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Biodiesel Bulletin


The Biodiesel Bulletin is published monthly by the National Biodiesel Board (NBB).




June 1, 2018  

Survey Says: Biodiesel Number One Alternative Fuel in Fleets

RFS Volume Proposal Opportunity to Grow Advanced Biofuels

National Biodiesel Foundation Grant Awards Standout Biodiesel Student

Volvo Ocean Race Stays on Sustainability Course with Biodiesel

Idaho Students Demand Biodiesel on Campus

Biodiesel Helps Clear the Air at National Parks Across the Country

Biodiesel Ambassadors Share Success Stories

 
Survey Says: Biodiesel Number One Alternative Fuel in Fleets

North America’s top fleets have spoken and their number one choice for greening their fleet operations is biodiesel. America’s advanced biofuel also took top honors in projected growth, with more fleets planning to acquire or continue using biodiesel than any other alternative fuel option. 

“The findings of this survey validate what we hear all the time. While other technologies may get more attention, biodiesel is consistently the best way to store solar energy for transportation use,” said Don Scott, Director of Sustainability for the National Biodiesel Board. “Nothing beats the power and performance of a new technology diesel engine to get the job done in heavy haul or high mileage operations. And when fleets learn that they can immediately reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by using biodiesel blends in their existing diesel equipment, it is truly a win-win.”

The 2018 Fleet Purchasing Outlook study conducted by the NTEA – The Association for the Work Truck Industry – shows 18 percent of fleet participants use biodiesel now – up from 15 percent in 2017. Seventy-five percent of fleet respondents planning to acquire trucks in 2018 also said they plan to maintain or increase the use of diesel technology, showing that the powertrain is here to stay for work truck fleets.

“Nearly 40 percent of respondents indicated they currently operate alternative-fueled trucks in their fleets, up 4 percent from 2017, and interest is at the highest recorded level since 2014,” said Steve Latin-Kasper, NTEA director of market data and research. “While interest in alternative fuels may wax and wane a bit due to the inherent volatility of oil prices, it will likely rise steadily across time.  Most fleets are well aware of the need to keep exploring clean energy solutions.”

This consumer confidence is a testament to the industry’s more than two decades of diligence to fuel quality work, OEM development, and targeted outreach.
 

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RFS Volume Proposal Opportunity to Grow Advanced Biofuels

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) continues to be a hotly discussed issue in Washington D.C. as biodiesel producers nationwide await the announcement of next year’s volumes under the program. While biofuels supporters push for continued growth, it’s been rumored the Administration plans to keep biodiesel volumes flat.

"Holding biomass-based diesel flat is a missed opportunity to signal growth, which is what the RFS is intended to do," said Kurt Kovarik, the National Biodiesel Board’s vice president of federal affairs. "We will engage the administration and RFS proponents to make it perfectly clear these rumored numbers send an unfortunate message to the biodiesel industry and rural economies. The easiest way to fix this and turn around growing dissatisfaction among rural voters is to provide growth to the biodiesel industry and increase this number."

RFS volume proposals for the biomass-based diesel category for 2020, and all other fuel categories for 2019, are currently at the White House’s Office of Management and Budget for administrative review. It is rumored that the volumes for the biomass-based diesel category, which includes biodiesel and renewable diesel, would remain at 2.1 billion gallons for 2020.

NBB supports increases in the volume requirements, believing the EPA must meet Congress’s goals as intended to move this country toward more advanced biofuels like biodiesel. This would create jobs, improve the economy, and benefit public health and the environment throughout the country.
 

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National Biodiesel Foundation Grant Awards Standout Biodiesel Student

Grant winner Mary Kate Mitchell

“The Foundation is honored to present this grant to Mary Kate,” said Jeff Lynn, NBF President. “Mary Kate is an exceptional student with a passion for biodiesel. Her involvement in the industry has already had a great impact, and we are excited to see what is next in store for her career.”The National Biodiesel Foundation has awarded the first Beth Calabotta Sustainable Education Grant to a member of the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel. Ph.D. student Mary Kate Mitchell will receive a $2,000 award to recognize her outstanding work in academia on biodiesel.

The grant will all Mitchell to participate in the Biodiesel Sustainability Workshop in St. Louis, Missouri in September, with the remaining funds applied toward academics. Mitchell is currently studying Chemical and Environmental Engineering at Yale University, and presented at the 2018 National Biodiesel Conference, where she attended on another scholarship.

The grant is named in honor of scientist Beth Calabotta, whose legacy and dedication to biodiesel sustainability made a lasting impact on the industry. A lifelong friend and colleague of Calabotta’s, fellow-scientist Cynthia Ludwig, said, “I know that Beth would have been proud of the Foundation’s choice for the scholarship. Mary Kate exhibits the dedication to promoting women in science, educating others in sustainable practices and supporting renewable energy that Beth had made life long mission.” 

Based on Beth’s work, the Foundation and the National Biodiesel Board want this grant to continue building on the idea that adopting innovative technologies and diversifying markets will produce environmental benefits that can be documented through research and data. 

NGSB is a free student professional organization which provides members with exclusive educational opportunities and the latest biodiesel news and research.
 

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Volvo Ocean Race Stays on Sustainability Course with Biodiesel

Biodiesel worked overtime at the Volvo Ocean Race port in Rhode Island last month. The race, which is known for rugged competition and its commitment to sustainability, was a natural fit for biodiesel, America’s advanced biofuel. A blend of 20 percent biodiesel was used in vessels, generators and diesel-powered land vehicles throughout the 13-day event in May.

“During the 2015 stopover, we saved more than 12,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere and we hope to reach a similar or greater amount this year,” said Dr. Robert Morton, Chairman of the Board for Newport Biodiesel, prior to the event. “Biodiesel is an excellent, low carbon alternative to petroleum diesel and a great fit for environmentally-conscience boaters.”

The biodiesel for the event was supplied by Newport Biodiesel, a local biodiesel producer, and delivered by T.H. Malloy, a local oil heat dealer. The partnership with the Volvo Ocean Race made the event one of the most sustainable in the world.

“Biodiesel use in marine vessels is a growing market,” said Donnell Rehagen, NBB CEO. “Biodiesel not only provides similar performance characteristics to diesel but also reduces engine wear and is non-toxic, low carbon and biodegradable, making it less polluting to the ocean and the air. The sponsorship helps showcase biodiesel to the global nautical community.” 

Biodiesel’s sustainability is well-documented, helping users and event organizers to quantify their environmental impact. From reductions in greenhouse gas and hydrocarbon emissions to wastewater and hazardous waste, biodiesel is delivering measurable results wherever it is used.
 

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Idaho Students Demand Biodiesel on Campus

Students at the University of Idaho are demanding that the school take another step toward carbon-neutrality by using biodiesel in all campus diesel vehicles.

The Associated Students of the University of Idaho Senate recently passed a resolution calling on the university president to mandate the use of biodiesel, and university administrators to take "measurable action" toward a carbon-neutral campus by the end of the 2018-19 school year.

“It’s encouraging to see the next generation taking charge to ensure sustainability goals are met,” said Don Scott, National Biodiesel Board sustainability director. “Biodiesel has been proven to reduce harmful emissions and replacing petroleum exhaust will result in some great health benefits for the students.”

The student’s resolution highlights biodiesel’s diverse feedstock while touting the fact that biodiesel "cuts down greenhouse gas emissions nearly 80 percent over petroleum diesel, is nontoxic, is safer to handle and safer if spilled, and doesn't put out the thick black exhaust petroleum diesel does."

Authors of the resolution say use of biodiesel would result in better air quality on campus, decrease reliance on foreign oil, and create financial savings to the UI.

The university creates their biodiesel from recycled cooking oil taken directly from the kitchens on campus. According to John Crocket, communication coordinator for the UI’s Biodiesel Education Program, the university is flush with oil, and the biodiesel produced on campus has been cleared by the American Society for Testing Materials.

“There’s a lot of us that like clean air and stuff like that, and we wish that biodiesel was around this area, so we didn’t have to smell the emissions,” Crockett said.
 

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Biodiesel Helps Clear the Air at National Parks Across the Country

The summer months are some of the busiest travel times as American’s hit the road for summer vacation season. With increased traffic on the roads around popular tourist destinations like national parks, biodiesel’s emissions benefits become even more important.

“At Great Smoky Mountains National Park, we have implemented a comprehensive strategy to limit our environmental impact and reduce carbon emissions,” said Brian Bergsma, deputy chief of facility management at the nation’s most visited National Park. “Biodiesel is front and center in that effort.”

Great Smoky Mountains is not alone in their biodiesel efforts, with other national parks including Shenandoah, Voyageurs, Grand Canyon, Richmond, and Assateague Island National Parks all proudly touting their biodiesel efforts. Through blends up to B100, Great Smoky Mountains, Shenandoah, and Voyageurs National Parks use more than 75,000 gallons of biodiesel alone.

“It is important for the National Park Service to set an example of being good to the environment, and using biodiesel is one way we can do that,” says Stan Cockrell, fleet manager for Shenandoah National Park.  “Simply put, it’s the right thing to do.”

As more and more vehicles drive to these popular destinations, it’s no wonder the parks are making moves to protect their air. In fact, studies show biodiesel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by around 80 percent, making it the perfect choice for any diesel engine. So, if you’re heading to one of America’s national treasures this summer, keep an eye out for America’s advanced biofuel doing its part to clear the air!
 

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Biodiesel Ambassadors Share Success Stories

(Left to Right) Jonathan Ells, Shelby Neal, Mike Haas, Keith Kerman, and David May.

Throughout the country, Biodiesel Ambassadors work to educate others on the benefits of biodiesel. Recently, a group of Ambassadors participated in the inaugural Renewable Fuels Forum in New York City.

“The Biodiesel Ambassadors program helps spread biodiesel’s benefits across the country,” said Donnell Rehagen, National Biodiesel Board CEO. “As volunteers, the Biodiesel Ambassadors truly demonstrate the passion and professionalism of the biodiesel industry.”

The forum was organized by Keith Kerman, New York Deputy Commissioner & Chief Fleet Officer. The event drew fleet and government officials from throughout the New York metropolitan area. Through Keith’s help, New York City now uses biodiesel in 11,000 pieces of equipment and is a global leader in sustainability. The keynote speaker at the forum was David May, Iowa Department of Transportation Fleet Manager, who spoke on Iowa’s 20 years of results with biodiesel, including success with cold temperature uses. The third Biodiesel Ambassador presenter was Dr. Mike Haas, a retired researcher for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, who highlighted on biodiesel’s sustainability benefits.

These three professionals have had great success with biodiesel throughout the years, and each stand as a proud member of the National Biodiesel Board’s Biodiesel Ambassador program. In fact, Kerman and Haas are founding members.

The Biodiesel Ambassadors are volunteers who support biodiesel and use their biodiesel expertise to raise the level of understanding in their communities and nationally.  They come from a wide array of professions, and include fleet managers, academics, government workers, scientists, petroleum distributors and more.
 

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