Biodiesel Conference Blog

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Next Gen Scientists Share Biodiesel Research

Students who are part of the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel had the opportunity to share their research during the recent National Biodiesel Conference and Expo. The students all have one thing in common – their passion for the biodiesel industry.

nbb-16-thomas-kwanI spoke with several of these budding biodiesel leaders during the poster session. Thomas Kwan is a PhD candidate at Yale and is part of the Center for Green Chemistry & Green Engineering. While doing his undergraduate he looked at emissions from diesel fuel, particularly locomotives. He then leveraged this interest into looking not at the tailpipe, but the fuels themselves for emission reductions.

Thomas’s research is framed around an integrated biorefinery with algae as the foundation. In other words, the “plant” accepts some biomass and then produces biodiesel and other biobased products. Enabling technologies for the idea of an integrated biorefinery. Used micro algae that has high content for biodiesel lipids as well as other compounds, in particular, astaxanthin, a powerful antioxident. IN the case of algae, the bioproduct is not yet approved for human consumption but Thomas hopes this research will help change that. Ultimately, they looked at how to tweak the biorefinery to get more lipids for biodiesel, or to get more astaxanthin. To learn more, listen to my interview with Thomas Kwan here: Interview with Thomas Kwan

nbb16-eric-william

Clemson University Biosystems Engineering students Eric Monroe and William O’Connell, present their biodiesel research during the poster session.

William O’Connell is a senior at Clemson University in Biosystems Engineering. He became interested in biodiesel while doing his undergraduate research, and then attended the conference last year. He’s back and this year presented his research during the poster session.

The focus on the project is to reanalyze the school’s current process of collecting used cooking oil and converting it to biodiesel. William said they are looking to see if there is a more efficient way to produce the biofuel. What they have discovered is using interesterification is more efficient. To learn more, listen to my interview with William O’Connell here: Interview with William O'Connell

nbb-16-james-davisJames Davis is in his fourth year of his PhD at the University of Nevada, Reno. He has a keen interest in fatty acids of seed crops such as canola or camelina sativa. He explained that his research is focused on altering the lipid profile of camelina sativa.

The idea is to apply a cutting edge gene editing technology to knock out certain genes. Essentially, his goal is two-fold. One, to alter the fingerprint of the lipid profile and they are also trying to eradicate erucic acid, a semi-negative toxic lipid that is bad for livestock making camelina seed meal restricted for use in feeding livestock. James notes that if they can get rid of some of the negative profile, they can create a more high-value byproduct. To learn more, listen to my interview with James Davis here: Interview with William O'Connell

2016 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Young Women Leading the Way in Biodiesel Research

There is a growing number of women who are forging paths and leading the way in innovative biodiesel research. Two such women are Megan Hums, a student at Drexel University, and Jennifer Greenstein, a student at North Carolina State University. They are both members of the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel program and they both presented posters during this year’s National Biodiesel Conference & Expo. I spent some time with both young women to learn about how they became interested in biodiesel/bioenergy. These are some amazing young ladies!

nbb16-greensteinJennifer Greenstein used to work in bioethanol and she says biofuels is something she can really get behind. As such, she headed to North Carolina State University to pursue her PhD and while there began working for Piedmont Biofuels, a biodiesel producer. (She will be graduating soon. Contact her here.)

For her research, Jennifer is working on developing lipases, which are a catalyst to make biodiesel. She is looking at an improved production system for making the lipases and immobilizing them. So in other words, she is looking for a way to express the lipases on the surface of the bacteria rather than intracellularly. The cool thing is that the process she is looking at will use an enzyme to replace chemicals in the production process. To learn more about her research, listen to my interview with Jennifer Greenstein here: Interview with Jennifer Greenstein

nbb16-megan-humsAfter Megan graduated with her undergrad degree she said she felt she still had more to learn. With her interest in sustainability and biofuels she found a project at Drexel University (She’s in her fifth year of her PhD program and graduating soon. Contact her here.) that interested her using waste greases for biodiesel production. She has been involved with this project and it was the focus on her poster.

Megan is looking at the environmental impact of using low quality greases, or kitchen waste greases, which have gone down the sink, to produce biodiesel using nonconventional biodiesel conversion. She then takes the whole process and applies environmental impacts to it through a lifecycle assessment and tries to figure out the footprint of production. To learn more, listen to my interview with Megan Hums here: Interview with Megan Hums

2016 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Next Gen Scientists Discuss Value of #NBB16

James Anderson discusses his research with an attendee during #NBB16.

James Anderson discusses his research with an attendee during #NBB16.

It’s never too early to encourage the next generation of biodiesel and bioproduct scientists and this is just what NBB is doing through its Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel program. Several members of the group attended this year’s conference and presented posters, attended educational sessions and networked, networked, networked.

James Anderson, from University of Illinois, serves as co-chair for the group and he presented his research looking at fatty acid profiles and studying divergent plants. His goal was to identify not the fastest growing soybean plant or the plant with the best resistance, but the plant with the best profile. The idea is that they would identify soybeans that would be even better suited to biodiesel production. He and his team checked their results against some USDA studies and found positive results.

James is finishing up his project soon and will be awarded his PhD and will soon be looking for a job…hint, hint. He can be reached via email to discuss both his research and future opportunities.

Listen to my interview with James Anderson here: Interview with Co-Chair James Anderson

Jesse Mayer and James Anderson, Co-Chairs of the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel.

Jesse Mayer and James Anderson, Co-Chairs of the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel.

Jesse Mayer, from the University of Nevada, Reno, is also a co-chair of Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel. Originally planning on going to medical, he switched gears when the only lab he could find work in was a plant lab. Well, he got hooked. He said he loves the field and the sustainability aspect of it.

He became involved in the group two years ago through his professor. He encourages everyone to join. “It’s really great opportunity to understand all the different aspects of biofuels. Like the students here you’ve got a lot of different fields…. So finding a student organization like NBB, joining them, and getting an idea of what those other aspects are, talking to people in the industry, really helps diversify you as a student and really helps going on to grad school or into the workforce.”

Jesse is also graduating soon and if the networking I saw him doing at the conference is any indication, he won’t be on the market long. You can reach him here.

Listen to my interview with Jesse Mayer here: Interview with Co-Chair Jesse Mayer

2016 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Policy Panel at #NBB16

nbb-16-panelBack by popular demand, the 2016 National Biodiesel Conference once again featured a panel of former Congressional representatives to talk about renewable fuels policy and in this election year, presidential politics as well.

The panel featured former Republican Congressman Bob Inglis of South Carolina, who spoke at the first general session this week; former Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, and former Republican Congressman Kenny Hulshof of Missouri.

All of the panelists expressed grave concerns about candidates’ abilities to run this country. “I think my party will either choose well or choose its destruction,” said Inglis.

As a Democrat, Dorgan said he was worried about both political parties. “All this (the campaign) is very clever and funny but this is really serious business, we’re talking about the future of this country,” he said.

Hulshof said he was personally supporting John Kasich for president, but definitely was not so much for Trump. “I’m sure there are a lot of Trump supporters here – and that’s great …. for you.”

When it came to policy issues for biodiesel, all of the panelists expressed their support for the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and for a producers tax credit.

Listen to the panel here: Biodiesel Policy Panel

2016 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Addressing #Biodiesel Distribution Challenges

Paul Nazzaro is no stranger to the biodiesel industry and has been a huge champion for the advanced biofuel in the Northeast for nearly two decades. During the 2016 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo in Tampa, Florida, Nazzaro participated in several panel discussions focused on how to get more biodiesel into the Northeast as each year, more legislation is passed to curb emissions and ultimately promote renewable energy. BioHeat in particular is really gaining ground.

Paul NazzaroYet distribution challenges need be overcome in order to get more biodiesel products into the northeast. Nazzaro said in an interview after the panel discussion that compared to other areas of the country, there are very few terminals where the fuel can be blended and distributed. When asked who is responsible for paying to get more terminals, such as the biodiesel industry or the petroleum industry, Nazzaro said ultimately the cost will fall on consumers. But if they keep asking for biodiesel products, he stressed, suppliers will listen and down the road, biodiesel is not only more environmentally friendly, it will cost consumers less.

Nazzaro is working with a team to help overcome distribution and supply challenges to help ensure that the biodiesel industry can deliver what they promise: high value, advanced, renewable bioproducts.

To learn more listen to my interview with Paul Nazzaro: Interview with Paul Nazzaro

2016 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Biodiesel Policy on Track

nbb-16-steckelBiodiesel policy is laser-focused right now on two primary issues – the RFS and the tax incentive – two policies that drive growth in the industry.

During an address to the membership at the 2016 National Biodiesel Conference, NBB Vice President of Federal Affairs Anne Steckel said they should take credit in the success of getting higher volumes under the Renewable Fuel Standard. “The fact that biodiesel was able to achieve most of its policy goals while others did not…is something we should really be proud of,” said Steckel. “I am proud to say that a two billion gallon standard moving forward is a long way away from the original RFS that flat lined biodiesel at 1.28 billion gallons.”

Steckel noted that they will continue to work toward a producers tax credit. “We were successful in winning a two year extension (of the blenders tax credit) through the remainder of this year,” she said. “However Congress…stopped just short of converting the tax credit into a producers incentive.” She says the fight will continue.

Learn more here: Anne Steckel, NBB VP of Federal Affairs

I also interviewed Anne about the 2015 biodiesel numbers that came out earlier this week and how they show the need for a producers tax credit as more biodiesel is being imported into this country to take advantage of the blenders credit.

Listen to that interview here: Interview with Anne Steckel, NBB

2016 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Maniscalco Receives Pioneer Award

nbb-16-pioneerJohn Maniscalco, who recently retired as the head of the New York Oil Heating Association after more than 20 years was honored with the Eye on Biodiesel Pioneer award at the 2016 National Biodiesel Conference. Maniscalco received the 2013 Industry Partnership award.

Maniscalco was at the forefront of leadership in the heating oil industry, serving as the first treasurer of the National Oilheat Research Alliance before his time at NYOHA. He’s also been at the forefront of the industry’s move to Bioheat®, biodiesel in home heating. He was instrumental in New York City implementing legislation for B2 heating oil citywide. New York City continues to be a Bioheat® leader in the Northeast on both policy and public perception when it comes to cleaning up heating oil.

Listen to his remarks here: John Maniscalco, Biodiesel Pioneer Award winner

2016 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Beth Calabotta Receives Biodiesel Impact Award

nbb-16-calabottaBeth Calabotta, former Monsanto Director for Bioenergy and currently serving on the National Biodiesel Foundation, was honored during the 2016 National Biodiesel Conference and Expo with the “Eye on Biodiesel” Impact award for her tireless dedication to the advancement of biodiesel.

Beth’s experience in the field of agricultural yield technology and the markets that drive demand for protein give her a rare and valuable knowledge base that she has put 100 percent into her work to advance biodiesel. She has contributed greatly to the sustainability efforts at NBB and projects to analyze the real world indirect effects of biodiesel production. Beth’s knowledge and leadership was instrumental in improving the science used to quantify biodiesel’s growth potential and greenhouse gas benefits. She has also worked aggressively to pursue funding from industry as well as broadening the feedstock organizations that contribute to and benefit from the technical and education programs funded by the National Biodiesel Foundation.

Listen to her remarks on winning the Impact Award here: Beth Calabotta, Biodiesel Impact Award winner

2016 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Support the National Biodiesel Foundation

nbb-16-foundationThe president and executive director of the National Biodiesel Foundation gave an update on the organization’s activities during the second general session of the 2016 National Biodiesel Conference.

NBF Executive Director Tom Verry says the priorities for the foundation are sustainability, infrastructure, education and research. “In the past couple of years, sustainability work in California has been a major focus for the foundation,” said Verry, noting that the foundation helped fund research to help the state get a more accurate assessment of biodiesel’s carbon reduction benefits, adding millions of dollars to the value of biodiesel in California’s carbon credit market.

In the education arena, foundation president Mike Cunningham of the American Soybean Association highlighted a $10,000 donation made last year by HERO BX. “With these funds we held a biodiesel workshop for auto technicians at Erie County Technical School in Erie, Pennsylvania,” he said. Other educational activities planned for this year include a Congressional staffer tour to showcase bioheat in New York City.

The foundation started a memorial fund to honor industry champion Dallas Hanks, who passed away in 2014. “We have raised close to $10,000 to pay for scholarships for students to attend this conference,” said Cunningham.

The Foundation holds a fundraising auction at the annual conference but anyone can donate anytime by going to the website – biodieselfoundation.org. You can also follow them on Twitter – @Biodiesel_Fnd.

Learn more here: Biodiesel Foundation Update

2016 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Biodiesel Board Chairman Promotes Teamwork

nbb-16-marrNational Biodiesel Board chairman Ron Marr with Minnesota Soybean Processors addressed the second general session of the 2016 National Biodiesel Conference with the message of teamwork to accomplish industry goals.

“As a team we have a shared drive and commitment to go out and win,” said Marr. “And as an industry, we have fought hard and had many successes but we also face significant challenges in the months to come.”

Marr stressed the importance of each individual member to get involved, particularly on the national level in contacting their legislative representatives. “Never underestimate the vital importance of your individual effort to your team’s success,” he said.

Listen to Marr’s address here: NBB chairman Ron Marr

2016 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Biodiesel Gains Ground in Auto Industry

NBB's Biodiesel ChevyFrom coast-to-coast B20 is now formally supported by nearly all vehicle manufacturers. Today more than 78 percent of the diesel vehicles coming off production lines are approved for use with B20, as noted during the annual Biodiesel Showcase that took place yesterday during the 13th Annual National Biodiesel Conference.

Some big examples of support include General Motors (GM), Hino and PACCAR along with Ford and Fiat Chrysler. Among U.S. heavy-duty truck segments, which account for more than 87 percent of actual diesel fuel usage, every major engine manufacturer supports B20 in their new engines except for Daimler’s Detroit Diesel, which remains at B5.

Many users are realizing that B20 biodiesel blends offer them a cost-effective and seamless option to help meet increasingly aggressive greenhouse gas and carbon reduction goals. Energy continues to warrant focus on the worldwide stage as a primary way to reduce the effects of climate change and during this week’s conference, biodiesel role in this efforts were highlighted. The Biodiesel Showcase was one of the best visuals of the benefits of biodiesel and a demonstration that consumer choices for biodiesel play a strong role in influencing vehicle manufacturers to continue to increase their support of biodiesel.

Following are three brief videos about vehicles that are approved for the use of B20. You can get the scoop on PACCAR’s “bright yellow truck” by clicking here.

2016 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Dr. Aydin Sunol, University of Florida

Adrian Ratza, Hino

Mike Sico, Ferman Chevrolet

Climate Leader Award Winners

nbb-16-climate-leaderThe National Biodiesel Board recognized three organizations in California this year as the Eye on Biodiesel Climate Leader award winners.

The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF); Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2); and the American Lung Association were all recognized for their environmental leadership to promote all clean fuels, including biodiesel, along the West Coast. These three organizations, along with other NGOs, bolstered and defended Low Carbon Fuel policies in California and Oregon.

NBB Director of Sustainability Don Scott (L) presented the awards to representatives each organization – Mary Solecki of E2, Heather Palmer with the American Lung Association, and EDF’s Timothy J. O’Connor.

After a three year legal battle, California re-adopted its Low Carbon Fuel Standard in September of 2015. California is now on track to reduce its carbon by 10 percent in the transportation sector. Biodiesel is the lowest carbon liquid fuel available today to help meet these requirements. Oregon, faced with legal challenges, voted to implement a similar policy with a 10 percent reduction goal slated for 2025. These organizations and others were on the ground creating reports and other materials that highlighted the rapid growth of the alternative fuels industry and how policies would further greater investment into advanced biofuels, such as biodiesel. Moreover, they worked tirelessly to defend the legal challenges and were instrumental in helping to defend these trail blazing carbon reduction policies.

O’Connor spoke for the group in accepting the award. Timothy O'Connor, Environmental Defense Fund

2016 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

ADM VP Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

nbb-16-livergoodMike Livergood is retiring this year from ADM after nearly four decades with the company and for his many years of service to the industry, he received the Eye on Biodiesel Lifetime Achievement award this year.

Livergood has been at the forefront of helping develop the biodiesel industry, even before it was commercialized in this country. His work to keep the industry unified through the National Biodiesel Board has been essential to growth and success.

In his acceptance speech, Livergood talked about how ADM become involved with the National Biodiesel Board back in 1999. “By 2011, we were running eleven biodiesel facilities on three continents with total capacity of nearly three-quarters of a billion gallons a year,” he said. “Biodiesel was truly the savior of the soybean crushing industry.”

Listen here: Mike Livergood, Lifetime Achievement Award

2016 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

RepublicEn: Conservative Climate Realists

nbb-16-inglisFormer Republic Congressman Bob Inglis of South Carolina brought his message of conservative climate realism to the 2016 National Biodiesel Conference opening general session.

“Free enterprise can solve the problem of climate change,” said Inglis, who talked about the Energy and Enterprise Initiative he founded in 2012. RepublicEn, as it is called, is a nationwide public engagement campaign promoting conservative and free-enterprise solutions to energy and climate challenges. “I’m very happy with what I’m doing now because it gives me the opportunity to be about something that’s big enough to be about,” he said.

Learn more about RepublicEn and how conservatives can be part of the climate change solution in Inglis’ speech: Bob Inglis Speech

2016 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

PACCAR Honored with Eye on Biodiesel “Initiative Award”

PACCAR was honored with this year’s Eye on Biodiesel “Initiative Award” for their commitment to #biodiesel blends. Giving remarks during the Biodiesel Showcase, Jason Johnson, director of aftermarket for PACCAR, announced that the new PACCAR MX-11 engine and all model years of its MX-13 engine, both legacy models and new equipment, are now approved for use with B20. More than 100,000 trucks, both new and old, join the biodiesel ranks and each year and these vehicles drive more than 12 billion miles. With this announcement, Johnson said there are now nearly 1 million Peterbilt and Kenworth medium and heavy duty trucks approved for use up to #B20 biodiesel blends.

PACCARAddressing an engaged and excited crowd, NBB CEO Joe Jobe said, “PACCAR’s support underlines that biodiesel is the single best carbon mitigation strategy out there; with widespread support across all diesel applications, we are perfectly positioned to deliver even more cleaner burning biodiesel into the marketplace. The U.S. biodiesel industry has invested over twenty years of research and development activity to provide the highest quality biodiesel fuel for the marketplace, and today we recognize PACCAR for taking the initiative to endorse B20 biodiesel blends for use in your equipment.”

Landon Sproull, PACCAR assistant vice president, said in a statement following the award announcement, “PACCAR is pleased to earn the Eye on Biodiesel Award while we are expanding PACCAR’s engine line of B20 compatible engines. Our new B20 compatible PACCAR MX-11 engine is available in Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks beginning in January 2016, joining our highly successful MX-13 engine. PACCAR designs and builds the most durable, fuel-efficient and highest quality heavy-duty truck engines in the world, and PACCAR engines perform well using a variety of fuel sources.”

“Increasing our support level from B5 to B20 biodiesel blends provides more choice and value to PACCAR’s customers,” Sproull added.

To learn more about PACCAR’s commitment to biodiesel and to learn more about the “bright yellow truck,” watch my video with Jason Johnson.

Biodiesel and Yogi Berra

nbb-16-jobe-2At the opening General Session of the 2016 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo in Tampa Tuesday, there was a theme of the underdog winning the game – and a promise that biodiesel is in the game to win.

“Last year the biodiesel industry demonstrated more than ever that no matter how beat up we are, no matter how outgunned we are, we don’t back down,” said National Biodiesel Board CEO Joe Jobe. “We came together like never before. We stayed true to our principles in the face of deceitful attacks and we achieved the success necessary to put us back on track.”

Though optimistic, Jobe also noted significant challenges still remain. “While our fight is not over, we have a different future. 2016 is going to be our strongest year yet,” he said. “The strategy of disinformation is now being deployed to attack renewable energy and climate change science. Our opponents will continue to use outrageous and desperate tactics as they continue to undermine and work to repeal the only carbon reduction policy currently available in the transportation sector.”

Jobe had a baseball theme to his speech and used many quotes from Yogi Berra, also known as “Yogisms” – and noted that the 5’7″ Yankee was often underestimated. “I bring up Yogi not just because I admire him as a player, a person, a humorist, and a fellow Missouri boy, but because I wanted to illustrate how the biodiesel industry has been underestimated, overshadowed, and underrated,” said Jobe. “And 2016 is the year that we change that.”

Listen to Jobe’s speech here: NBB CEO Joe Jobe Speech

Jobe also offered an entertaining illustration of just how amazing biodiesel really is – watch below:

2016 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Biodiesel’s Role in Food AND Fuel

Don Scott NBBThe myth that biofuels is a choice between food versus fuel is still perpetuated regardless of scientific data showing otherwise. The true fact about biofuels, including biodiesel, is that they produce food AND fuel. #Biodiesel’s role in both providing food and fuel, as well as in reducing carbon, were the topics of a presentation by Don Scott with the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) during the 2016 National Biodiesel Conference in Tampa, Florida.

Scott began his presentation by stating three things:

  • Biodiesel complements the fuel supply.
  • Solar energy is abundant and efficient.
  • Mitigating climate change does not cost. It pays.

Biodiesel, said Scott, produces protein as a byproduct, an essential source of nutrition for humans. However, protein is expensive. But because biodiesel production only uses the oils (fat), protein is produced at a lower cost than average protein sources on the market.

Based on this fact, Scott had a motto, per se, during his presentation: “When we grow protein to feed the world, we naturally get more carbs, fat, and other fiber byproducts than we can eat.” Therefore, he said, it makes sense to use this excess fat to displace petroleum, and biodiesel is the best example of nature’s design for food and fuel. And an added bonus, while today biodiesel represents about 20 percent of the renewable fuel market, it provides 40 percent of the carbon reductions as a result of using these renewable fuels.

Learn more about biodiesel’s benefits by Listening to my interview with Don Scott: Don Scott Talks Food, Fuel and Carbon

2016 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Welcome to the 2016 Biodiesel Conference

The sun is shining and the weather is beautiful in Tampa, Florida as the 13th annual 2016 National Biodiesel Conference and Expo gets underway.

nbb-16-jobe-1I had a chance to chat with National Biodiesel Board CEO Joe Jobe as he was in rehearsal for the opening general session on Tuesday and he was pretty excited about new EPA data that consumers used a record of nearly 2.1 billion gallons of biodiesel last year, demonstrating biodiesel’s rising popularity and really setting the stage for a new optimism in the industry.

“We just came through a two and a half year period of very difficult struggle because of the EPA’s delay in issuing the rule-making on the Renewable Fuel Standard,” said National Biodiesel Board CEO Joe Jobe. “We’re positioned to break a record again in 2016.”

The theme of the biodiesel industry’s 13th annual conference this year is Coast to Coast, which Jobe says reflects the diversity of the fuel. “That diversity gives us a certain amount of strength in terms of our policy and how we utilize very diversified regionally abundant feedstocks,” said Jobe.

The conference really gets underway Tuesday morning when the Expo hall opens and Jobe will lead the opening general session with his state of the industry address. “It’s going to be perhaps the best conference we’ve ever had,” Jobe added. Check out the agenda here.

Listen to my interview with Joe here: 2016 Biodiesel Conference preview with NBB CEO Joe Jobe

2016 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Top Ten Quotes from 2015 Conference

NBB StaffHere is the staff of the National Biodiesel Board. It was a rare moment to have them all together for a photo since they all have so many different duties during the annual conference. So as the conference came to a close here are this year’s top 10 overheard quotes:

10. “I’ve never heard of a farmer planting a roadside bomb by his field to defend his crops.” – David May, of the Iowa Department of Transportation, who spoke in a session where military veterans discussed personal connections between energy security and national security. May is a Biodiesel Ambassador.

9. “Folks in the heating oil industry are pushing hard and fast for Bioheat® fuel. You are changing that world.” – Tom Butcher, Brookhaven National Laboratory, has played an instrumental role in research leading to expected official performance specifications that approve 6-to-20 percent biodiesel blended into traditional heating oil. He made the comment as he accepted the NBB Innovation award.

8. “The rest of the world is looking to the people at this conference to lead future generations towards renewable energy.” – Brian Hendrix, pursuing a master’s degree at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was one of 30 Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel attending the event. He and other students received a travel scholarship through NBB.

7. “Soy is grown for protein.” – Beth Calabotta, a leading plant and biodiesel scientist, drove the point home during a myth busting session – busting the myth that soy is grown for biodiesel, when in reality the oil used to make biodiesel is a byproduct of protein.
6. “We have great people, and great innovation. Our charge is to go forward, and succeed, because we won’t give up.” – Steven J. Levy, NBB chairman, in his Day 2 opening address.

5. “As both a former governor and a Naval officer I can tell you energy security remains among biofuels’ most important benefits.” – Matt Blunt, former governor of Missouri, during his Day 2 keynote speech.

4. “This program is the last cog in biodiesel quality from well-to-wheel.” – Scott Fenwick, NBB technical director, announcing the new Retailer addition to the BQ-9000 fuel quality program that will encourage retail stations to become accredited under the program.

3. “Washington’s inability to live up to the Renewable Fuel Standard suggests to me that there is not a minimum threshold there for embarrassment.” – Sen. Byron Dorgan (Ret.), on a federal policy panel, pulled no punches on Washington for leaving the biodiesel industry hanging in a perpetual state of limbo.

2. “2015 has to be the year we get back to the future of the RFS program and out of the uncertainty the past.” – NBB CEO Joe Jobe, who received a standing ovation during his opening address. He said federal policy makers must see through the false attacks by renewable fuels opponents and provide certainty for this advanced biofuel industry.

1. “If you’re in this room today, you’re a survivor.” – Gene Gebolys, CEO of leading biofuels provider World Energy, addressing attendees during a plenary panel of CEOs. He’s been involved in the biodiesel business since the 1990s, experiencing firsthand the merry-go-round of the industry.

A common point of discussion was the industry’s 1.75 billion gallon production in 2014, down slightly from the previous year. Organizers said conference attendance reflected the industry’s challenging times. Yet industry and policy experts also expressed optimism that this year, America’s Advanced Biofuel will regain stability and get back to growth.

2015 is a year that holds a lot of hope for the industry. You could see and hear that throughout the conference and I’m glad to once again have the opportunity to be your Biodiesel Blogger!

2015 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Biodiesel Ride & Drive

Biodiesel Ride and DriveIt was ride and drive time as new diesel vehicles were on display at this year’s conference.

National Biodiesel Conference attendees put some of the latest diesel vehicle models to the test on Wednesday January 21st during the 2015 Biodiesel Ride-and-Drive Event outside the Fort Worth Convention Center. The event featured a sampling of some of the many new biodiesel-capable models available in 2015, including the popular Chevy Cruze diesel sedan, a 2015 Volkswagen Beetle TDI, a 2015 Ford F250 SuperDuty pickup, a 2015 Ford Transit van, and the 2015 Hino 195h DC – a medium duty double cab diesel electric hybrid truck.

Representatives from these companies were on hand to answer questions too.

2015 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album