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Biodiesel Bulletin


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




April 1, 2016  

Biodiesel Number One Alt Fuel Choice Among Fleets

National Biodiesel Day Celebrates America's Advanced Biofuel

Renewable Fuel Standard Boosts Biodiesel

Biodiesel Facilities Expanding Green Energy Jobs

New Illinois Partnership Created to Promote Biodiesel Benefits

Young Women Leading the Way in Biodiesel Research

Environmental Educators Wanted

Biodiesel number one alt fuel choice among fleets

North America’s top fleets have spoken, and their number one choice for greening their fleet operations is biodiesel.  The NTEA – The Association for the Work Truck Industry – recently released the results of the 2016 Fleet Purchasing Outlook Survey and biodiesel came out on top. 

According to the study, biodiesel is now the most commonly used alternative fuel option on the market, with 18 percent of fleets using it – up from 15 percent in 2015.  This growth does not seem to be stopping any time soon, with biodiesel also being the fuel that more fleets plan to acquire or continue using over any other alternative fuel option.

The NTEA conducts the Fleet Purchasing Outlook Survey each December in order to better understand the commercial vehicle landscape, including interest levels for advanced truck technologies and alternative fuels.

The 2016 survey results were gathered from a diverse pool of fleet professionals spanning the United States and Canada.  These fleets represent a broad range of fleet sizes, vehicle weight classes and vocational truck applications.  The data shows that regardless of what type of fleets are operating, from coast to coast they are relying on the power and performance of biodiesel, America’s Advanced Biofuel, to get the job done.

For more information and to read the full report, click here.

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National Biodiesel Day Celebrates America's Advanced Biofuel

Last month the biodiesel industry celebrated National Biodiesel Day on March 18th, the anniversary of Rudolf Diesel’s birthday. As his name suggests, Diesel is the inventor of the diesel engine. When he first developed his engine he ran it on a biofuel, peanut oil. And he even envisioned a time when vegetable oils would one day be as important as petroleum among transportation fuels. Today’s biodiesel industry is helping make that dream a reality.

“I can’t imagine what Rudolf Diesel would think if he saw how his vision has come to fruition in today’s commercial biodiesel industry, a more than 2 billion gallon US market,” said National Biodiesel Board chairman Ron Marr. “It is here, now, cutting carbon emissions, supporting domestic green energy jobs, and benefiting consumers from coast to coast.”

In celebration of National Biodiesel Day, stakeholders around the country celebrated biodiesel in many ways. Some published letters in local newspapers, some did interviews with their local TV stations, others posted blogs and social media – all in an effort to raise the profile of biodiesel among the general public. And of course the National Biodiesel Board shared lots of biodiesel information throughout the day, including “9 Facts About Biodiesel That Will Rev You Up!

Rudolf Diesel created the diesel engine with biofuels in mind. Biodiesel is getting us where we need to go, and we have him to thank for it.

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Renewable Fuel Standard Boosts Biodiesel

With the wave of presidential election coverage the Renewable Fuel Standard has been in the news more lately than usual. And there are many misconceptions that continue to be perpetuated, but the facts are on biodiesel’s side. The RFS is stimulating growth in many alternative fuels across the country including advanced biofuels like biodiesel.

When the RFS was expanded to include categories for advanced biofuels, the amount of biodiesel produced went from around 315 million gallons to just over 1 billion gallons in 2011. Due in large part to the RFS, that number has grown to a record 2.1 billion gallon market in 2015, with even more expected to come this year. The more biodiesel is used, the more the environment benefits achieved. Last year alone there was enough biodiesel used throughout the country to reduce emissions equivalent to taking 3.8 million cars off the road, planting 466 million trees, or preserving 14.9 million acres of mature forests.

Biodiesel protects the environment, and the RFS continues to help move us towards that goal. The bottom line is: biodiesel is getting us where we need to go, and the RFS is a critical tool that makes advanced biofuel’s benefits available to all Americans.

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Biodiesel Facilities Expanding Green Energy Jobs

Biodiesel producers are providing green jobs and local economic impacts around the country even in the face of tough margins due to policy instability and low oil prices. Two such companies, one in New Hampshire and one in California, recently announced expansions of facilities and staffs.

White Mountain Biodiesel, LLC announced recently that it has begun the expansion of its plant in North Haverhill, NH. The expansion, which will occur over the next two years, will include a 10,000 square foot addition to its existing facility and the installation of additional processing and storage tanks. Upon completion of the planned improvements, the plant will have increased its nameplate capacity from 3 million gallons per year to in excess of 16 million gallons per year. When completed the plant will be the largest in New England.

In California, sustainable biofuel and bioenergy company Biodico announced the expansion of its internship program in Fresno and Ventura Counties.

"This program represents our commitment to create green energy jobs in economically depressed areas, as well as provide opportunities for the next-generation of bioenergy professionals to gain experience," said Biodico President and Founder, Russ Teall. "Students who share our passion for the environment and finding economically viable solutions to power the future are encouraged to apply."

With biodiesel production in nearly every state in the country, the US biodiesel industry supports more than 62,000 US jobs.

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New Illinois Partnership Created to Promote Biodiesel Benefits

Biodiesel champions in Illinois recently created a new partnership to promote and advance biodiesel in the state for its environmental, economic, and sustainability benefits. The Illinois Soybean Association’s B20 Club announced on National Biodiesel Day, March18, a new sponsorship of the Chicago Area Clean Cities Coalition.

“By promoting biodiesel's benefits through CACC, we can play a greater role in reducing our state's carbon footprint and supporting local economies,” says Gary Berg, soybean farmer from St. Elmo, Ill., and ISA director.

Chicago Area Clean Cities (CACC) is a nonprofit coalition focused on promoting cleaner energy for transportation and automotive fleets in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs. CACC is one of more than 90 coalitions across the country that is affiliated with the U.S. Department of Energy's Clean Cities program, which brings together stakeholders to increase the use of alternative fuel and advanced-vehicle technologies, reduce idling, and improve fuel economy and air quality.

“We are grateful for the support of the B20 Club and Illinois Soybean Association. Together, we can create increased awareness about biodiesel's ease of use and environmental benefits,” says John Walton, vice chairman of Chicago Area Clean Cities. “Last year our coalition's 150 members had the same effect as removing 53,000 passenger cars from the road. This partnership is likely to increase this positive impact.”

The B20 Club is a soybean checkoff-funded program jointly sponsored by ISA and the American Lung Association in Illinois.

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Young Women Leading the Way in Biodiesel Research

As Women’s History Month draws to a close, what better time to feature some up-and-coming biodiesel researchers! A growing number of women are leading innovative biodiesel research, and several of them attended this year’s National Biodiesel Conference & Expo on scholarships through the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel program.

Jennifer Greenstein joined North Carolina State University to pursue her PhD in Plant and Microbial Biology.

“I became interested in biofuels because it’s a cause I can really get behind and support,” she said.

While a student, she began working for Piedmont Biofuels, a biodiesel producer. For her research, Greenstein is working on developing lipases, which are a catalyst to make biodiesel. She is looking at an improved production system for making the lipases and immobilizing them.

Listen to interview with Jennifer Greenstein

After Megan Hums graduated with her undergrad degree, she says she felt she still had more to learn. With her interest in sustainability and biofuels, she found a project at Drexel University that intrigued her, using waste greases for biodiesel production. Hums, a graduate student in Chemical Engineering, is looking at using low quality greases, or kitchen waste greases which have gone down the sink, to produce biodiesel through nonconventional biodiesel conversion. She then takes the whole process and applies lifecycle assessment to determine the footprint of the biodiesel production.

Listen to an interview with Megan Hums

You can check out the work of more students on the conference blog here.

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Environmental Educators Wanted

The Environmental Protection Agency recently announced that it is accepting applications for the Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators. This award is provided through a partnership of the EPA and the White House Council on Environmental Quality and will be presented to honor, support, and encourage educators who incorporate environmental education in their classrooms and teaching methods.

This prestigious award recognizes outstanding K-12 teachers who employ innovative approaches to environmental education and use the environment as a context for learning. The award itself is a big honor and many recipients are helping to create our leaders of tomorrow who are focused on sustainability and renewable energy.

One honoree from the biodiesel world who was recognized with this prestigious award was Darrin Peters of Rockwood Summit High School in Fenton, Mo. in 2014. His award recognized the innovative biodiesel curriculum in his organic chemistry class, and his efforts outside the classroom to organize an after-school biodiesel club to engage students through real-world, hands-on experience. 

Applications for this year’s award are due May 16, 2016. Details on how to apply can be found here, and be sure to read about previous winners here.

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For the latest issue of Biodiesel Magazine click here.

 

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Past issues are available upon request.