Kansas Farmer Recognized for Biodiesel Board Work

kraus1A Kansas farmer has been recognized by the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) for his work for the biodiesel industry. The Kansas Soybean Commission announced that their primary representative on the NBB for the past 12 years, Harold Kraus from Hays, picked up NBB’s Friend of Biodiesel award during a membership meeting in Washington, D.C.:

“Harold has been a tremendous advocate for the biodiesel industry who will definitely be missed,” NBB CEO Joe Jobe said. “The industry has grown out of infancy to a billion-gallon industry due in large part to the efforts of champions like Mr. Kraus.”

“Any time your peers pat you on the back you have to feel better,” Kraus said. “When I came on board, there were 55 members. Now, we’re in the hundreds. We’ve got a good number of people, and they’re doing their job.”

“From the start, the soybean checkoff has played a major role in developing the U.S. biodiesel industry, and soybean farmers like Harold have invested a lot of time, energy and resources into bringing American-made, high-performing biodiesel to the marketplace,” said Dennis Hupe, KSC director of field services. “The award never can express fully the thanks that Harold deserves for his dedication to the development of the biodiesel industry.”

Kraus is retiring from his position on the board.

EPA: Biodiesel, Ethanol Numbers Up

The latest numbers from the EPA say biodiesel and ethanol production is up. For May, biodiesel production hit 135 million gallons, putting it on target to hit more than a billion gallons this year and to exceed annual volume requirements under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Weekly ethanol production averaged 885,000 barrels per day or 37.17 million gallons daily, up 12,000 barrels per day from the week before and tied for highest weekly average of the year to date. The ethanol industry is projected to hit 13.52 billion gallons of production this year. The news was welcomed by the green fuels’ respective industries.

From the National Biodiesel Board:

nbb-logoBiodiesel, an EPA-designated Advanced Biofuel that has surpassed RFS targets for two consecutive years, is reported under the Biomass-based Diesel category under the RFS.

The numbers show a total of nearly 140 million gallons of Biomass-based Diesel for May, but that total also includes production of renewable diesel. The biodiesel portion of the total was 135 million gallons – putting year-to-date biodiesel production through the end of May at nearly 504 million gallons.

And the Renewable Fuels Association:

RFA-logo-13Stocks of ethanol stood at 16.3 million barrels. That is a 1.0% decrease from last week. Imports of ethanol were 38,000 b/d, down from last week. Gasoline demand for the week averaged 373.5 million gallons daily. Expressed as a percentage of daily gasoline demand, daily ethanol production was 9.95%

The RFA also points out how it is supporting corn farmers, using 13.419 million bushels of corn to produce ethanol and 98,769 metric tons of livestock feed, 88,053 metric tons of which were distillers grains.

NBB says its industry is supporting some 50,000 jobs across the country.

We Need to Act Now

“Americans are already paying the price of inaction,” said President Obama today during his speech on climate change at Georgetown University. After using the “facts of science” President Obama June 25 2013 Climate Change speechto prove that climate change is real, he asked, “So the question now is will we have the courage to act now before it’s too late. We need to act. “I refuse to condemn your generation and future generations to a planet that’s beyond fixable. And that’s why today I’m announcing a new national climate action plan and I’m here to enlist your generation’s help.”

In anticipation of his plan, groups from around the country reacted to his new climate plan. Graham Richard, CEO of Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) said, “As a business voice for technology-driven energy progress, AEE believes that President Obama’s plan moves the United States toward a smarter energy future, for economic as well as environmental benefits.”

“Energy efficiency standards will save money as well as energy,” Richard continued. “Utilizing public lands for their solar and wind resources follows in the footsteps of mineral resources and forestry products and should be pursued in the interest of national prosperity. New regulations on emissions will accelerate the replacement of outmoded power plants with high efficiency and low emitting technologies. All of these steps will make the U.S. more of a leader in advanced energy, which is a $1 trillion global market opportunity for American companies and American workers.” Continue reading

Industry Congratulates NY on 2% Bioheat Mandate

nbb-logoThe biodiesel industry and environmental groups expressed their pleasure with the New York state legislature’s passage of a 2 percent biodiesel in all heating oil (Bioheat) mandate. Leading those congratulations was the National Biodiesel Board:

“America’s advanced biofuel and Bioheat are a great fit for New York’s heating oil market” said Shelby Neal, NBB Director of State Governmental Affairs. “Creating a standard that includes at least 2 percent biodiesel will replace about 30 million gallons of petroleum annually with a cleaner burning, renewable fuel.”

“New York State’s crop farmers are growing more and more soybeans every year,” said Julia Robbins, Executive Director, New York Corn and Soybean Association. “This policy will help provide New York farmers with a new market for the state’s soybean oil.”

New York City, the largest municipal consumer of heating oil in the country, has already taken advantage of biodiesel’s benefits by instituting a citywide 2 percent biodiesel requirement in October of 2012.

“Extensive testing has clearly shown that biodiesel blended with traditional heating oil is safe, seamless, and actually improves fuel efficiency through cleaning and preserving equipment,” said John Maniscalco, CEO of the New York Oil Heating Association. “This law extends these tremendous benefits to all New Yorkers and will provide the state with the cleanest, most sustainable heating oil in the country.”

Other Bioheat backers pointed out that the statewide mandate will provide a uniform standard throughout the state, while increasing overall economic activity.

The legislation says all heating oil sold in the City of New York, Nassau, Suffolk, Westchester, and Rockland counties will need to contain at least 2 percent biodiesel by October 1, 2014, with the rest of the state adopting the standard by July 1, 2015. The bill now awaits the governor’s signature.

Former EPA Official Joins Biodiesel Board DC Office

nbb-logoA new face will oversee the National Biodiesel Board’s regulatory affairs in Washington, D.C. The NBB has hired Lindsay Fitzgerald, who comes from the EPA, where she served as a specialist in the Office of Transportation and Air Quality working on the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS):

“We are excited to hire someone of Lindsay’s skills and experience and to be expanding our office to better meet the needs of our growing industry,” said Anne Steckel, NBB’s vice president of federal affairs. “Biodiesel is already a great RFS success story, and adding Lindsay to our team will only build on that success.”

“Her extensive knowledge of the RFS will be a tremendous benefit to our industry and to our members as they navigate the program,” Steckel added. “We look forward to working with EPA to ensure that advanced biofuels and the RFS continue meeting our goals of increasing U.S. energy security, strengthening the economy and reducing emissions.”

Fitzgerald has previous experience as a research analyst and legal assistant and graduated Indiana University in Pennsylvania.

Biodiesel Board Taking Renewable Diesel Members

nbb-logoIn a reflection of how really closely related the two industries are, the National Biodiesel Board opens up its membership to qualified renewable diesel producers. This NBB news release says the move is expected to unite the advanced biofuels industry in the diesel sector under one tent and creating a stronger and more effective voice for both.

“We are excited to expand our membership to include renewable diesel producers,” said Joe Jobe, CEO of NBB, which traditionally has represented only biodiesel interests. “While produced with different technologies, biodiesel and renewable diesel are close cousins with a lot of shared interests, particularly in policy areas such as the RFS and the blender’s tax incentive. Joining forces puts us in a much stronger position as a coalition to make our voice heard and spread the word that these policies are working and that advanced biofuels are here today.”

Jobe noted that with the change, NBB will represent the entire biomass-based diesel category under the Renewable Fuel Standard…

Representatives of the renewable diesel producers echoed Jobe’s statements.

“We have long been impressed with the work NBB does to represent the biodiesel industry and felt that joining forces was the next logical step,” said Randall C. Stuewe, President and Chairman of the Board of Darling International, Inc. which is a 50% equity owner in Diamond Green Diesel, a Louisiana-based Renewable Diesel plant with annual production capability of over 136 million gallons coming on line shortly. “Many of the same issues face both biodiesel and renewable diesel producers and we’re glad to be speaking with one voice on these issues.”

NBB points out that biodiesel and renewable diesel are both made with renewable resources such as soybean oil, animal fats and recycled cooking oils. The difference comes through the process that turns those materials into fuels, with biodiesel produced through a natural chemical reaction that takes place when alcohol is introduced to oils or fats in the presence of a catalyst and for renewable diesel, hydrogen is added to the oils or fats under high pressure and temperatures, converting it to a hydrocarbon very similar to diesel fuel refined from petroleum crude.

Biodiesel Advocates Descend on DC

nbb-logoBackers of one of our favorite green fuels, biodiesel, have headed to Capitol Hill. This news release from the National Biodiesel Board says the group of biodiesel producers, distributors and feedstock suppliers representing more than two dozen states, including the delegation from Iowa we previously told you about, are making their case for a strong Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS):

“The petroleum lobby is making a lot of noise about renewable fuels and we’re coming to town to make sure that Congress hears the other side of the story,” said Todd Ellis, vice president of sales and business development at Seattle-based Imperium Renewables. “Despite what you might hear, the RFS is working, and we’re building a new American fuels industry that is creating jobs, producing cleaner fuel, and ultimately helping consumers.”

“We’ll be reminding Congress that biodiesel is an EPA-designated Advanced Biofuel that is here today and that is exceeding its RFS targets, with two consecutive years of 1 billion gallon production,” Ellis added.

During their Hill visits, they also will advocate for a long-term extension of the biodiesel tax incentive, which is slated to expire again at the end of the year.

“No matter how much domestic oil and gas we find through fracking or new drilling, consumers will continue getting hurt by unstable global petroleum markets until we develop alternatives to oil,” said Anne Steckel, NBB’s vice president of federal affairs. “That’s why Congress passed the RFS in the first place with huge bipartisan support, and it’s why we can’t let up on these goals now.”

NBB points out that last year the biodiesel industry supported around 50,000 jobs around the country.

Biodiesel Tour de Force

This week, six Iowa biodiesel producers, a soybean farmer and several Iowa Biodiesel Board staff will be visiting Capitol Hill to urge Iowa’s Congressional delegation to continue fighting for a strong Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The group joins more than 100 other biodiesel advocates from two dozen states in lobbying for Congressional support.

IowaBiodieselBoardLogo“Oil interests have this policy in their cross hairs, and we need our delegation to continue their passionate fight against such backward-thinking attacks,” said Randy Olson, executive director of the Iowa Biodiesel Board. “Our message is that the RFS is highly effective energy policy, doing what Congress intended: creating jobs, reducing emissions and building domestic sources of energy.”

Also in the group are leaders from the Iowa Soybean Association, who are visiting D.C. for an annual membership meeting of the National Biodiesel Board (NBB). The group will also advocate for a long-term extension of the biodiesel tax incentive that is slated to expire at the end of this year.

“No matter how much domestic oil and gas we find through fracking or new drilling, consumers will continue getting hurt by unstable global petroleum markets until we develop new options besides oil,” added Anne Steckel, NBB’s vice president of federal affairs. “That’s why Congress passed the RFS in the first place with huge bipartisan support, and it’s why we can’t let up on these goals now.”

NBB Unveils New TV Ad Campaign

The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) has unveiled a new television advertising campaign to make the point that consumers and taxpayers are better protected by a diverse supply of transportation fuels. The 30-second commercial is airing on national TV networks and on Washington, D.C. broadcast and cable news outlets.

“Biofuels are helping to diversify America’s transportation fuels, which protects consumers by freeing the market from the instability of a single liquid energy source” said Joe Jobe, NBB CEO. “And because it is diesel engines that move the freight that drives the economy, it begins a positive ripple effect for the prices of just about everything we buy.”

The ad shows what it would be like to be in a world lacking in options as the narrator intones, “Without choice, we’re at the mercy of chance. Why chance our future on only one transportation fuel?” The voice is provided by Will Lyman, best known for his work as the narrator of the PBS series “Frontline.”

NBB also re-launched the AmericasAdvancedBiofuel.org website as part of the campaign. The newly re-designed site offers basic information on biodiesel, highlights issues of importance to the industry, and features a documentary expounding on the themes and concepts in the ads. The site also provides links to NBB’s current and past advertising campaigns.

The campaign is scheduled to run into the fall. In addition to the television commercial, the campaign includes print, digital and radio advertising incorporating the importance of transportation fuel diversity.

Jobe added, “We have many sources of fuel for power plants: coal, nuclear, natural gas, hydro, geothermal, wind, solar, and more. Because no single source dominates, we have had stable and affordable electricity. Why would it make sense to rely only on petroleum for our cars, trucks, tractors, trains, planes, barges and buses?”

Biomass-based Diesel Imports Jump in March

eiaWe’re seeing a big spike in the amount of biomass-based diesel imported into the U.S. Biodiesel Magazine reports the latest numbers from the U.S. Energy Information Administration show gross imports at 17.3 million gallons in March… a more than eight-fold increase above February’s 2.2 million gallons, and it marks the first biomass-based diesel from Argentina in about four years and the first time ever for the green fuel from Indonesia:

The two major biodiesel-exporting countries supplied the EU with much of the continent’s imported biodiesel in 2011 and 2012 until the trade war that began last year culminated late last month with the European Commission levying provisional tariffs on Argentine and Indonesian product. In March, Argentina shipped approximately 6.3 million gallons of biomass-based diesel to the U.S., while Indonesia exported about 2.1 million gallons to the U.S.

“We’re clearly seeing some small volumes of imports starting to come in given market economics with the tax incentive,” said Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs for the National Biodiesel Board, “but we expect the vast majority of production will continue to be from domestic producers. We have always advocated that the biodiesel tax incentive be structured for producers instead of blenders, and we will continue to push for that change.”

Another 5.5 million gallons of biomass-based diesel was imported from Germany, and more than 3.3 million gallons came from Canada.

The EIA defines “biomass-based diesel” as “biodiesel and other renewable diesel fuel or diesel fuel blending components derived from biomass, but excluding renewable diesel fuel coprocessed with petroleum feedstocks.”

April Biodiesel Production Hits 110 Million Gallons

nbb-logoNew numbers from the EPA show that biodiesel production in the U.S. hit 110 million gallons in April … staying on pace to hit more than a billion gallons for this year. The National Biodiesel Board hopes the green fuel can exceed targets set under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) for a third consecutive year:

The numbers show a total of more than 118 million gallons of Biomass-based Diesel for April, but that total also includes production of renewable diesel. The biodiesel portion of the total was 110 million gallons – roughly the same production as in March and putting year-to-date biodiesel production through the end of April at almost 369 million gallons.

NBB also points out that the biodiesel industry supports about 50,000 jobs across the country.

Ethanol, Biodiesel Groups Welcome New Energy Sec.

moniz2The U.S. Senate today confirmed Ernest Moniz to replace Steven Chu as the Nation’s Secretary of Energy. The 96-0 vote was welcomed by biodiesel and ethanol groups:

steckel2“Throughout his career, Ernest Moniz has supported efforts to move beyond fossil fuels to a cleaner, more secure energy future in which renewable sources play a prominent role,” said Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs for the National Biodiesel Board. “He knows that advanced biofuels like biodiesel are critical to our long-term energy and environmental security, and he has supported practical policies aimed at developing renewables in order to reduce our dependence on petroleum, create jobs and reduce harmful emissions.”

mcadams3Michael McAdams, president of the Advanced Biofuels Association, issued a statement in support of the confirmation. “We are pleased that President Obama tapped such a strong advocate for policy that supports solid energy growth and is a friend of the advanced biofuels community.”

buis2“I would like to congratulate Ernest Moniz on his confirmation as the Secretary of Energy. President Obama has chosen an excellent and well-qualified individual to lead the Department of Energy and I look forward to working with Secretary Moniz to continue to advance the growth and development of sustainable biofuels,” said Tom Buis, CEO of Growth Energy.

dineen1.jpgThe Renewable Fuels Association also congratulated Moniz. “Given his background and expertise in energy, we look forward to the secretary’s first visit to an ethanol plant. We are eager for him to see firsthand the positive economic impact the renewable fuel standard has had in creating new jobs and revitalizing rural economies,” said Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the RFA.

brookeBrooke Coleman, executive director of the Advanced Ethanol Council, added his praise of the pick. “Secretary Moniz has just the right combination of technical expertise and political experience to be very effective as the new Secretary of Energy. He clearly understands what it takes to commercialize new energy technologies, and we look forward to working with the Secretary and his colleagues going forward as the advanced ethanol industry deploys commercially in the United States and abroad.”

NBB Welcomes Progress on Farm Bill’s Energy Parts

wash-watchBy a 15-5 vote, the Senate Agriculture Committee sent the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013 and its commitment to renewable energy to the full Senate, which could take it up next week. The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) welcomed the move, especially the part that funds the Biodiesel Fuel Education Program to the tune of $1 million a year through 2018, with another $1 million a year in discretionary funding for that same time.

During an interview with Chuck at the National Association of Farm Broadcasters (NAFB) Washington Watch, Anne Steckel vice president of federal affairs for the NBB said she is also hopeful Congress preserves the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS).

steckel“The RFS is really the backbone of the biodiesel industry,” she said. “It’s been incredibly successful for our industry, and it’s been very beneficial for consumers in general. We’re supporting over 50,000 jobs. We’re diversifying off foreign oil, and we’re helping better the environment.”

Steckel went to say that biodiesel enjoys a broad base of bipartisan support in Washington, and she is optimistic that support will continue and help that green fuel sector grow.

“The biodiesel industry is going to continue in its steady growth pattern, [producing] 1.3 billion gallons this year,” and the support of the RFS and biodiesel federal tax credit will help the industry and consumers as well.

Listen to Chuck’s interview with Anne here: Anne Steckel, NBB

2013 NAFB Washington Watch Photo Album

Intertek Biodiesel Lab Earns BQ-9000 Certification

IntertekThe Intertek biofuels lab in Romeoville, Illinois has earned an important designation from the National Biodiesel Board (NBB). This company news release says the Intertek lab is now listed as a testing facility on the BQ-9000® website and is a preferred lab for BQ-9000® producers and marketers by the National Biodiesel Accreditation Commission (NBAC):

NBAC, a committee of the NBB, reviews and approves laboratories interested in becoming a BQ-9000® Certified Laboratory. The laboratory must have a quality management system that meets the requirements of the NBAC, and analyze biodiesel following the ASTM D6751 Standard Specification for Biodiesel Fuel Blend Stock (B100) for Middle Distillate Fuels, and follows various ASTM, UOP and EN test methods referenced within the specification.

Jeff Kaylor, Regional Vice President for Inland Waterways, stated, “The award of the BQ-9000® certification for biodiesel testing is an honor for our staff and the biodiesel laboratory. Intertek is committed to providing our clients with reliable, high quality, biofuel testing and inspection services, in the USA and on a global basis.”

Intertek has a network of biofuel laboratories that test a wide range of renewable fuel products and blends, including biodiesel, ethanol, and biomass fuels.

Researcher Honored for Biodiesel Byproduct Innovation

nbb-logoA researcher from India is honored for her work to use a biodiesel byproduct to replace chemicals usually used in biodiesel production. The National Biodiesel Board and the American Cleaning Institute honored Dr. B.L.A. Prabhavathi Devi from the Centre for Lipid Research at CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad, India with the 2013 Glycerine Innovation Award Annual Honor for using glycerol-based catalysts to replace more traditional sulfuric acid and alkali catalysts.

The ACI/NBB Glycerine Innovation Award recognizes outstanding achievement for research into new applications for glycerine, with particular emphasis on commercial viability.

Dr. Prabhavathi said she and her group have been researching how glycerol can be utilized for the development of novel value added products.

The use of such glycerine-based products can enhance the economies of the oleochemical and biodiesel industries.

The award includes a plaque and a $5,000 honorarium. It was presented at the AOCS Industrial Oil Products Division luncheon during the 2013 AOCS Annual Meeting in Montreal, Canada.