Biodiesel Bulletin

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

February 1, 2018  

National Conference Celebrates 25 Years of Biodiesel

US Government Report Strengthens Consensus on Biodiesel Benefits

Industry Honors Biodiesel Champions

Ford's New 2018 F-150 Joins Ranks of Diesel Vehicle Models Supporting B20 Biodiesel

Top Takeaways from NBB18

Six Tips to Plow Through Winter with Biodiesel

National Conference Celebrates 25 Years of Biodiesel

The National Biodiesel Conference & Expo was held last month, taking on special significance as the event host, the National Biodiesel Board, celebrated 25 years.

“For the visionaries who launched what would become the National Biodiesel Board in 1992, we want to say ‘thank you,’” said NBB CEO Donnell Rehagan. “We took this opportunity to reflect on those first 25 years, but we are also excited to launch into the next era of growth for America’s Advanced Biofuel.”

Following a University of Missouri study that demonstrated biodiesel had potential as a diesel fuel replacement, the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council created the National SoyDiesel Development Board in 1992. Sensing the opportunity to utilize the vast surplus of soybean oil collected each year, while also expanding energy security and environmental benefits, other state soybean associations quickly joined the effort. The new association changed its name to the National Biodiesel Board in 1994 to reflect the diversity of fats and oils that can be made into biodiesel.

“Biodiesel is an American success story,” said Rehagen. “We have overcome countless challenges, and we will undoubtedly face many more as we continue to grow the industry. But for everyone who has pulled together for the past 25 years to make our success a reality, this conference was a great time to celebrate."

In the early days, NBB spearheaded diesel engine research and emissions testing to demonstrate biodiesel’s environmental benefits, leading to official specifications for the fuel used in diesel cars and trucks today and earning the reputation as America’s first commercially produced advanced biofuel. The producers then were primarily a collection of small businesses serving their communities, distributing a few hundred million gallons of biodiesel by the turn of the century. Today, the advanced biofuel has blossomed into a nearly 3 billion gallon per year industry.

Visit the conference blog for more stories and photos from the conference.




US Government Report Strengthens Consensus on Biodiesel Benefits

Don Scott shares biodiesel’s clean benefits with conference attendees

A new study on biodiesel’s lifecycle energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission effects updates and reaffirms the long-understood benefits of using the renewable fuel. The study is the latest in the significant body of transparent, peer-reviewed studies that conclusively quantify biodiesel’s widespread benefits. The report, recently published by a collaboration between Argonne National Laboratory, Purdue University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), represents the most up-to-date and comprehensive lifecycle analysis of biodiesel ever produced. Results confirm that biodiesel compared to petroleum diesel reduces GHG emissions by 72 percent and fossil fuel use by 80 percent.

“This is the highest GHG reduction of any heavy-duty transportation fuel and reflects biodiesel’s natural ability to store solar energy in a liquid form compatible with today’s engines and power generation technologies,” said Jim Duffield, who coauthored numerous lifecycle reports for USDA’s Office of the Chief Economist prior to his recent retirement.

“It’s encouraging to see the commitment to data and quality analysis brought together in this study,” said Don Scott, sustainability director for the National Biodiesel Board. “It’s not news that biodiesel is good for the environment. Where credible results are needed for sound policies, it serves us well to look at transparent, reliable science.” 

The more the models reflect real world data, biodiesel’s benefits become even clearer. The improved model reduces ILUC emissions by more than 30 percent relative to the score adopted by the California Air Resources Board in 2015 as part of the state’s low carbon fuel standard. 

“Biodiesel’s emission-reduction benefits are so great that you can overapply penalties aligned with the most conservative models and biodiesel is still the cleanest alternative for today’s diesel engines and the heavy-duty transportation of tomorrow,” said Scott.




Industry Honors Biodiesel Champions

“The biodiesel industry has been built from visionary leaders all throughout our history,” said Donnell Rehagen, NBB CEO. “Reflecting on our relatively brief time as an industry reveals some truly remarkable achievements that serve as building blocks for where we are and where we intend to go. I’m proud to recognize this group of award winners as integral pieces of the biodiesel story.”As the U.S. biodiesel industry celebrates 25 years, the National Biodiesel Board’s annual awards recognize a diverse group of individuals and organizations who have made significant contributions to biodiesel. From long-time champions to present-day breakthroughs, the commercial biodiesel industry wouldn’t be where it is today without these individuals.

NBB recognized the 2018 “Eye on Biodiesel” award winners last week at the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo. The honorees are:

Stephen Censky – Pioneer Award. Deputy Secretary, United States Department of Agriculture

As the long-time CEO of the American Soybean Association, Censky was instrumental in the growth and advancement of biodiesel over the years. The organization, under Censky’s guidance as CEO from 1996 to 2017, played a critical role in passing the biodiesel tax incentive in 2005, and the inclusion of biodiesel in the revised Renewable Fuel Standard through their national network of farmer leaders and extensive grassroots advocacy power. As USDA Deputy Secretary, Censky continues to provide critical leadership on agricultural policies as he has done throughout his career.

City of Seattle – Climate Leader Award

The City of Seattle is one of the leading biodiesel fleet users in America. In 2014, the city enacted the Green Action Fleet Plan with a goal of reducing their carbon emissions by more than 40 percent by 2020. This began their use of B20 biodiesel blends. Seattle now uses nearly 200,000 gallons of biodiesel per year, significantly lowering their carbon emissions. Along with being an avid user of the fuel, the city also works proactively to educate other fleets who are interested in transitioning to biodiesel by attending and hosting workshops, speaking at national fleet and transportation events, and even partnering with NBB as a featured fleet in the 2015 national biodiesel advertising campaign.

Samuel P. “Pat” Black, III – Initiative Award. Founder & CEO, HERO BX.

Samuel P. “Pat” Black, III, founded Lake Erie Biofuels dba HERO BX in 2005. HERO BX is the largest biodiesel plant in the Northeastern United States, and they operate a production facility in Moundville, Alabama, and a blending and distribution terminal in North Hampton, New Hampshire. November of 2017 marked the ten-year anniversary of the first production batch at the Erie plant and was celebrated across the HERO BX family. This year, Black combined his philanthropic mindset with his passion for biodiesel and commissioned a book, “The Biodiesel Solution,” to help bring the biodiesel story to a mainstream audience and to capture the early history and numerous achievements of the industry as a collective.

Mike Youngerberg – Impact Award. Director of Product Development & Commercialization, Minnesota Soybean

Since 1986, Mike Youngerberg has worked to advance soybean industry priorities as a member of the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council and the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association staff. In 2002, Minnesota passed landmark legislation requiring that diesel fuel sold in the state contain at least two percent biodiesel. The law was implemented on September 29, 2005, becoming the first state to require biodiesel blends. The program increased to B5 in May 2009, to B10 for the summer months in July 2014, and is scheduled to move to B20 on May 1, 2018. This tremendous growth faced challenges every step of the way and wouldn’t have been possible without strong leadership like Youngerberg’s.

Earl Christensen – Innovation Award. Senior Chemist, National Renewable Energy Lab

Christensen has been instrumental in conducting work related to biodiesel stability that has bolstered confidence in B20 by both Original Equipment Manufacturers and end-users alike. In his role at NREL, he has led critical efforts to analyze the positive benefits of stability enhancing additives in pure biodiesel, as well as the positive impacts of re-additizing B100 whose oxidative reserve has gone down over time. His recent work showed all samples of current market B20 biodiesel blends meeting today’s ASTM specifications had a minimum simulated shelf life of at least one year, with many samples having simulated shelf life of over three years. With re-additization, values were extended to over four years.



Ford's New 2018 F-150 Joins Ranks of Diesel Vehicle Models Supporting B20 Biodiesel

Several automakers’ new 2018 diesel models were recently featured at the Fort Worth Convention Center as the U.S. biodiesel industry celebrated its 25th Anniversary at the 2018 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo last month. And full-size diesel truck fans also had reason to celebrate this year as Ford – America’s truck sales leader – delivered the first-ever Ford F-150 diesel with full B20 support.

The Ford F-150 joins the F-250/350/450 Super Duty® and F-650/750 medium duty trucks as well as the Transit van to round out Ford’s strong line-up of diesel models supporting the use of B20 biodiesel blends.  Attendees at the National Biodiesel Conference even had the opportunity to test drive the 2018 Ford F-250 Super Duty during the Biodiesel Ride-and-Drive Event.  Learn more about the F-150 diesel and its use of biodiesel by joining virtual test drive filmed during the event.

“For 25 years, the National Biodiesel Board and the U.S. biodiesel industry have worked closely with our partners in the auto and engine manufacturing community to ensure that biodiesel - America’s Advanced Biofuel - continues to keep pace with the nation’s increasing demands for cleaner, more efficient, and sustainable modes of transportation,” said Scott Fenwick, Technical Director for the National Biodiesel Board and Chairman of the ASTM Committee on Petroleum Products, Liquid Fuels, and Lubricants. “As we continue to demonstrate that the biodiesel industry is producing a consistently high-quality product that meets specifications, support from the original equipment manufacturers grows.”

General Motors also brought a strong lineup of 20 different diesel vehicle options to market in the 2018 model year, spanning the car, truck, van and compact SUV categories.  General Motors supports B20 in all 20 of its diesel models.  One of GM’s flagship models, the 2018 Chevrolet Silverado HD pickup, as well as the new 2018 Chevy Equinox SUV were featured at the conference.

Other manufacturers showcased vehicles including long-time biodiesel supporter John Deere, equipment giant Caterpillar Inc., and innovative newcomer Optimus Technologies.

Today over 80 percent of the diesel vehicles coming off production lines fully support the use of B20, and OEMs are looking into higher biodiesel blends as well.



Top Takeaways from NBB18

Biodiesel supporters kicked off a yearlong celebration of the National Biodiesel Board’s 25th anniversary at the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo in Fort Worth, Texas. In the spirit of the significant milestone, here are a few of the Top 25 Takeaways from the event, which drew hundreds of registrants from across the country and around the world. Some of those takeaways include: 

Celebrating the Drive

  • The conference theme this year was driven, with plenty of related activities.
  • A hot-off-the-line diesel Ford F-150 pickup truck stole the show, with attendees among the first anywhere to see one in person. The new B20-ready pickup truck will be available this spring.

Celebrating Collaboration

  • NBB invited petroleum representatives to engage on common issues like the Renewable Fuel Standard. American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers CEO Chet Thompson, SIGMA CEO Ryan McNutt, and Rob Underwood with the Petroleum Marketers of America Association joined NBB CEO Donnell Rehagen on the mainstage. Underwood told attendees: “Petroleum is in our name but we are not married to it....with biodiesel, there’s room for growth.”
  • A federal policy panel lauded the teamwork of NBB members in defeating an EPA effort to backtrack on the RFS last year.
  • Conference organizers credited collaboration with generous sponsors like Targray, Renewable Energy Group, HERO BX, ADM and many others for making the event possible!

Celebrating the Spotlight  

  • The makers of the Discovery Channel biodiesel documentary “Hot Grease” showed clips and participated in a panel discussion on the film, a year in the making.
  • A new book, “The Biodiesel Solution,” by HERO BX CEO Pat Black, went into every attendee bag. 

Celebrating Science and Sustainability

Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel network with biodiesel industry experts
  • Student scientists showcased their work on biodiesel as part of NBB’s Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel program, with a poster session in Conference Central, and a student-led breakout session.
  • A session on biodiesel as a driving force in the economy showed how in 2017, the U.S. biodiesel industry used more than six billion pounds of soybean oil and another six billion pounds of other fats and oils, creating important demand for agricultural products and byproducts.

Celebrating the Future

  • The closing session, “A Quarter Century and Counting!” brought together renewable fuels leadership from organizations including NBB, biodiesel producers ADM and REG, the Advanced Biofuels Association, Growth Energy, and Fuels America, predicting continued growth into the future.
  • NBB Chair Kent Englebrecht told attendees: “We went from zero to 3 billion gallons in 25 years; there is no telling what’s next. We are at a tipping point, on the verge of greatness. Anything is possible.”

Check out the full list of Top 25 takeaways here.




Six Tips to Plow Through Winter with Biodiesel




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