Helping Cut Carbon Comes Down to Consumers' Everyday Tasks
National Biodiesel Day was celebrated on March 18 in
honor of Rudolf Diesel's birthday. Diesel, born in 1858 developed the first
diesel engine for the World's Fair in 1900. His engine ran on peanut oil. He
chose to run it on biofuel because he envisioned a time when vegetable oils would
one day be as important as petroleum among transportation fuels.
Last year, 114 years after Diesel unveiled
his engine, nearly 1.8 billion gallons of biodiesel was used in the US transportation
industry. Diesel engines move approximately 90 percent of the nation's goods with
more clean burning biodiesel in the mix than ever before, replacing petroleum
diesel, and working with clean diesel technology to reduce carbon emissions even
further. As a result, consumers, just doing what they do – buying stuff, eating
stuff, using stuff – helped support biodiesel and reduce carbon.
"Biodiesel works behind the scenes
to deliver a better alternative. It is here now, working today across the country
to improve our environment, support our economy and protect energy security,"
said Steven J. Levy, Chairman of the National Biodiesel Board.
Consumers who want to continue to improve
the environment through supporting biodiesel can take an active role by joining
the Biodiesel Alliance. The Biodiesel Alliance is a
free organization that provides members easy access to news and information about
biodiesel and related topics.
Join the Alliance and make a difference, today.
|New Fuel Quality Standard Expected to Accelerate Biodiesel in Home Heating |
It will soon be easier for heating oil consumers to use
higher blends of cleaner burning biodiesel to heat their homes and buildings thanks
to a new performance specification announced last month.
ASTM International, an organization which sets industry
consensus standards for fuels, released the specifications for blends of 6-to-20
percent biodiesel with traditional heating oil. The landmark move is expected
to accelerate the use of Bioheat® fuel.
"The oilheat industry is reinventing itself as a 21st
century fuel by moving to higher blends of low carbon biodiesel and ultra-low
sulfur levels across the board," said John Huber, president of the National
Oilheat Research Alliance.
home heating oil industry is a nearly seven billion gallon a year market with
great potential for more biodiesel as the industry transitions to a cleaner, more
environmentally friendly product. The new standards provide assurance to customers
that the fuel will operate in their systems as expected.
"Having an official standard for higher biodiesel blends
in heating oil will help foster consumer confidence, and give blenders and distributors
a needed tool to incorporate more low carbon, ultra-low sulfur biodiesel into
heating oil," said Steve Howell of M4 Consulting, and chair of the ASTM Biodiesel
Task Force. "Brookhaven National Laboratory surveys of customers already using
biodiesel blends not only showed similar or better experience than with traditional
fuel oil, they also showed many already use B20 or higher blends with great success," Howell said.
Farmers Recognize Biodiesel Industry With Annual Award
The United Soybean Board recently
honored the National Biodiesel Board with the "Excellence in Oil" award for the organization's
many contributions to the soybean industry.
NBB began in 1992 as a research organization, built from
a collaboration of soybean farmer leaders with a mission of finding a new market
for the vast supplies of surplus soybean oil that had historically been a drag
on commodity prices. Starting with just seven founding members, NBB has grown
to an organization with more than 200 member companies producing more than a billion
gallons of biodiesel annually in commercial facilities across the country.
"The relationship between the biodiesel
and soybean industries has been mutually beneficial since the beginning," said
former NBB Chairman and USB farmer leader from South Dakota, Bob Metz. "The
research dollars invested in the biodiesel industry through our soybean checkoff
have paid dividends for soybean farmers. A brand new fuel is something that is
very difficult to bring to the market, but we were ultimately successful in our
efforts. The fact that we now have an Advanced Biofuel, made from surplus fats
and oils, filling five percent of our diesel fuel demand is truly astounding."
Metz, along with NBB CEO Joe Jobe,
accepted the award on behalf of the organization during Commodity Classic, an
annual agriculture industry event.
Tanker Crashes Offer Two Different Stories on Safety of Hauling Fuel
The images are a stark contrast. One tanker truck laying on its side shut down five
lanes of busy interstate for most of a day as crews cleaned up fuel from the roadway
and moved the large vehicle. The other, a flaming inferno that destroyed multiple
vehicles had emergency crews fighting to control a fire that closed a Michigan
interstate for more than a week.
two tanker accidents last month on back-to-back days in Maryland and Michigan
were serious reminders of the dangers of transporting fuel. However, they also
offered a lasting visual of how much safer biodiesel is to ship and handle than petroleum fuel.
"Biodiesel's high flashpoint means it is much less
combustible and safer to handle than petroleum," said National Biodiesel Board
technical director Scott Fenwick. "It's also less toxic than table salt and
biodegrades as fast as sugar so the environmental impact of a spill like this
is very minimal. Not to mention much safer for those emergency responder crews
who were on the scene."
Michigan Department of
Transportation said 13,000 gallons of diesel fuel and gasoline had been in the
Michigan tanker that exploded on I-94.
no serious injuries were reported with either accident.
Bioheat® Ad Campaign Engages Consumers While Giving Back
National Weather Service in Boston declared 2014-15 the all-time snowiest season
for the city, and Bioheat® fuel, a blend of oilheat and biodiesel, helped residents
ride it out there and throughout the Northeast. As winter comes to a close, so
does the Bioheat® consumer campaign, led by the National Biodiesel Board. This
balanced campaign included radio and television commercials broadcast on WCVB
Channel 5 in Boston, iHeart Media in Connecticut and Rhode Island, and CBS in New York City.
addition to the commercials, Bioheat® sponsored the WCVB and Salvation Army's
"Fill the Tank" campaign, helping more than 400 individuals and families to
date pay their heating oil bills. Donations topped $320,000. Another charitable
element of the campaign was the Bioheat® "Warm Homes, Warm Hands" hat and
mitten drive to support the Boys and Girls Clubs in Providence, Hartford, and Boston.
feel this year's campaign was a huge success, based both on the increase in
web traffic at Bioheatonline.com, and the support on the ground received by many
Bioheat® fuel dealers that took an active role in the grassroots element of the
2015 program," said Paul Nazzaro, NBB's Bioheat® project manager.
included in the future advertising plan is a partnership at Six Flags New England,
from April to November, with signage to promote the advantages of Bioheat®. The
cooking oil used at the park's food concessions is sold to Baker Commodities
to be processed into biodiesel.
All radio and television spots can be found on the front
page of Bioheatonline.com.
Fish Fries Fueling Local Cooperative During Lent
Every year between Ash Wednesday
and Easter Sunday Catholics make sacrifices, including meat on Fridays. During
those six weeks, it's common for churches to host fish fries on Friday nights.
This year those fish fries are doing more than feeding- they're fueling America.
This story from the Omaha World-Herald says that the Omaha Biofuels
Coop has collected hundreds of gallons of used cooking oil from local churches
during the Lenten season, turning it into biodiesel.
fish fries posed a real issue for the churches because there's no easy solution
for disposing of the large quantities of used oil in most communities. Having
the local biodiesel coop pick up the oil saved the churches time and money, but
more importantly supported a good cause.
Biodiesel can be made from any fat
or oil including soybean oil, recycled cooking oil, and animal fats. Biodiesel
blends can be used in any diesel engine without modification.
Fossil Fuel Industry Caught Taking a Page Out of the Tobacco Playbook
When dealing with health effects
of products it is extremely important that sound science is used in the public
policy debate. Recently, climate change denier Willie Soon was caught failing
to disclose conflicts of interest in his climate research, and subsequent testimony
to Congress. This raised alarms for many, including Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts.
"For years we've known that fossil fuel interests have sought to block action
on climate change and have denied the science," said Markey. "This investigation
will help to determine who is funding these denial-for-hire operations and whether
those who are funded by these fossil fuel interests are keeping their funders'
identities secret from the public and legislators."
This article from
The Guardian said, "Willie Soon's shoddy research
and fossil fuel funding are just a symptom of the underlying problem: the high
level of fossil fuel industry influence in the US government. Soon and his cohorts
are merely tools used by members of Congress to manufacture doubt, thereby justifying
inaction on climate change, and creating enough confusion that the public doesn't
consider the issue a high priority.
It's the exact same strategy that
the tobacco industry successfully implemented to their success, and to the detriment
of public health and well-being. Thanks to the efforts of Greenpeace and the Climate
Investigations Center to reveal Soon's fossil fuel funding and conflicts of
interest, perhaps this time the scandalous industry misinformation efforts will
be brought to an end before it's too late to avoid serious harm to public health."
Nebraska Farmer Reiterates Biodiesel Quality
Greg Greving, a Central Nebraska
farmer and board member of the Nebraska Soybean Board, told attendees of the Biodiesel
Vehicle Showcase Event, that biodiesel powers his operation.
"This fall, my
two boys, two hired men and myself, harvested 11,000 acres in 56 days [all running
on biodiesel], and the only time we shut down was when we were tired," he said.
"We have not had any trouble running biodiesel."
But Greving was
doing more than just bragging about his farming operation. He was invited to showcase
his 1980 Oldsmobile 98 Regency with a 5.7 GM diesel engine, a car in which he also uses biodiesel.
Whether it's his car or his farm equipment, Greving believes fuel quality is
of the utmost importance. A reassuring factor for biodiesel enthusiasts, as the
National Biodiesel Board announced its new BQ-9000 Retailer Program. A quality assurance program
designed to maintain biodiesel at the high industry specifications from production
all the way to consumers.
can hear to Greg's remarks from the Vehicle Showcase here.