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Biodiesel Bulletin


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




January 2, 2018  
Last Call, Biodiesel Conference is Upon Us

Biodiesel Tax Extension Focuses on 2018

NBB Technical Director Elected ASTM Committee Chair

NBB Welcomes New Federal Affairs Staff Lead

Biodiesel Now Included in Top Tier Diesel Fuel

Program Brings Next-Gen Scientists to Biodiesel Conference

Alabama Students See Biodiesel Benefits Firsthand

 

 
Last Call, Biodiesel Conference is Upon Us

The time to act is now!  The 2018 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo is just a few weeks away, kicking off January 22, 2018. This is the biggest biodiesel event of the year, and you won’t want to miss it.

This year the conference is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the U.S. biodiesel industry. Tickets are on sale now for the Anniversary Gala that will mark this amazing industry milestone. Gala attendees will enjoy dinner, drinks, and entertainment as they reflect on the last 25 years, and look ahead to what is coming next for biodiesel.

This year’s conference takes place in Fort Worth, Texas. Attendees can register for a reduced price through this Friday, January 5. Additionally, hotel reservation deadlines are today, January 2 for the Omni Fort Worth Hotel, and January 8 for the Sheraton Fort Worth Downtown Hotel. You must act fast though, as many of the rooms have already been filled.

The 2018 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo is sure to be one of the highlights of the year for the industry, and you will want to be there to witness it firsthand. We hope to see you there, but in case you can’t make it, be sure to follow all the exciting news through the Conference Blog and social media using the hashtag #NBB18.

 

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Biodiesel Tax Extension Focuses on 2018

Congress stayed busy closing out 2017 by passing comprehensive tax reform and a short-term bill to fund the government. No tax extenders were included in either package, but the Senate introduced a bill of tax extenders, which included the biodiesel credit. This means that advocacy efforts will continue into the new year to reinstate the biodiesel tax credit. 

“The biodiesel tax credit has been one of our top federal policy priorities at the National Biodiesel Board,” said Doug Whitehead, NBB’s Chief Operating Officer. “We have spent months directly lobbying Congressional offices, sending letters to Congress, taking meetings and building coalitions in an effort to get this tax credit reinstated. Most recently, NBB joined a broad coalition of energy groups who were seeking extension of various tax credits that expired at the end of the year. This coalition of more than 50 members sent a letter to Congressional leadership that encouraged passage of the orphaned tax credits before the end of the year.”

Late last month, NBB partnered with other trade associations in the biodiesel value chain to call for swift reinstatement of the biodiesel tax credit specifically. In addition to NBB, other signees included the Advanced Biofuels Association, the National Association of Truckstop Operators, the American Trucking Association, the National Association of Convenience Stores, the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America and the Petroleum Marketers Association of America.

Although there was no credit reinstated before the year-end, the other 2016 tax extenders are all joining together to push for a tax extension package in January 2018. Many had warned that it would be unlikely to see a package of tax extenders passed just hours after comprehensive tax reform. Nevertheless, NBB continued to push hard and will keep the fight going as 2018 begins.

 

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NBB Technical Director Elected ASTM Committee Chair

ASTM International officially announced Scott Fenwick, technical director for the National Biodiesel Board, as the next chairman of ASTM Committee D02. ASTM is an international standards organization that develops and publishes standards for a wide range of materials, products, systems and services.

“I am honored to serve as chair of this important ASTM committee that is dedicated to ensuring high quality standards for petroleum products, fuels, and lubricants, including biodiesel,” said Fenwick.  “I would like to thank Randy Jennings, with the State of Tennessee, for his leadership, commitment, and guidance as the outgoing chair.”

Fenwick was elected in October, and officially announced as chair at the DO2 committee meetings in Houston, Texas last month.  His term officially began on January 1, 2018.  ASTM Committee D02 on Petroleum Products and Lubricants was initially formed in 1904. The committee, with a current membership of approximately 2,650 global industry professionals and experts, has jurisdiction over nearly 850 standards. These standards have, and continue to play, a preeminent role in all aspects relating to the standardization quality of fuels and lubricants. More information on the work of committee D02 can be found in this video.

“I have no doubt that Scott will provide outstanding leadership as chair of ASTM Committee DO2,” said NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen. “Scott’s unique understanding of the fuels industry and wealth of experience in all aspects of the business will serve ASTM very well. This is another great example of our incredible NBB staff being recognized as true leaders in the renewable fuels industry.”

 

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NBB Welcomes New Federal Affairs Staff Lead

The National Biodiesel Board recently announced that Kurt Kovarik, a senior adviser and legislative director of U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), has accepted the position of Vice President of Federal Affairs. Kovarik will officially join NBB next week on January 8. 

“Kurt’s decades of experience in the United States Senate will serve us well as we navigate the federal policy issues that most affect our industry. His long history of working on energy and tax legislation, his familiarity with the key players in Washington and his knowledge base on biofuels are all reasons why we are so happy to have him on our team,” said Donnell Rehagen, chief executive officer at NBB. “Growing up on a farm in Iowa, Kurt understands the strong connections between the biofuels, agriculture and livestock sectors, as well as the importance of continuing to establish America’s energy independence.” 

Kovarik first joined Senator Grassley’s office as a press intern in August 1997. He began serving as a legislative assistant in 2001, and moved to the position of legislative director in January 2017. As director, Kovarik led the senator’s policy staff, coordinating and monitoring legislative efforts and developments. In addition to his work on budget, labor and foreign affairs, Kovarik negotiated and led Senator Grassley's efforts on the inclusion of biodiesel in the Renewable Fuel Standard, developed strategies to expand and extend the biodiesel tax incentive, and advocated increased use of biofuels through oversight activities.

 

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Biodiesel Now Included in Top Tier Diesel Fuel

Growmark, Inc., a regional agricultural cooperative from Illinois, is providing Top Tier Diesel Fuel blended with biodiesel. Top Tier performance standards are gaining popularity across the country, helping vehicle owners ensure they are purchasing a clean, high quality fuel. As one of the only Top Tier Diesel Fuel providers in the country, Growmark is using cleaner burning biodiesel to increase the fuel quality even more.

“By blending biodiesel into Top Tier Diesel Fuel, Growmark is providing customers with even more benefits,” said Scott Fenwick, Technical Director for the National Biodiesel Board. “Biodiesel is cleaner burning than petroleum diesel, has higher cetane, provides better lubricity, and is safer to handle and store. Blending biodiesel with any high-quality diesel fuel will help create a cleaner, safer, and more efficient fuel overall.”

Top Tier Diesel Fuel was developed to provide better performance, in turn helping the diesel fuel retailers, auto and engine manufacturers, and those who drive or use diesel-powered equipment.

“From storage tank to fuel system and ultimately exhaust, our Dieselex Gold keeps systems clean, free of moisture, and operating at peak efficiency,” said Curt Dunafin, manager of energy services for Growmark.

Growmark, Inc. is one of the few licensed brands providing Top Tier Diesel Fuel. As a member of the NBB, Growmark has been an active participant in alternate fuel research, marketing and distribution for many years.

 

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Program Brings Next-Gen Scientists to Biodiesel Conference

In January, some fresh faces will join other biodiesel supporters attending the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo in Fort Worth, Texas. About 20 student members of the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel will travel to the event, with 13 receiving scholarships to attend.

These students travel from schools around the world, including Rowan University, University of Idaho, NMAM Institute of Technology-Nitte, University of Toledo, Yale University, Wichita State University, University of Nevada-Reno, Newcastle University, Missouri University of Science and Technology, and North Carolina State University. Some of the attending students will present a poster on their current research in the Conference Central space and others will present during a student-led breakout session Wednesday morning.

The Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel program is intended to foster professional relationships between budding and established scientists, share accurate information and increase collaboration with academia and the biodiesel industry. The National Biodiesel Board, U.S. Department of Agriculture Biodiesel Education Program, United Soybean Board, and the National Biodiesel Foundation sponsor the student scholarships to the conference. You can see photos and hear interviews with last year’s students on the conference blog here.

The NGSB program is always looking for bright young minds interested in sustainability and biodiesel.  For more information and to join please visit the program website.

 

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Alabama Students See Biodiesel Benefits Firsthand

Students at Alabama’s Muscle Shoals Career Academy had the opportunity to see the difference that biodiesel makes firsthand. An engineering class was able to test their latest biofuel project on a John Deere Tractor, thanks to a biodiesel system grant provided through Colbert County 4H.

The students replaced the conventional diesel fuel in the John Deere tractor with clean-burning biodiesel they'd produced with canola oil. Senior Braiden Dover, who hopes to become a mechanical engineer, said the process was tedious but gratifying.

"It was just one long experiment, but I had faith that the tractor would crank, so when it did we were pretty happy," Dover said. "It's really amazing to think there's an alternative fuel and it's clean and it works."

The students were able to tell a difference between the fuels immediately. When the tractor ran on diesel fuel, there was knocking, noise, and some shaking of the tractor. After the biodiesel was added, the tractor ran smoothly without much noise. When he asked why the students thought it was quieter, several answered at once saying, "Because it's cleaner."

Creating a biodegradable, nontoxic, and aromatics-free fuel was the perfect way for the students to experience how clean and safe biodiesel is for machines and humans alike. The class agreed that a tractor's smooth operation with the fuel "is a sign that clean is better."

 

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For the latest issue of Biodiesel Magazine click here.

 

  

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