Biodiesel Bulletin

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

December 1, 2017  
Biodiesel Industry Disappointed by the Renewable Fuel Standard Volumes

Discovery Channel Documentary Spotlights Biodiesel

National Biodiesel Board Elects Governing Board

NJ School District Achieves 20-Year Milestone with Biodiesel

National Biodiesel Conference Packs Agenda

Biodiesel Stays Sustainable with Recycled Cooking Oil

Biodiesel Branding Program Elevates Biodiesel in Local Communities


Biodiesel Industry Disappointed by the Renewable Fuel Standard Volumes

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released the required volume obligations (RVOs) under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and failed to grow the biomass-based diesel volumes. Since the July proposal was released, NBB has relentlessly called for growth in the volumes of advanced biofuels and biomass-based diesel.

“EPA Administrator Pruitt has disappointed the biodiesel industry for failing to respond to our repeated calls for growth. These flat volumes will harm Americans across several job-creating sectors—be they farmers, grease collectors, crushers, biodiesel producers or truckers—as well as consumers. Nevertheless, we can’t thank our members and our biodiesel champions at the state and federal levels enough for their tireless advocacy and education efforts. We’ll continue to work with the administration to right this wrong for future volumes,” said Doug Whitehead, chief operating officer of the National Biodiesel Board. 

EPA announced requirements of 4.29 billion gallons of advanced biofuels for 2018 and 2.1 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel again for 2019. The July proposal recommended only 4.24 billion gallons of advanced biofuels and 2.1 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel—a reduction and a flatline, respectively, from last year’s standards. The biodiesel industry has consistently exceeded EPA’s standards—despite the agency underestimating the volumes each year.

“These volumes are important for setting a baseline—and our industry will again surpass these low expectations—but the failure to increase volumes will inhibit continued growth and investments,” said Whitehead.

Since the July proposal and the September Notice of Data Availability, the biodiesel industry has engaged in aggressive advocacy for growth in the volumes. In addition to an extensive series of meetings with administration officials, NBB issued robust data sets, a campaign-style video, a full-page advertisement in The Washington Post, a letter to President Trump from NBB’s leadership, and NBB joined a broad coalition letter with other biofuels advocates. The association led several letter-writing and social media campaigns, as well as assisted with governors’, senators’ and NBB members’ efforts to raise the volumes.




Discovery Channel Documentary Spotlights Biodiesel

After nearly two years of filming, the story of biodiesel has come to a national audience in a new way as Discovery’s HOT GREASE debuted in November.

The documentary takes place mainly in Houston, Texas in the shadow of the nation's oil industry. HOT GREASE tells the surprising story of how the biodiesel industry is turning an ostensibly worthless raw material—spent kitchen grease—into a renewable energy source capable of fueling cars, buses and fleets of trucks throughout the country. Featuring innovators, entrepreneurs, grease collectors and supporters like Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and former Senator Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.), HOT GREASE follows the battle for biodiesel’s future and its very survival.

“Biodiesel is a solution to many of our country’s biggest issues—job losses, air pollution and energy insecurity,” said Sen. Dorgan. “This fuel embodies the ingenuity and entrepreneurship that this nation is all about, so I’m glad that there is now a new way to elevate biodiesel awareness with the American people.”   

Footage from National Biodiesel Board member meetings and events appear in the film alongside interviews with NBB staff and members, including Jessica Robinson, NBB Director of Communications, and Gene Gebolys, founder and CEO of World Energy.

HOT GREASE is directed and produced by Sam Wainwright Douglas, Paul Lovelace and Jessica Wolfson, and is currently available on Discovery Go and Discovery On Demand.




National Biodiesel Board Elects Governing Board

The National Biodiesel Board recently traveled to Washington D.C. for their annual membership meeting. NBB members used this time to not only advocate for biodiesel industry jobs across the country, but also to select their trade association leadership.  The board reflects the wide range of member companies in the biodiesel industry from feedstock operations to producers.

“The National Biodiesel Board is the sole organization representing American made biodiesel’s entire value chain and renewable diesel interests. Our strong team of leaders from all sectors of the industry continue to move this American-made fuel forward," said NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen. “We look forward to continuing our efforts to secure strong markets for America’s Advanced Biofuel and the nearly 64,000 jobs we represent.”

NBB members voted to fill eight board member spots for two-year terms:

  • Kent Engelbrecht, ADM
  • Ron Heck, Iowa Soybean Association
  • Steve Nogel, Ag Environmental Products
  • Ryan Pederson, North Dakota Soybean Council
  • Harry Simpson, Crimson Renewable Energy LP
  • Paul Soanes, RBP Port Neches LLC
  • Robert Stobaugh, Arkansas Soybean Promotion Board
  • Chad Stone, REG Inc.

Greg Anderson, Jennifer Case, Mike Cunningham, Tim Keaveney, Bob Morton, and Mike Rath continue to serve on the board.  

The board also re-elected the current slate of officers with Kent Engelbrecht serving as chairman, Mike Cunningham as Vice Chairman, Greg Anderson as Treasurer and Chad Stone as Secretary.



NJ School District Achieves 20-Year Milestone with Biodiesel

Medford Township Public Schools in Medford, NJ celebrated the 20-year anniversary of its transition to cleaner-burning biodiesel in its school bus fleet this past month.  Medford is the nation’s longest continuous user of biodiesel in a student transportation fleet.

“Medford’s 20-year commitment to powering its school bus fleet with biodiesel is benefiting a new generation of students by reducing harmful emissions and contributing to cleaner air,” said National Biodiesel Board CEO Donnell Rehagen.  “Some of the children who rode the bus back in 1997 are now parents themselves whose children will enjoy the same air quality benefits in Medford today.”

On November 17, 1997, Medford filled its first school bus -- a 1998 International bus – with B20, a biodiesel blend that provides similar horsepower, torque, and mileage as regular diesel fuel.  When that bus retired in 2011, it had logged 190,000 miles without any major engine work and still had its original fuel injectors and pump.

The school district’s use of biodiesel has eliminated more than 123,376 pounds of smog-forming emissions, decreased diesel particulate matter by 2,408 pounds, and reduced its fleet operation costs by over $170,000.

“Utilizing biodiesel fuel in our school bus fleet is the cornerstone of our district’s overall commitment to sustainability,” said Medford Schools Superintendent Joseph Del Rossi.  “It motivated us to evaluate our existing practices over the years resulting in our district becoming more cost efficient and environmentally responsible.  We are proud to be a lead district for this initiative, especially serving as a positive role model for our school community and the Township of Medford.”



National Biodiesel Conference Packs Agenda

The 2018 National Biodiesel Conference and Expo is the premier destination for anyone interested in the biodiesel industry. This year the conference takes place January 22-25 in Fort Worth, TX and is packed with can’t miss sessions covering topics from every part of the industry.

The new Conference Central design allows for some of the best parts of the conference to be in the same location. Just a few of the main stage spotlight sessions are:

Biodiesel’s Bright Lights and Big Opportunities

To kick off the conference, hear from NBB leadership and take a deep dive into market dynamics with an industry petroleum panel. Hear firsthand the obstacles and opportunities facing the biodiesel industry from those whose members often oppose the industry.

Get your Motor Running - Vehicle Technology Showcase
Borrowing insights from the biggest and best car shows around the world, the Biodiesel Vehicle Showcase is looking for adventure and will be unlike any seen at this event before. Take an inside look at each of the display vehicles onsite and through video tours, and hear from OEM experts right from the factories and headquarters about their vision for the future of diesel vehicle technology and biodiesel. 

The Big Three in D.C.
It’s been said over and over…it’s all about federal affairs. The industry can thrive with appropriate tax, trade and RFS policy in place. This session will bring together the top federal policy experts in biodiesel for a lively discussion of the biggest issues we faced in the last year—and those that remain—in the new Trump Administration and republican Congress.

With so much to offer, there is no question that this is the biodiesel event of the year. Online registration is open, and much more information can be found on the conference website. Reserve a spot today by following the link and join us in January.




Biodiesel Stays Sustainable with Recycled Cooking Oil

This holiday season, people across the country will be cooking up big dinners which often leave behind a large amount of used cooking oil. Rather than letting that oil go to waste, filling landfills or clogging drains, biodiesel producers nationwide are recycling it to make clean burning biodiesel.

An average holiday turkey can generate about a cup of fat, and much more for those that deep fry their turkeys. This fat and used cooking oil is a common waste product without much benefit outside of being recycled. As a result, many people often pour it down their sinks which can clog pipes and lead to damaging sewer build ups. The City of Baltimore recently discovered a congealed “fat berg” of kitchen fat, oil and grease that caused huge sewage backup. Fortunately, biodiesel producers are able to take this low-value and potentially damaging product and turn it into fuel.

“Recycling always provides sustainability benefits, but using used cooking oil for biodiesel enhances those benefits to include cleaner air and less harmful emissions than traditional diesel fuel,” said Don Scott, National Biodiesel Board’s Director of Sustainability. “While the majority of biodiesel is made from vegetable oils, the diversity of America’s advanced biofuel allows an even greater impact on sustainability through waste products like used fats and oils.”

 Many recycling centers began collecting used cooking oil after Thanksgiving and will continue to do so through the end of the year. Places like Boulder, CO; Queen Creek, AZ; and Columbia, SC have all advertised their grease recycling efforts, but be sure to check with local recycling centers to find the closest available location.




Biodiesel Branding Program Elevates Biodiesel in Local Communities

Four biodiesel users will get a new look for their vehicles thanks to the National Biodiesel Board’s new Biodiesel Branding Program. DF Richard Energy, G&D Integrated, Pennsylvania Grain Products, and Sprague Operating Resources have all qualified for a grant matching program to brand their vehicles and help market biodiesel. Vehicles include trailers, fuel delivery trucks, and heavy haulers. The Biodiesel Branding Program allows these companies to promote biodiesel within their local communities.

Biodiesel producer HERO BX recently hosted an open house and appreciation event where DF Richard Energy (DFRE) unveiled their newly wrapped truck.

DFRE tankers hit the streets of the Northeast with daily deliveries to more than 14,000 customers across three counties and first began offering a low blend to their customer base a year ago. After an initial trial period, DFRE began making higher blends available and ultimately delivered a B20 blend to customers who chose the blended heating oil option. A full season later, DFRE is back at the terminal with increased demand for Hero BX Branded Bioheat®.

DFRE began using biodiesel in its own fleet after the benefits of the product became apparent.

“We’ve realized much less wear and tear on our trucks, especially with our injectors that were previously being replaced when we ran straight, ultra-low sulfur diesel,” said DFRE COO Ryan Jackson. “Now utilizing a B5 blend, DFRE has very few problems and utilizes its own use of biodiesel as a public relations tool for its customers. When we tell our customers that we use biodiesel in our own trucks, it gives them added confidence to use it in their homes.”

The newly-branded trucks feature the phrase America’s Advanced Biofuel and showcase the Hero BX Branded Bioheat® Program. For those interested in wrapping their own fleets, NBB will launch the 2018 Biodiesel Branding Program this spring.




For the latest issue of Biodiesel Magazine click here.



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