Biodiesel Conference Blog

See what's happening at the National Biodiesel Conference…

Innovation Award Winner

Leon Schumacher Eye on Biodiesel AwardThe Eye on Biodiesel Award winner for Innovation this year is Leon Schumacher.

Leon Schumacher, University of Missouri, is one of the first researchers to jump into biodiesel with both feet was Leon Schumacher, a professor of Agricultural Engineering at the University of Missouri – Columbia. Dr. Schumacher led the first engine tests of biodiesel in the U.S. including a 1991 Dodge Ram which can still be seen on the university campus today. Biodiesel has become one of the most tested fuels on the planet. It began with this early research and continues today.

You can listen to my interview with Leon here: Leon Schumacher Interview

You can also hear Leon’s remarks on stage here: Leon Schumacher Remarks

2013 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Wrapping Up The 2012 Conference

To wrap things up at the 2012 National Biodiesel Conference I spoke with NBB CEO, Joe Jobe. He says that there was about a twenty five percent increase in attendance this year. However, he says it’s not the numbers that has made this conference so positive but the mood of the attendees which is much more upbeat than last year. He was happy to see more business being conducted. I certainly echo that.

If you plan ahead on your calendar you might want to go ahead and put the 2013 conference on your calendar. It will be held February 4-7, 2013 at the Mirage Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV.

Don’t forget to check out photos from this year’s conference which you can find by clicking on the link below and at the bottom of every post. You can also click on the thumbnails in the left sidebar to get to them too.

You can listen to my wrap-up interview with Joe here: Wrap-up Interview with Joe Jobe

Remember that you can follow what the Twitterverse is saying about the conference using the hashtag #NBB12.

2012 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Innovation Award

During the Sustainability Symposium luncheon another Eye on Biodiesel award was presented:

Innovation: Keith Kline and Virginia Dale- Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The environmental benefits of biodiesel are many. In this age of skepticism and competition for resources, it behooves us to quantify the environmental benefits in methodical and scientific ways. Keith Kline and Virginia Dale are leaders in scientific thought and published research on the true environmental impact of biodiesel and renewable fuels. Their published works on measurement of land use change and environmental impacts of feedstock production provide needed perspective in a political atmosphere that threatens to stymie advancement of alternative fuels due to speculation and unsupported claims against the environmental reputation of biofuels.

Remember that you can follow what the Twitterverse is saying about the conference using the hashtag #NBB12.

2012 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Biodiesel Vehicle Showcase

The 2012 National Biodiesel Conference featured an expanded display of biodiesel vehicles. Here’s a panoramic shot of the display

    National Biodiesel Conference Vehicle Showcase

Featured Vehicles and their Notable Representatives Included:

  • Paul Teutul, Sr., the iconic founder of New York’s custom motorcycle shop Orange County Choppers and star of the hit Discovery Channel series American Chopper, revealed his latest custom-built chopper and one-of-a-kind biodiesel vehicle!
  • Motorsports enthusiast and soybean farmer Brent Hajek showed his land-speed record-setting Ford F-250, which clocked 182 mph running on a B20 biodiesel blend at the Bonneville Salt Flats.
  • Ford Motor Company will presented its brand new 2012 Ford F-250 Super Duty, built Ford tough and approved for use with B20 biodiesel blends.
  • Hino Trucks, the latest OEM to approve the use of B20 biodiesel blends, will presented its new game-changer: the 2012 Hino COE 195h hybrid truck, which runs on B20 and electric power.
  • Florida Power & Light, one of the greenest fleets in Florida, showcased one of its many capable utility vehicles operating on B20 biodiesel blends.
  • NASA, one of Florida’s best known green fleets and pioneers in the use of B20 biodiesel blends, featured one of its H1 Hummers used to support much of NASA’s program testing on new craft and space suites.
  • We took a look into the future with a Diesel Electric eXperimental Vehicle (DEX-V) built by the non-profit group BDCOTSRUS from commercial off-the-shelf parts. Powered by B20 and electric power, this vehicle achieves a fuel economy of more than 100 miles per gallon.
  • We also saw the future of biodiesel take on a luxurious look as CIMA Green presented its next major biodiesel project – the awe-inspiring Fisker Karma hybrid electric sports car, ready for a biodiesel upgrade.

Remember that you can follow what the Twitterverse is saying about the conference using the hashtag #NBB12.

2012 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Sustainability Keynote

The keynote address at the Sustainability Symposium was given by Stephen Kaffa, California Biomass Collaborative.

His keynote outlined the major environmental, economic and social factors impacted by our choice of fuel.

He said it’s a big topic to cover in a short period of time and started with the “easy” part. He asked if everyone agreed on the three pillars of sustainability which are that agriculture or biomass production should be environmentally sound, economically profitable and socially just. Everyone agreed.

You can listen to Stephen’s remarks here: Stephen Kaffa Remarks

Remember that you can follow what the Twitterverse is saying about the conference using the hashtag #NBB12.

2012 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

First Ever Sustainability Symposium

The last day of the 2012 National Biodiesel Conference featured a first ever Sustainability Symposium. A lot of attendees stayed for this event. Getting us started was Rachel Burton, Piedmont Biofuels. Rachel also introduced the keynote speaker, Stephen Kaffa, California Biomass Collaborative.

I spoke with Rachel before things got started to learn more about the Sustainability Symposium. She says the purpose is to connect with members and stakeholders about the current state of affairs with sustainability within the biodiesel industry. The symposium is taking a look at all the various aspects of sustainability that impact the industry.

Listen to the panel discussion here: Interview with Rachel Burton

Remember that you can follow what the Twitterverse is saying about the conference using the hashtag #NBB12.

2012 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

AgriTalk Broadcast Live From Conference

During this year’s conference the radio program AgriTalk was broadcasting live once again. Here’s host Mike Adams interviewing NBB Chairman Gary Haer for the broadcast. The radio show also streams and records video and then uploads segments to their YouTube channel.

Here are links to some of the guest segments from their broadcast on Monday:

Anne Steckel: Anne Steckel talks about prospects for getting Congress to renew the biodiesel tax credit.

Brent Hajek: Brent Hajek of Hajek Motorsports explains how biodiesel was the key to breaking a land speed record in a stock Ford pickup.

Kansas Soybean: Brad Thompson of Bridgeman Oil Company and Don Kramer of Kramer Oil Company explain how biodiesel is making mines safer for those who work in them.

BioHeat: Residents in the northeast are increasingly turning to biodiesel to heat their homes. It’s a product called BioHeat, and it provides a drop-in renewable and clean source for home heating oil. Paul Nazarro of Advanced Fuel Solutions and John Maniscalco of the New York Oil Heating Association provide the details.

Remember that you can follow what the Twitterverse is saying about the conference using the hashtag #NBB12.

2012 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Discussing Diesel Technology

The second general session of the conference featured a panel discussion on diesel technology. Panelists included Glenn Ellis, Hino Trucks; Jim Michon, Ford Motor Company; Tom Fulks, Disel Technology Forum; Roger Gault, Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association and moderator Steve Howell, NBB Technical Director.

Many OEMs have taken the road to B20, a major biodiesel victory. With increased fuel economy standards and ever-lower emissions requirements, do all roads lead to diesel? These automotive industry leaders discussed their leaps forward in meeting stringent fuel economy and greenhouse gas standards, and the new role they see for biodiesel. It was a lively conversation about the future of diesel vehicle technology.

Listen to the panel discussion here: Diesel Technology Panel Discussion

Remember that you can follow what the Twitterverse is saying about the conference using the hashtag #NBB12.

2012 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Working for Biodiesel in Washington, DC

Meet the newest member of the National Biodiesel Board team in Washington, DC. Anne Steckel – Vice President of Federal Affairs. Anne spoke during today’s general session and talked about the challenges facing the industry. She also pointed to what is being done to ensure success including:

First, we have a great track record in Washington. These victories are laying the groundwork for the tremendous potential the industry holds.

  • In 2011, we saw tremendous growth and record production after winning the biomass-based diesel carve-out in the RFS program and getting biodiesel designated as an Advanced Biofuel.
  • We prevailed in the U.S. Supreme Court to withstand a strong effort by the oil industry to begin dismantling the RFS.
  • And even as Congress has cut spending dramatically, we have made a strong case that biodiesel is a worthwhile investment and done well in continuing USDA grants.


Anne urged everyone to make personal contact with their local elected officials since that will have the most impact during this chaotic year in politics.

Listen to Anne’s remarks here: Anne Steckel Remarks

Remember that you can follow what the Twitterverse is saying about the conference using the hashtag #NBB12.

2012 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Pioneer and Impact Awards Presented

During the general session today a special Pioneer Award was presented to Krysta Harden, Chief of Staff for United States Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. Harden spoke about her experiences over the years working for biodiesel.

Throughout her three decades in Washington D.C. Harden has held numerous positions including CEO of the National Association of Conservation Districts, Assistant Secretary for Congressional Relations, Senior VP for the agriculture consulting firm Gordley Associates, professional staff member for the House Agriculture Committee and chief of staff to former Congressman Charles Hatcher (D-GA). During her work with Gordley Associates, representing the American Soybean Association, Harden was instrumental in laying the groundwork for federal biodiesel policies that have been hugely successful in growing a viable biodiesel industry. Harden continues to be a leader on biofuels in Washington due to her passion for the agriculture industry, environmental issues and energy.

Listen to Krysta’s remarks here: Krysta Harden Remarks

Also receiving an award today was Glenn Ellis, Hino Trucks (pictured on left). He accepted the National Biodiesel Board’s Eye on Biodiesel Impact Award.

Impact: Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc and Hino Trucks. In 2011 two new equipment manufacturers joined the ranks of B20 supporters. Isuzu Commercial Truck of America, Inc., announced that all of its 2011 and forward model year diesel trucks are approved for use with B20.1 Isuzu was a trailblazer as the first Asian manufacturer to approve B20 for U.S. market spec engines. According to Isuzu, the announcement of B20 support was the result of three key factors: growing consumer demand for biodiesel, an extensive internal research project on B20 by Isuzu engineers, and improved biodiesel fuel quality. Hino Trucks, a Toyota Group Company, then multiplied the market impact in July by becoming the first manufacturer to support the use of B20 biodiesel blends in a hybrid-electric truck, as well as in its complete product line of class 4 and 5 cab over, and class 6 and 7 conventional trucks. Hino Trucks is the world’s third largest manufacturer of light and medium duty trucks, and now the fastest growing truck manufacturer in the U.S. With these two additions, 95 percent of the U.S. medium duty truck market now approves B20.

Listen to Glenn’s remarks here: Glenn Ellis Remarks

Remember that you can follow what the Twitterverse is saying about the conference using the hashtag #NBB12.

2012 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

NBB Chairman Talks Jobs

National Biodiesel Chairman, Gary Haer, took to the stage today to address attendees during a general session. He commented on the Presidential campaign in his state of Iowa and how nice it would be if they could get out and visit biodiesel plants on their campaign stops. A key focus of his remarks was how the growth of the RFS would create new jobs in America.

On our national biodiesel campaign tour, I’d introduce Americans to green-collar workers who are our boots on the ground. The people who put on work shirts, coveralls, and hardhats day-in and day-out to produce energy security one gallon at a time.

And while the Presidential campaigns continue to move across the country, the recent State of the Union address spurred a renewed dialogue about American energy policy and green jobs.

I am here to tell you today: Biodiesel must continue to advance policies that position our industry as a fundamental part of the U.S. energy complex.

If we can work together to grow the Renewable Fuels Standard, the biodiesel industry could create 26 new jobs every day over two years. 26 new pairs of work boots to be filled every day. 26 work shirts which will be put on every morning by hard working Americans.

RFS2 can create 26 new green collar jobs every day, some of which will be in the oil and agriculture industries. That’s 26 new skilled, family-wage positions every day. 26 more domestic jobs producing our nation’s energy security in just two years with the growth of the RFS2.

Listen to Gary’s remarks here: Gary Haer Speech

Remember that you can follow what the Twitterverse is saying about the conference using the hashtag #NBB12.

2012 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Paul Teutul, Sr. Introduces The Biodiesel Bike

The big news today at the conference was the unveiling of the biodiesel bike built by Paul Teutul, Sr., Orange County Choppers. The bike was built in partnership with CIMA Green. Today the bike debuted on stage driven by former NBB Chairman, Ed Hegland. Then Paul Sr. himself drove it onto the biodiesel vehicle showcase floor where he talked about the project with attendees. CIMA Green actually had two bikes built and donated one to the National Biodiesel Board along with a check for $50,000 to use for transportation expenses to showcase the bike at various events around the country.

I spoke with Paul Sr. just prior to his entry into the exhibit hall and he says the bike was a tough one to build. He says it’s not a speed demon but it won’t break down, “It’s just made to go.” The bike has affectionately been named Susie, btw.

Listen to my interview with Paul Sr. here: Interview with Paul Sr.

Listen to Paul Sr. describe the biodiesel bike here: Paul Sr. Remarks

Here’s video of Paul, Sr. driving into the exhibit hall.

Remember that you can follow what the Twitterverse is saying about the conference using the hashtag #NBB12.

2012 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Next Generation Scientists Show Biodiesel Project Posters

The conference features a first ever Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel Poster Session this year. I stopped by to see what these student presenters were displaying.

One of them is Shwetha Sivakaminathan, Clemson University. Her poster/project topic is “Comparison of biomass and lipid production of heterotropic Chlorella protothecoides using biodiesel derived crude and pure glycerol.” She speaks a language different than mine so I will let her explain her project in our interview. Shwetha is working on a Masters degree right now and contemplating a doctorate or perhaps entering industry depending on what opportunities she finds.

Listen to my interview with Shwetha here: Interview with Shwetha Sivakaminathan

Remember that you can follow what the Twitterverse is saying about the conference using the hashtag #NBB12.

2012 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Supporting National Biodiesel Foundation

The National Biodiesel Foundation held another very successful raffle ticket fundraiser during the Super Bowl party last night. Here are some of the Foundation’s accomplishments last year.

2011 highlights include several notable accomplishments:

We conducted biodiesel education and training as a participant in the Alternative Fuel Trade Alliance. Specifically, we increased the number of states that enforce ASTM standards and biodiesel fuel quality, achieved Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certification for the National Biodiesel Board’s biodiesel technician training curriculum, and trained Clean Cities Coordinators around the country on how to generate and capitalize on media thus increasing awareness of biodiesel sustainability.

We coordinated and administered the Department of Energy Clean Cities grant which established biodiesel terminals and stations across the US. The primary objective of this project is to displace approximately 86 million gallons of petroleum-based diesel.

We helped leverage a $1 million Bioheat® awareness campaign in New York City achieving significant inroads into a billion gallon heating oil market.

We co-hosted the 3rd Annual Biofuels Science and Sustainability Tour, designed to educate congressional members and their staff on the Iowa renewable fuels industry.

I caught John Heisdorffer, Iowa Soybean Association, Foundation President, in the video telling us about it.

2012 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

The Washington Outlook

One of our first sessions this morning focused on the Federal Policy Outlook, particularly in Washington, DC. Presenting were Maria Cardona, Dewey Square Group and Brad Todd, On Message, Inc.

I spoke with Maria after the session to get her thoughts on what’s going on in our nation’s Capitol. She says this is going to be a really challenging year since we’ve not only got a Presidential election but also some of the most partisan disagreement in memory. What is hopeful, however, is how powerful your voice can be. She highly encourages biodiesel industry members to contact their local legislators directly since that contact carries more weight than even the highest paid lobbyist.

Listen to my interview with Maria here: Interview with Maria Cardona

Remember that you can follow what the Twitterverse is saying about the conference using the hashtag #NBB12.

2012 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Interview With The Chairman

The Chairman of the National Biodiesel Board visited with the media this morning. We took turns conducting interviews. I went last and asked Gary what his outlook for this year’s conference is.

He says the outlook is positive as “we’re seeing our industry grow.” The conference attendance is up from last year. I asked him about policy issues like the currently expired tax incentive. He says they are working hard to get it re-instated since he believes that our policy makers know how important it is. If you don’t understand why then listen to my interview with Gary for some of the reasons.

Listen to my interview with Gary here: Interview with Gary Haer

Remember that you can follow what the Twitterverse is saying about the conference using the hashtag #NBB12.

2012 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Eye On Biodiesel Awards

Several of the Eye on Biodiesel Awards were presented during the opening general session today. We will have additional award presentations during each of the next two days. Here are today’s awards. The winners are pictured with Gary Haer, REG, Chairman, NBB and Joe Jobe, CEO, NBB.

Industry Partnership: US Environmental Protection Agency, Paul Argyropoulos and the Office of Transportation and Air Quality. The EPA has taken a strong leadership role in creating a workable renewable fuels program under the Clean Air Act that meets the intent of Congress to stimulate domestically produced, alternative fuels. “Throughout the past four years, NBB has worked with EPA on implementation of the program and we appreciate their willingness to listen to our industry in making critical policy decisions,” said Anne Steckel, Vice President of Federal Affairs for the National Biodiesel Board. “The agency’s balanced, professional oversight has ensured that the nation is meeting the goals that Congress envisioned, including strong, sustainable growth in Biomass-based Diesel production.”

Listen to the Paul’s remarks here: Paul Argyropoulos Remarks

Initiative: Brent Hajek, Hajek Motorsports. “Just because it’s ‘green’ doesn’t mean it’s slow.” That’s the mantra of Brent Hajek, owner of Hajek Motorsports and record-setting driver of the 2011 Ford F-250 Super Duty pickup truck that sped to an amazing new 182 mph land speed record running on a 20 percent (B20) biodiesel blend at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah last summer. Hajek set out to prove that B20 isn’t only cleaner and greener, but it has the ability to perform better than petroleum diesel even under the most demanding conditions.

Listen to the Brent’s remarks here: Brent Hajek Remarks

Influence: Tom Lubas, The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey. The Port Authority has been a strong biodiesel supporter and user since 2000 using B20 in all their diesel vehicles used to maintain famous New York and New Jersey locations such as the Brooklyn Bridge, Lincoln Tunnel, the World Trade Center and JFK International airport. Their biodiesel fueling network includes 12 onsite fueling locations in addition to a network of off-site retail service stations. Their strong commitment to biodiesel remains an example for fleets across the country.

Listen to the Tom’s remarks here: Tom Lubas Remarks

Remember that you can follow what the Twitterverse is saying about the conference using the hashtag #NBB12.

2012 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Recognizing Board Members

Hat’s off to the board of directors of the National Biodiesel Board. These folks were recognized during our opening general session for all the time, effort and support they bring to the association.

    Board Members of the National Biodiesel Board

Remember that you can follow what the Twitterverse is saying about the conference using the hashtag #NBB12.

2012 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

“Energy Epiphanies” Panel Discussion

During the opening general session of the conference a panel discussion featured Charles Drevna, American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers Association; Michael Ferrante, Massachusetts Oilheat Council; Dan Gilligan, Petroleum Marketers Association of America; Joe Jobe, NBB and John Maniscalco, New York Oil Heating Association. It was a session that one person tweeted, “Maybe the most candor I’ve ever seen in a general session conversation at a conference. Very interesting #nbb12” I fully concur. Here’s how our program described the session.

Have you noticed that oil companies don’t call themselves “oil companies” anymore? They have repositioned themselves as “energy” companies and a few even tout their commitment to biofuels in their advertising campaigns. Are public perception and policy pressures at the root of this shift? Or are we at the beginning of a true energy renaissance? How does the federal Renewable Fuels Standard impact their business plans, including infrastructure, and what can we do to make sure the RFS is here for the long haul? Top
brass among petroleum trade associations will discuss everything from the industry’s perception of biodiesel as a mainstream product to the future of Bioheat® and how energy policy will leave a lasting imprint on everyone in the energy industry.

Listen to the panel discussion here: Panel Discussion

Remember that you can follow what the Twitterverse is saying about the conference using the hashtag #NBB12.

2012 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Opening Remarks From Joe Jobe

Joe Jobe, CEO, National Biodiesel Board, welcomed attendees to the 2012 National Biodiesel Conference this morning. He started out by telling a story about what biodiesel means to him and how he got involved in energy, politics and history. One of the things that really got him interested in the industry was, “I wrote a paper for my high school economics class about developing a market for ag-based fuels to supplement our energy supply . . . So my paper was overly simplistic and naïve, but after working in this industry for almost 15 years now, the basic idea is clearer than ever, and has now become a reality.” However, he says, “Over the past four decades America has not had a consistent and clear energy policy.”

Joe spent some time talking about the RFS.

The RFS demonstrated last year that effective energy policy can be carried out by actual energy policy. After the first year of implementation it has its wrinkles to iron out and we are going to talk about those in depth. But 2011 demonstrated that the RFS can work at doing what Congress intended, which is to draw renewable fuels into the market. I want to commend the EPA for their work in bringing this program together. They have had a very difficult job to take a brand new complex law and a wide range of stakeholders, and build a workable program.

The RFS has created a clear, predictable, stable and sustainable future for this industry.

Listen to or download Joe’s speech here: Joe Jobe Speech

2012 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album