Biodiesel Conference Blog

See what's happening at the National Biodiesel Conference…

Ride and Drive Day

Ride and DriveIt’s ride and drive day at the conference. Even the general public is invited in to pick a new vehicle to test out. On hand are company representatives to answer questions about the vehicles too.

There are four vehicles outside the San Diego Convention Center from Hino, Ford, General Motors and Jeep. I chose the Chevy Cruze and rode along and made a little video clip with my Google Glass. It will give you an idea of what the experience is like.

There are lots of new photos in our online album now too:
2014 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

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

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

Opening Speech Video And Auction Support

Just in case you missed the opening speech from Joe Jobe, CEO, National Biodiesel Board, I’ve now got it on YouTube for you.

In a couple of other updates:

The National Biodiesel Foundation raised almost $50,000 through an auction and additional fundraising activities during the National Biodiesel Conference. Funds will support biodiesel research and education activities

Also, Leon Akerly, American Biodiesel Energy, Inc. won the Camelback Ford iPod Nano giveaway and John Forrest, Gen-X Energy Group, Inc. won an iPod Nano from SGS Alternative Fuels.

2011 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

It’s Time For A Fuel Change

Okay biodiesel fans. I’ve got a lot of content to post here and hope to have it all up by tomorrow afternoon. It’s a travel day home after the end of this year’s conference.

If you’ve ever attended a National Biodiesel Conference then you know Emily Richards and Jason Brock. These music stars are passionate about their belief in renewable fuels and have been regular performers at the conference. This morning they took the stage during the closing general session and played some songs from a new album they’ve put together to promote biodiesel. I’ll have more on that in a later post.

In the meantime, I thought you’d enjoy a video of them being joined on stage by National Biodiesel Board Chairman, Ed Hegland and CEO, Joe Jobe. They did a variation of a song you’ll recognize and so give a listen to “Time For A Fuel Change.”

You can also listen to the song here:

National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Touring Direct Fuels Biodiesel

Direct Fuels BiodieselThe media was treated to a biodiesel plant tour today at Direct Fuels Biodiesel in Euless, TX. It was a very comprehensive tour that included the facilities and learning about their process and even how they test for quality. Jacob McClernon, Quality Assurance Specialist is pictured showing us their cold soak filtration test.

We also heard from Mark Farrer, Director Biodiesel Operations. He gave us a very thorough description of their process and I recorded a portion of it for you to listen to. There are photos from the tour in our photo album which you can access from the link below.

You can download (mp3 file) or listen to Mark here:

National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Media Ride and Drive

During today’s media ride and drive event I got to ride in a new Chevy truck that was fueled with B20 from Classic Clean Fuels. My driver was National Biodiesel Board Vice Chairman Gary Haer, Renewable Energy Group. Also along for the ride was Senior Communications Adviser for NBB, Jenna Higgins Rose. So ride along with us and hear about what’s new from GM in the future.

National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Evening with Emily and Company

NBB 09 Emily, Jason and ChuckWednesday’s reception was billed as an Evening With Emily Richards but the crowd got more than their money’s worth as they were entertained by many talented musicians. Emily is just incredible by herself, with amazing pipes and keyboard skills, and she has been appearing at the National Biodiesel Conference since 2004.

She was accompanied once again this year by guitarist and vocalist Jason Brock. Together they joined Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell during his set for a rendition of “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” which I unfortunately did not commit to video.

However, I did get a recording of Emily and Joe Jobe (Piano Lady and Harmonica Man) doing Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” to rave reviews from the crowd. Joe is a man of many talents.

Watch them perform here:

NBB 09 Ed heglandNBB 09 Joe JobeLater in the evening, NBB chairman Ed Hegland grabbed a guitar and revealed his musical talent as well. He sang a very funny tune called “All Right Guy” which also unfortunately missed being preserved for posterity’s sake to YouTube.

Both Ed and Joe teamed up for a few impromptu numbers before letting Emily and Jason have the spotlight back. All in all, it was a very enjoyable evening with Emily and Company.

No word yet on when Joe and Ed will be leaving their day jobs and going on tour!

2009 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Biodiesel is the Only One for Melissa Etheridge

NBB 09 Melissa EtheridgeSinger/song writer Melissa Etheridge has been a hit maker for two decades with songs like “I’m the Only One,” “Like the Way I Do,” “Breathe,” and “Bring Me Some Water.” Today, she was a certified hit at the National Biodiesel Conference with her inspirational story of how her battle with breast cancer led her to want to make a difference in the world and how she believes biodiesel is helping.

Etheridge was extremely gracious and generous with her time at the conference – which was not a paid gig, by the way. She not only shared her story, she also entertained with two songs – “What Happens Tomorrow” and “I Need to Wake Up,” her Oscar-winning theme song from “An Inconvenient Truth.” In addition, she took time for a press conference, individual interviews and lots of photos with fans.

NBB 09 Melissa EtheridgeShe started using biodiesel after a chance meeting with Willie Nelson on a plane a few years ago. That led to her starting to use biodiesel in all of her tour buses and trucks, as well as in her own personal vehicle, a Ford diesel Excursion that she fills with biodiesel in her own garage. “When I pick my kids up from school they tell me, ‘Mom we can smell you coming half way down the block,” Melissa told the crowd at the conference today.

Her vehicle is covered with biodiesel stickers and she has become a one-on-one advocate for the fuel in her own personal life. “Any diesel engine can run on biodiesel,” she emphasizes to people. “When it finally sunk in to me that the diesel engine was meant to run on peanut oil or vegetable oil, I realized that all of the troubles that we are having now with the petroleum industry could be avoided.”

She says that when she saw the plane that safely landed on the Hudson River last month and everyone got out safely, it was a sign to her. “We are all going to get out of this alive, we’re gonna do it,” she said.

For her efforts and enthusiasm, Etheridge received this year’s Influence award from the National Biodiesel Board, presented to her by NBB CEO Joe Jobe and Daryl Hannah.

Listen to Melissa’s comments here:

2009 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Daryl Steals the Showcase

NBB 09 Daryl's El CaminoThere were lots of vehicles on display at the Biodiesel Vehicle Showcase, but the one that stole the show was actress Daryl Hannah’s beloved El Camino – mainly because Daryl was there herself to show it off.

NBB 09 Darryl HannahDaryl, who is a huge biodiesel fan and an avid environmentalist, says this is her second biodiesel-powered El Camino. “My car loves to drink vegetable oil, especially if it’s from waste. I only use sustainably-sourced biodiesel.” Daryl said.

This is the sixth year that Daryl has been at the National Biodiesel Conference and her passion for the fuel and the industry has grown with every year. She is actively involved now in the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance focusing on the benefits of a sustainable, local model for biodiesel in the United States in order to maintain local energy and economic security.

Watch a little video here of the introduction to the vehicle showcase with Daryl’s commentary on her car:

2009 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Making Magic Happen with Biodiesel

JawsUniversal Studios announced today that it will increase the amount of biodiesel it is using at the popular Orlando theme park.

In a press conference today at the 2008 National Biodiesel Conference and Expo, David Winslow, Senior Director Engineering and Environmental Sustainability Technical Services, for NBC Universal, says the park is converting the ourboard engines that take guests from the park’s hotels to the attractions to B20 biodiesel. In addition, the percentage of biodiesel will be moved up to B50 and possibly even as high as B100 down the road.
David Winslow
The resort has already been running biodiesel in all of its mobile diesel engines, including its work trucks and employee shuttles. Winslow says the expansion of the use of biodiesel is only natural. “It’s the right thing to do for our environment. The resort is running cleaner, smoother, and greener thanks to biodiesel.”

So when guests go to see the Jaws attraction, they’ll be able to jump out of their skin as the mechanical shark makes his deathly lunge fueled by biodiesel.

I went to Universal just a few minutes ago to see firsthand how they are using the green fuel. Although Jaws was closed for scheduled maintenance, I still got to see behind the scenes where they fill up all of the vehicles with B20 biodiesel.

Check out this short movie I made (not quite Spiderman, but I’m working on it!).

Also, you can hear all of Winslow’s press conference he held today here:

Riding & Driving with Michael Peterson

One of the things the National Biodiesel Board is showing folks at this year’s convention (and outside the convention for that matter) is how biodiesel performs as well as, if not better than, any petroleum diesel out there.

To prove the point, the board has a “Ride-and-drive” event where the general public can get behind the wheel of a 2008 Dodge Pickup, a Jeep Cherokee, or a Volkswagen TDI and truly see for themselves how well these vehicles perform on the greener biodiesel.

One of those taking up the offer was country music star Michael Peterson, who took the Dodge Pickup around the block.

Here’s a quick video I shot as he returned from the ride and had some great comments about how well it performed:

Biodiesel Willie

Emily RichardsThe Emily Richards concert is over now and in case you missed it we have some audio and video for you. Last year Emily performed a Biodiesel Willie song which she remixed for this year with her new band. I’ve got the live version for you here in both video form and audio.


Listen to the Biodiesel Willie Song live here: Listen To MP3 Biodiesel Willie Song (7 min MP3)

Biodiesel Conference Blog sponsored by John Deere

XM Bill Mack Show Live From San Antonio


The Bill Mack show on XM Radio is being done live here at the conference each day on the trade show floor. Joe Jobe and Daryl Hannah were guests this morning after the opening session. This video starts out with Joe doing a Convoy rendition but it gets better after that.

Biodiesel Conference Blog sponsored by John Deere

Media Room Walk Through


Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the closed door of the media room at a conference like this? This video provides you with a glimpse. I did a little walk through of the media room when it was in full action this morning.

When you get multiple broadcasts going off at the same time it can get pretty loud. It’s almost as if the louder you speak into your mike, the better you’ll sound on the other end.

Biodiesel Conference Blog sponsored by John Deere

John Deere Interview


As you know by now, the sponsor of the Biodiesel Conference Blog is John Deere. I met with Don Borgman, John Deere representative attending the conference this morning and recorded the interview you can watch above. If it’s not available yet, just give it a few minutes since I just uploaded it.

I also recorded it as an audio interview to add to our podcast series as well. Don talks about the John Deere renewable fuel initiative and says that the company has actually been supporting biodiesel for some time.

Listen to my interview with Don here: Listen To MP3 Don Borgman Interview (7 min MP3)

Biodiesel Conference Blog sponsored by John Deere

The Second Amendments

Second AmendmentsAt half time of the Super Bowl party here at the Conference The Second Amendments played. This is a bipartisan rock band organized by the guitar-playing Minnesota Democrat, Rep. Collin Peterson, whose gravelly drawl sings most of the songs. The band includes Reps. Kenny Hulshof (R-Mo.) on drums, Thad McCotter (R-Mich.) on lead guitar, Jon Porter (R-Nev.) on keyboard and Dave Weldon (R-Fla.) on bass.


If you were not lucky enough to be here for the party then you can still see what they’re like on YouTube.

Biodiesel Conference Blog sponsored by John Deere

Pumping BioWillie At Pearson’s

We had a big promotional event today at Pearson Ford Fuel Depot here in San Diego. This took place after the conference which is why I haven’t posted much since this morning. I’ll be having a lot more in the next several days so stay with me. Back to today though. Willie Nelson Biodiesel, the company in which Nelson is a partner, and Pearson Ford Fuels in San Diego have joined forces with distributor Plavan Petroleum to create California’s first fulltime “BioWillie” B20 retail outlet. BioWillie is the singer’s unique brand of fuel.

Read the news release here.

You can listen to what Willie told them right here: Willie Pump Promotion (3:58 min. MP3 File)

There was a private audience event with Willie prior to the stage event with the pulic and I took a short video clip of it which you can watch here: Private Audience With Willie (2:07 wmv file)

We all know how important farmers are in this renewable fuel effort and National Biodiesel Board member Greg Anderson, who farms in Nebraska, was invited on stage to make a few comments. He’s the one in the picture at the far left. Next to him is National Biodiesel Board member Eric Neiman, a farmer from Kansas, then Willie and on the right is the Executive Director of the Nebraska Soybean Board, Victor Bohuslavsky. You can listen to Greg’s comments on stage here: Greg Anderson Comments (1:57 min. MP3 File)

Willie & Annie Nelson Win Award

Willie & AnnieWillie Nelson and his wife Annie received an “Eye On Biodiesel Award” from the National Biodiesel Board this morning. Later, I was able to interview both of them during his big media event at the Pearson Ford Fuel Depot where they announced that they would begin selling “Bio-Willie.”

You can listen to my interview with Willie and Annie here: Willie & Annie Nelson Interview (2:00 min. MP3 File)

It’s always nice to see what’s going on too. I’ve got a short video clip of Willie on stage at the fuel pump promotion: BioWillie Pump Promotion (:39 wmv file)

They had a band which I assume was Willie’s band playing before and after the press conference at Pearson Ford Fuel Depot. You can listen to a song they wrote about Willie buying the Carl’s Corner fuel station in Texas here: Song About Willie (2:51 min. MP3 File)