with a cleaner commute on B20 biodiesel blends since 2008.

Will Deans, Lead Heavy Duty Mechanic at UC San Diego in Fleet Services represented the University and presented on their green fleet.

“Right now what we are doing is New Leaf is collecting waste grease from the campus. Refining it for us, then we are buying the fuel back. So, we are kind of going cradle to grave with our biodiesel. It has been an exciting project.”

You can listen to Will’s remarks here: Will Deans Remarks

2014 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Eye on Biodiesel Pioneer Award

Mike HaasReceiving an Eye on Biodiesel Pioneer Award for lifetime achievement serving the biodiesel industry at the convention was Mike Haas, of USDA’s Agricultural Research Service.

Haas has been a Lead Scientist and Research Biochemist with the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service since 1981. He has been a huge supporter of the biodiesel industry and currently leads a project investigating the production and quality enhancement of biodiesel, and the chemical modification of lipids to produce bio-based petroleum replacements. Haas and the USDA have been a key supporter of the annual Biodiesel Technical Workshop and currently provides leadership for the NBB’s Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel program.

You can listen to Mike’s remarks here: Mike Haas Remarks

2014 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Eye on Biodiesel Inspiration Award

RADM (Ret) USN Len HeringLen Hering, a retired Rear Admiral from the U.S. Navy, gave an absolutely wonderful speech during the closing general session of the conference. You might want to share a link to it (listen below) with your friends and family and perhaps even the EPA! In addition he received an NBB Eye on Biodiesel Inspiration Award. Len is also the Executive Director of the California Center for Sustainable Energy.

Hering, is a prominent military and civilian sustainability leader instrumental in bringing B20 to naval bases. In his 32 years of Navy service he was known as a top expert in base operations and facility support with an emphasis on sustainability. His efforts included everything from renewable energy, including biodiesel, to responsible water use, photovoltaic technology, and conservation. Within three years, his team reduced energy consumption by nearly 42 percent, diverted 75 percent of Navy waste from landfills and reduced water consumption by more than one billion gallons, saving tens of millions of taxpayer dollars. President Bush awarded Hering a 2005 Presidential Award for Leadership in Federal Energy Management.

You can listen to Len’s remarks here: Len Hering Remarks

2014 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Eye on Biodiesel Impact Award

Richard CoreyThe Eye on Biodiesel Impact Award was presented to Richard Corey, California Clean Air Resources Board during this morning’s general session.

The State of California continues to serve as a national and world leader in regulations related to environmental sustainability, and the California Air Resources Board is at the heart of those efforts. In January of 2010, Air Resources Board staff successfully implemented the first ever market-oriented carbon reduction policy for transportation fuels, a policy known as the Low Carbon Fuel Standard. Since that time, use and production of biodiesel and other renewable fuels has increased significantly. Californians have since enjoyed the benefits of cleaner air, growth in green jobs, and increased fuel diversity.

You can listen to Richard’s remarks here: Richard Corey Remarks

2014 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Kirk Leeds Receives Industry Partnership Award

Kirk LeedsThe Eye on Biodiesel Award for Industry Partnership was presented to Kirk Leeds, Iowa Soybean Association this morning.

Kirk is Chief Executive Officer of the Association and has been a leader among soybean organizations in supporting biodiesel efforts since the industry’s inception. ISA’s support of the National Biodiesel Board over the years has allowed the industry to prepare and face the challenges of being a billion-plus-gallon Advanced Biofuel. His visionary leadership has helped to maintain a mutually-beneficial, strong connection between the soybean and biodiesel industries. Kirk and ISA have been at the forefront of improving agriculture’s environmental performance. Through partnerships with farmers, environmental groups, agri-business and academia, ISA is helping lead efforts to identify practical solutions for complex environmental issues.

You can listen to Kirk’s remarks here: Kirk Leeds Remarks

2014 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Lifetime Achievement Award

Don Borgman AwardToday Don Borgman, John Deere, was honored with a National Biodiesel Board Lifetime Achievement Award for his service to the biodiesel industry.

Later this year Borgman will be retiring from John Deere after over 40 years of service. Most recently he served as the Director of Agricultural Industry Relations for John Deere’s North American operations. He has been involved in the promotion and expansion of demand for agricultural products since the late 1970’s, and his work was instrumental in John Deere’s acceptance, support, and promotion of biodiesel.

You can listen to Don’s remarks here: Don Borgman Remarks

2014 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Address by NBB Chair Steven J. Levy

Steven LevyThe Chair of the National Biodiesel Board is Steven J. Levy, Sprague Operating Resources LLC. This is his first conference as the Chair so when he spoke at today’s general session he told a little bit about himself and his background. He’s the first NBB Chair who is not a farmer, producer or from the Midwest.

Steven spoke about the work of the National Biodiesel Board and the challenges that it will overcome by being a unified voice for the industry.

You can listen to Steven’s remarks here: Steven Levy Remarks

2014 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album