Some leaders in the Washington, D.C. area are being recognized for their use of biodiesel. The latest edition of the National Biodiesel Board’s Biodiesel Bulletin says the Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition (GWRCCC) honored the Smithsonian Institution and the District of Columbia Department of Public Works Fleet Management Administration for their part in using the green fuel to achieve “outstanding service, leadership, and commitment to a clean energy future.”
A local pioneer in biodiesel use, the Smithsonian received the Community Outreach Award during the GWRCCC’s Awards Luncheon on October 31. In addition to using biodiesel at the National Zoo and its other facilities, the Smithsonian has hosted a number biodiesel education workshops.
GWRCC also recognized another biodiesel user – the District of Columbia Department of Public Works Fleet Management Administration — as an award nominee. The District has implemented a far-reaching biodiesel program that is helping the city reduce harmful emissions and decrease petroleum use. Introduced in 2011, today biodiesel is fueling the city’s entire diesel fleet of 2,000 vehicles and equipment, including school buses, refuse trucks, street sweepers, emergency vehicles and more. The city used nearly 1.4 million gallons of biodiesel blends in 2012, displacing 202,318 gallons of petroleum in just one year. In addition, the D.C. Department of Public Works recently opened two of its biodiesel fueling sites to federal government vehicles.
The recognition came as part of a ceremony that honored 10 D.C. area leaders for their green energy commitments.
The microwave oven is one convenience just about every kitchen (and office lunch room) finds indispensable, but it also might become the next tool for making biodiesel. This article from the National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) in southern Taiwan says researchers there have found a way to turn waste cooking oils into biodiesel in 10 seconds.
“I was told that Taiwanese people like to cook a lot and the waste cooked oils can be a problem for the environment. So we come up with an idea that is very unique to combine the microwave and with certain catalyst that we can fully convert the waste cooked oils into the biodiesel in 10 seconds,” [says Prof. (Emeritus) Aharon Gedanken from the Department of Chemistry at Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel, who is currently a Visiting Chair Professor (since Feb. 2012) at NCKU].
The technology underlying the study is now in the process of applying for a patent, according to [Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE)] Distinguished Professor Jiunn-Der Liao who has invited Gedanken to cooperate with NCKU faculty conducting the research.
“By the year 2020, in the European community, 20% of the diesel in the gasoline station will contain biodiesel,” said Gedanken, “and I hope by that year in Taiwan 100% will go to biodiesel and if the project is successful, we can convince people to collect waste cooked oils instead of through it away.”
School officials say they can now convert more than 200 pounds of used cooking into biodiesel each day and expect to be producing tons in the near future. Plus, they hope each home kitchen will be able to use the technology to produce biodiesel on a small scale.
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture believe spring canola could be a good crop for biodiesel for producers in the drier parts of the Great Plains. This news release from the Agricultural Research Service says ARS agronomist David Nielsen and others are finding ways to stretch scarce water supplies and increase crop returns in that part of the country.
Nielsen, who works at the ARS Central Great Plains Research Station in Akron, Colo., worked with colleagues to combine existing plant growth computer models and generate spring canola production simulations. Then they ran their results from the combined model with 16 years of regional weather data, four different soil water levels at planting time, and other site-specific information to generate spring canola yield estimates for nine locations in Nebraska, Colorado and Kansas.
Results from their crop simulations suggested the highest yields would be produced in the north-central area near Champion, Neb., and the lowest yields would be produced in the south-central area near Walsh, Colo. When 75 percent of the soil water was available for crop use at planting, the model indicated six of the sites had more than a 70 percent probability of producing a canola seed yield of at least 900 pounds per acre.
The researchers found they could net anywhere from $67 to $189 per acre in returns, depending on plant-available soil water levels. They’ve also developed a simple decision support tool for canola production and economic analysis that can be used by farmers for canola planning.
A North Carolina biodiesel maker will host next year’s conference for biodiesel producers from home brewers to grease collectors to multi-million gallon producers. Biodiesel Magazine reports the 2014 Collective Biodiesel Conference, Aug. 14-17, will be at Piedmont Biofuels in Pittsboro, N.C.
“We are delighted to have been chosen as the 2014 host site,” said Lyle Estill, Piedmont founder and president. “For grassroots biodiesel, winning the bid for this conference is like winning a bid for the Olympics.”
“I’ve always been a fan of the Collective Biodiesel Conference,” said Andy McMahan, Central Carolina Community College biofuels program coordinator, who has attended past conferences in Colorado and Washington, D.C., and who will be co-chairing the 2014 conference. With its Natural Chef Program, green roof, wastewater recycling and building performance systems, not to mention its biofuels production facility and laboratory classrooms capable of providing hands-on biodiesel analytics, Central Carolina Community College is an ideal co-host for next year’s CBC.
“We look forward to working with Piedmont as they gear up to host the 2014 conference and are excited to be bringing the conference to the East Coast,” said Graydon Blair of the CBC board and owner of Utah Biodiesel Supply.
This year’s conference was held in Breckinridge, Colo., hosted by Summit Greasecycling, and Calif.-based Promethean Biofuels hosted the event in 2012.
Biodiesel blends in Brazil could soon rise above the 5 percent mix to 7 or even as much as 10 percent. This story from Bloomberg says the South American country wants to move more of its biodiesel glut.
“We’ve already sent to the Presidency a proposal to increase the mixture of biodiesel with diesel,” Energy Minister Edison Lobao told reporters today in Brasilia. “There’s still been no decision taken.”
The world’s second-biggest biodiesel industry is operating at 50 percent of capacity, Jeronimo Goergen, president of a parliamentary lobby group for the renewable fuel, said today in a telephone interview.
Goergen said the blend rate may rise to 7 percent and then expand again to 10 percent in 2020. Lobao didn’t give a figure for the proposed increase.
Five years ago, Brazil instituted a 2 percent mandate, moving to 5 percent in 2010, three years ahead of schedule when capacity grew rapidly.
As the European Union (EU) blocks biodiesel imports to the continent, demand for biodiesel feedstocks are getting a boost. Bloomberg reports imports of of palm oil and rapeseed oil to Europe are going up, as is domestic production of the green fuel.
Biodiesel production is climbing within the EU as the bloc implements duties on imports from Argentina and Indonesia, the Hamburg-based researcher said. The EU imported 494,000 metric tons of biodiesel from Argentina this year, down from 1.273 million tons in the first 10 months of 2012, Oil World said. Anti-dumping duties may go into effect at the end of November, ranging from 217 to 246 euros ($299 to $339) a ton on Argentine biodiesel and 122 to 179 euros a ton on supplies from Indonesia, it said. Provisional tariffs have been in place since May.
“The steep decline in arrivals of biodiesel has triggered a recovery in EU biodiesel production, thus raising feedstock requirements, primarily of palm oil and rapeseed oil,” Oil World said. “Permanent hurdles for biodiesel imports from the two key countries will lift the dependence on rapeseed oil as a feedstock for the European biodiesel market.”
Palm oil imports to the EU for this year through July are up 63 percent compared to the same time a year ago. Rapeseed exports from the Ukraine reached near-record levels.
Several developments are prompting a biodiesel company to predict its best production quarter ever. Methes Energies International Ltd., a company with biodiesel production operations north of the border in the form of Methes Energies Canada Inc., says its $1.5 million facility has helped it really get its biodiesel operations moving.
Over the last several weeks Methes Canada has made good use of the facility resulting in September 2013 being the highest production month in gallons in its history. Furthermore, Methes Canada has already secured sufficient feedstock for the months of October and November 2013 to produce biodiesel which it expects will allow for its fiscal fourth quarter to be its best on record in production volume.
BQ-9000® Quality Management Program – Methes Canada is proud to have initiated the process of becoming an accredited BQ-9000® Producer. The program is a unique combination of the ASTM standard for biodiesel and a quality systems program that includes sampling, testing, storage, retain samples and shipping. The program helps companies improve their fuel testing and greatly reduce any chance of producing or distributing inadequate fuel. To receive accreditation, companies must pass a rigorous review and inspection of their quality control processes by an independent auditor. This ensures that quality control is fully implemented.
Methes Canada is also boasting its sales of its Denami 600 and Denami 3000 equipment to help ethanol producers extract corn oil from their corn for refinement into biodiesel. The “bolt-on” Denami equipment is seen as ideal for ethanol plants across North America and overseas. The company also points to increased capacity at its Sombra, Ontario facility from 13 Million gallons per year (MGY) to 26 MGY using the Denami technology.
Michel G. Laporte, Chairman and CEO of Methes Energies said, “We are pleased to provide this general business update covering several projects that are on the go. Our focus remains on making more biodiesel, improving efficiency and quality at our Sombra facility. Thanks to the working capital facility, September was our best month in production volume. The team is doing a great job and the morale is high.”
An Arkansas town will soon be home to a new biodiesel refinery that makes the green fuel out of a new crop for the region, camelina. The Stuttgart (AR) Daily Leader reports DeWitt is home to the the first Farm to Fuel project, an Arkansas Advanced Energy Foundation (AAEF) initiative.
According to AAEF, the mini-biorefinery, operated by Johnny Davis, will utilize a technology developed by Springboard Diesel to produce small batches of biofuel with an annual capacity of 80,000 gallons per year. As demand increases, DeWitt will obtain a larger micro‐biorefinery designed by Dr. Srikant Gir and developed at the Marion Berry Renewable Energy Research Center at Mid‐South Community College. It will have a production capacity of 200,000 to 1 million gallons per year. Once DeWitt has outgrown the mini‐biorefinery, alt.Consulting will move it to develop the next Community of Innovation.
DeWitt became the first Community of Innovation after city leaders saw the opportunity in developing a biofuel resource. The fuel will utilize feedstocks from Camelina and waste vegetable oil. Once processed into ASTM standard biodiesel, it will be sold locally to power municipal trucks and equipment, school buses, farm vehicles and other private vehicles. Any excess fuel will be sold to fuel blenders in Arkansas and Memphis. And, because of no transportation costs and ready availability, the locally‐produced biodiesel will be price competitive in Delta communities with petroleum products while creating jobs and business opportunities locally.
City officials are looking forward to growing enough feedstock and making the refinery viable and eventually pass the technology on to another town.
The latest in a series of thoughtful analyses by the folks at the University of Illinois Ag and Consumer Economics is out and shows the relationship between the biodiesel supply and demand curves and Renewable Identification Number (RIN) pricing. This article from Scott Irwin shows how RIN prices are made of two components – intrinsic and time value.
[T]he model in Figure 1 actually predicts the “intrinsic” value of biodiesel RINs. In options market parlance, this refers to the immediate value of exercising an option. This is equivalent to the loss blenders incur today by blending biodiesel, and it is represented by the blending margin. There is a second component of option value that is also relevant. This value is called “extrinsic,” or “time,” value and it reflects the value to an option owner of waiting until later to exercise the option when the intrinsic value may be even higher than it is today.
From a conceptual standpoint, RINs prices can be thought of as consisting of two components – intrinsic and time value. The intrinsic value should track current blending margins, and it was shown that this is generally true for D4 biodiesel RINS. The time value of RINs reflects the chance that blending margins will be even larger (bigger losses) in the future and it has typically represented about one-third of RINs prices. A particularly interesting dimension to RINs pricing right now is that time values have been driven basically to zero, precisely when there is great uncertainty about the outcome of EPA rulemaking and the status of the blenders tax credit. Variation in soybean oil prices adds to the uncertainty. Estimated supply and demand curves can be used to generate plausible D4 biodiesel RINs values for 2014 anywhere from $0.16 to $2.07 per gallon (in ethanol equivalents).
The piece goes on to show how it’s tough to evaluate the RINs market in relation to high vs. low blending margin scenarios, central to determining the time value of a RIN.
Biodiesel lovers might soon be singing a the line from the old Janis Joplin song, “Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz?” The German car maker will once again offer its line of biodiesel-compatible vehicles. This news release from EINNews.com says that after several years of not selling its BlueTEC diesel engines, the clean burners are back.
Improving the design and returning stronger than ever, the Mercedes-Benz line of BlueTEC engines can now properly utilize B5 biofuel. Biodiesel-consuming engines are available on some of their most popular vehicles including the GLK, M, GL, and E-Class. Providing emission passing ratings and some of the highest fuel economy marks for their respective classes, the Mercedes-Benz BlueTEC engines are great options for drivers searching for an alternative to gas-powered vehicles.
The story goes on to point out that this is the latest development in Mercedes’ long history of offering diesel-powered passenger vehicles, which most diesels are already compatible with biodiesel. The latest advances in the BlueTEC engine allow it to run both ultralow-sulfur fuel and B5 biodiesel.
Texas-based Darling International Inc. has closed the deal to buy a Canadian company dealing with rendering and biodiesel. This company news release says Darling bought Rothsay, the rendering and biodiesel division of Maple Leaf Foods Inc., for about $618 million.
Darling International Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Randall Stuewe said, “We are excited to add the Rothsay assets and employees to our portfolio. Together we will bring new solutions and opportunities to our many customers across North America.”
Darling International Inc. is the largest and only publicly traded provider of rendering and bakery residuals recycling solutions to the nation’s food industry. The Company recycles beef, poultry and pork by-product streams into useable ingredients such as tallow, feed-grade fats, meat and bone meal, poultry meal and hides. The Company also recovers and converts used cooking oil and commercial bakery residuals into valuable feed and fuel ingredients. These products are primarily sold to agricultural, pet food, leather, oleo-chemical and biodiesel manufacturers around the world.
Earlier this year, Texas-based Darling opened a joint venture renewable diesel plant with energy giant Valero in Louisiana. That plant also uses animal fat to make the renewable diesel, as well as using waste cooking oil and corn oil.
A new video demonstration is showing how the new ShockWave Power Biodiesel Reactor (SPR) is making production of the green fuel more efficient. Hydro Dynamics, Inc. (HDI) posted the video to show how its product will make the transesterification process go better.
Although not a complete replacement for seeing the technology in person, video is becoming commonplace on the web to demonstrate technology and quickly convey information to customers. Our other SPR cavitation videos have been viewed over 750,000 times showing everything from simple cavitation bubbles to gas-liquid mixing to an ethanol extraction animation http://hydrodynamics.com/about-us/videos/.
The ShockWave PowerTM Reactor (SPR) is manufactured by Hydro Dynamics, Inc., a world leader in process intensification reactors. Together with World Energy, Hydrodynamics, Inc. offers reactor systems to the biodiesel industry for every size of plant and the expertise in biodiesel processing necessary to implement ShockWave PowerTM Reactor in any new or existing biodiesel production facility. With over 500 million gallons of annual reactor capacity now sold, the ShockWave Power Reactor is setting a new standard for efficient biodiesel production.
More information is available on the company’s biodiesel page.
As we recently recognized the 40th anniversary of the Arab Oil Embargo, which back then, showed how vulnerable the U.S. was working under foreign petroleum, one of the leaders at the nation’s biodiesel leader says his industry’s green fuel is a pathway to break the Big Oil monopoly. In this piece for the political blog, The Hill.com, Renewable Energy Group (REG) Vice president Gary Haer says biodiesel has grown from just a small, novelty fuel to a billion-gallon-a-year viable alternative to petroleum, foreign and domestic.
Following the aggressive act by Arab members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to terminate exports to the West, Americans saw their gasoline prices soar fourfold setting off a decade-long recession. U.S. military involvement in Middle Eastern conflicts escalated consistently over the four decades that followed. These include the Iran Hostage Crisis, three full-scale wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the current showdown with Syria over chemical weapons and nuclear weapons showdown with Iran.
Today the aforementioned national security experts and their supporters lead the U.S. Energy Security Council (USESC), an organization that is scathing in their conclusions of how the combination of current U.S. oil dependency and a lack of diversity in transportation fuels choices are affecting both our economy and our national security: Continue reading
A new analyzer will give biodiesel producers more and better features for the industry. This piece from Biodiesel Magazine talks about the new InfraCal 2 Analyzer, recently introduced by Wilks, that provides better repeatability, multiple calibrations, unlimited data storage, optional internal battery pack, touch screen display and password protection for instrument settings for biodiesel in diesel measurements.
The InfraCal 2 incorporates new electronics providing a better signal-to-noise ratio that improves the stability and repeatability. The calibration scheme makes it easier to get an accurate zero, which contributes to more repeatable readings. The analyzer’s multiple calibration capability enables users to have calibrations for numerous types of diesel fuel, making measurements even more accurate on different feedstocks.
The InfraCal 2 Analyzer provides a virtually unlimited amount of internal data storage. For users testing fuels at different locations or at a remote loading rack, data can periodically be transferred serially or via a flash drive. The internal battery pack will last up to 12 hours bringing portability to a new level and eliminating the need to ship samples to a laboratory and wait for results.
User will also find the touch screen on the InfraCal 2 allows them to password-protect calibrations and instrument settings, and they will be able to tag each measurement with information about the analyst, location, date and time of the measurement.
New numbers from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) show that biodiesel has once again broken the 1-billion-gallon mark. Biodiesel production hit 140 million gallons in September, pushing the year-to-date biodiesel total of nearly 1.1 billion gallons, the third year it has reached that milestone. The news was welcomed by the National Biodiesel Board:
“This is a tremendous achievement that is a testament to the hard work of the biodiesel industry and the success of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) as an effective policy for diversifying our fuel supplies,” said Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs at the National Biodiesel Board. “Biodiesel is proving that Advanced Biofuels are working now, and we need the Obama Administration and Congress to continue this success.”
NBB goes on to point out that biodiesel is the first EPA-designated Advanced Biofuel to reach commercial-scale production nationwide and 1 billion gallons of annual production. In fact, at this pace, biodiesel production this year will hit 1.7 billion gallons by year’s end, significantly exceeding the RFS requirement of 1.28 billion gallons.