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




June 1, 2017  
Biodiesel Tax Credit Bill Enters Congress

Biodiesel is Making Waves with New Specification

Brewing a Hot Cup of...Biodiesel?

Biodiesel Keeps Communities Thriving

Biodiesel is Best for Student's Sustainability Plan

Biodiesel Adds Value at Every Turn

Nebraska Biofuel Merits Month of Celebration

 

 
Biodiesel Tax Credit Bill Enters Congress

New bi-partisan biodiesel tax credit bills were recently introduced in both the Senate and House of Representatives that would reinstate the biodiesel and small producers tax credits that expired at the end of 2016, but with a change to who is eligible for the credit.

The American Renewable Fuel and Job Creation Act of 2017 was introduced by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) in the Senate and companion legislation is sponsored by Kristi Noem (R-SD) and Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) in the House.

The National Biodiesel Board applauded this new legislation as it seeks to address energy and economic objectives with an emphasis on American jobs.

“We are thrilled to see momentum building in both chambers of Congress for this important tax reform. It is long overdue to close this loophole and better align the incentive with Congress’ intent—to invest American taxpayer dollars to spur job creation here at home,” said Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs at the National Biodiesel Board. “We look forward to working with Congress to move this proposal forward.”

According to a study conducted by LMC International, a 2.9 billion gallon biodiesel and renewable diesel market divided between domestic and foreign supply supports about 64,000 U.S. jobs and $11.42 billion in total impact. Economic benefits increase substantially with growing domestic production, rather than imports. For example, just 2.5 billion gallons domestic production would support at least 81,600 U.S. jobs and $14.7 billion in total economic benefit.

Under the current blender’s structure, foreign producers are able to access the credit if they blend fuel in the United States. The reformed credit would prevent this subsidization of foreign manufacturers and put domestic producers on a level playing field.

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 Biodiesel is Making Waves with New Specification

The International Organization for Standardization recently launched a new class of marine fuel specifications, knocking down yet another barrier to higher biodiesel use in the US and around the world.

The ISO’s new specifications provide standards for higher amounts of biodiesel to be blended into marine distillates. Thanks in part to NBB funding provided by the United Soybean Board and State Soybean Boards over the past four to five years, formal allowance of up to seven percent biodiesel has now been incorporated into three grades of marine fuel.

“Biodiesel is excellent for marine use due to its high flash point and biodegradability,” says Steve Howell, senior technical advisor to NBB. “It is a much safer fuel to use, and these new specifications will help spread that safety to more marine vessels.”

Most marine applications in the US purchase fuel for marine applications using standards that allow blends up to B5 (five percent biodiesel), or blends of B6-B20. However, terminals servicing international marine vessels sometimes have customers that purchase fuel using a standard that had not incorporated higher blends of biodiesel.

This important change will allow those terminals who choose to carry B5 or B7 blends for both on and off-road diesel customers to now supply that same fuel to marine customers, helping biodiesel make more of an impact on the water.

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Brewing a Hot Cup of...Biodiesel?

Many Americans can’t go a day without their morning cup of coffee, but getting their caffeine fix may soon lead to production of additional cleaner burning biodiesel. Recent research breakthroughs have made it easier to make biodiesel out of used coffee grounds.

"Our method vastly reduces the time and cost needed to extract the oils for biofuel making spent coffee grounds a much more commercially competitive source of fuel," said Dr Najdanovic-Visak, Lecturer in Lancaster University's Engineering Department. "A huge amount of spent coffee grounds, which are currently just being dumped in landfill, could now be used to bring significant environmental benefits over diesel from fossil fuel sources."

The diversity of biodiesel’s feedstocks is one aspect that make it a more sustainable fuel source. Biodiesel can be made from a variety of co-products from food production and waste sources such as soybean oil, used cooking oil, and animal fats, and used coffee grounds would only help add to the remarkable ways that biodiesel uses waste to create fuel.

Biodiesel’s diversity and value continue to help it grow into one of the best fuels in the market. More research breakthroughs like Lancaster’s coffee grounds will only help to make it more available to Americans from coast to coast.

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Biodiesel Keeps Communities Thriving

Hero BX Shift Foreman, Jim Wilwohl

Throughout the country, everyday citizens are working in great careers thanks to America’s Advanced Biofuel.

In the town of Erie, PA, Hero BX, one of the largest biodiesel producers in the North East, serves as a welcome provider of jobs to the community. CEO Pat Black runs Hero BX alongside a number of other manufacturing businesses in a refurbished paper mill. After the mill shut down, Black set up SB3 Industrial Park in order to continue to provide jobs and production to the city.

Born and raised in Erie, Jim Wilwohl knows the importance of Hero BX and the jobs that it provides. Wilwohl serves as a shift foreman, overseeing a four-man crew at the biodiesel plant. He says that the plant has some of the best manufacturing jobs in the area.

“I like that my job is part of a green industry,” Wilwohl said. “It’s nice to work in a modern facility, and we have what I consider great pay, benefits, and profit sharing.”

Hero BX not only helps provide jobs to the community, but also provides clean, renewable biodiesel to many along the East coast. The facility is the largest biodiesel production facility east of the Mississippi, and one of the top ten in the nation. They produce nearly 50 million gallons a year, and have achieved BQ-9000 accreditation to ensure that they are providing the highest quality biodiesel available.

Companies like Hero BX show that the biodiesel industry continues to provide employment across the country, helping cities and towns find work for all their residents.

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Biodiesel is Best for Student's Sustainability Plan

Award winners Kelsey Simon and Ali Moxley pose with a jar of biodiesel

Two students at Appalachian State University took second place in the international Food Solutions Challenge with their idea of turning used frying oil from corn chip production into biodiesel to fuel a chip company’s fleet.

The University students saw biodiesel as a great way to promote sustainability and minimize their carbon footprint. Through the students’ plan, companies would supply their fleets with their own recycled product turned into biodiesel, supplementing their fuel supply and finding a use for one of their main waste products.

Companies such as Kettle Chips and Organic Grown are already employing plans like this in their operations, proving that focusing on sustainability pays off for the company as well as the environment.

“When you grow whatever source of biodiesel you have, you are using carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to make the oil, then you are just releasing that carbon back into the cycle,” said Dr. Stephan Sommer, an Appalachian State University Fermentation Sciences professor. “It will then be recycled the next time any plant does photosynthesis, and captures carbon dioxide in the form of a liquid again.”

A video of the students’ award-winning plan, along with Dr. Sommer’s excellent description of the carbon cycle is available online.

In addition to traveling and competing for their school, the students earned a $1000 prize for Appalachian’s Net Impact Club. It is safe to say that the future of the environment is in good hands with students like these supporting biodiesel.

 

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 Biodiesel Adds Value at Every Turn

2017 Glycerin Innovation Award Winner Christophe Len

Biodiesel production is a simple chemical process that yields only one byproduct, glycerin. That byproduct has many uses already, but one French researcher was recently awarded for his work in the field.

“Within my research team, we are focusing on developing new catalysts, alternative technologies and processes to convert pure glycerol and crude glycerin to value-added products,” said Dr. Christophe Len, full Professor at the Université de Technologie Compiègne in France. “Varying the nature of the materials, the designs of the reactor, the possibilities to work under high temperatures and pressures are new avenues to explore in the future.”

Dr. Len is the recipient of this year’s 2017 Glycerin Innovation Award. Each year the Glycerin Innovation Award recognizes outstanding achievement for research into new applications for glycerin. This award honors the efforts of those who wish to make glycerin cleaner and even more useful in future application.

The Glycerin Innovation Award is sponsored each year by the American Cleaning Institute and the National Biodiesel Board. Biodiesel already adds value to homes, vehicles, and the environment, adding glycerin to that list helps make biodiesel the best fuel choice for America.

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Nebraska Biofuel Merits Month of Celebration

NE Governor Ricketts prepares to announce May as Renewable Fuels Month

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts designated May as Renewable Fuels Month in a proclamation ceremony held at the State Capitol last month. This designation comes after continued growth in the state’s already thriving biofuels industry.

“The biofuels industry has been a key part of growing Nebraska agriculture,” said Governor Ricketts. “Corn-based ethanol and soy biodiesel not only make our air cleaner, but also create jobs, encourage investment in rural communities, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and help consumers save their hard-earned dollars when filling up at the pump. Filling up with biofuels is not only a financially smart decision, but it is also an investment in Nebraska and our state’s number one industry.”

The industry’s success has a tremendous impact on the rural economy in the state. This value stretches to Nebraska farmers and ranchers who saved $58.5 million per year in reduced feed costs and additional revenue from the use of inedible tallow and white grease as a biodiesel feedstock. State soybean farmers also benefit as biodiesel adds roughly $0.63 per bushel and supports 64,000 jobs in the United States.

“There was a glut of soybean oil in the market, and they found a way to use that oil that was profitable for them and good for the environment,” says Drew Guiney of the Nebraska Soybean Board. “As more meal becomes available in the market place, it’s going to reduce the cost for livestock producers.”

Ultimately, the combined efforts in Nebraska support the domestic production of biofuels, which, in turn, reduces the nation’s dependence on imported oil. In 2016 alone, the U.S. ethanol and biodiesel industries eliminated the need to import 540 million barrels of crude oil and 2.9 billion gallons of petroleum diesel.

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For the latest issue of Biodiesel Magazine click here.

 

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