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




April 3, 2017  
National Biodiesel Day Gives Communities Something to Celebrate

RFS Volumes Back on Track After Procedural Delay

Industry Efforts on the Hill to Propel U.S. Jobs

Biodiesel Industry Continues Growth Despite Challenges

Biodiesel Provides Great Career for Former Student Scientist

Minnesota Celebrates 15 Years with Biodiesel

Local Biodiesel Makes Everything Greener

 

 
National Biodiesel Day Gives Communities Something to Celebrate

The biodiesel industry celebrated the annual National Biodiesel Day on March 18 in honor of Rudolf Diesel, the inventor of the engine that bears his name. Even during the late 1800s, Diesel was a firm believer in vegetable-based fuel and even designed his engine to run on peanut oil.

“The use of vegetable oils for engine fuels may seem insignificant today, but such oils may become over the course of time as important as petroleum and the coal tar products of the present time,” remarked Diesel.

Diesel may have had a peek into the future, as the industry today is experiencing record levels of biodiesel production that is rapidly improving the environmental impact of fuels and the nation’s economic outlook.

To honor Rudolf Diesel and his impact, National Biodiesel Day was created on his birthday. Soybean and biodiesel associations nationwide celebrated this year by showing what the biodiesel industry has become, and who has been affected by Diesel’s legacy.

“For National Biodiesel Day, we’re highlighting the people who make this industry great. American biodiesel has infused jobs and prosperity in communities throughout the nation,” said Donnell Rehagen, National Biodiesel Board CEO. “Rudolph Diesel would be proud.”

Click here to watch NBB’s National Biodiesel Day video!

 

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 RFS Volumes Back on Track After Procedural Delay

With a procedural delay to EPA regulations in the rearview mirror, the Renewable Fuel Standard remains on track to drive advanced biofuels like biodiesel into the marketplace in 2017 and beyond.

“The real winners are American consumers who are guaranteed to have access to even more cleaner burning, advanced biofuel,” said National Biodiesel Board VP of Federal Affairs, Anne Steckel. “These benefits extend far beyond the biodiesel industry, supporting high paying jobs and clean air across the nation. While these volumes were finalized late last year, getting past the temporary delay sends positive signals to the marketplace.”

Although EPA finalized the 2017 RFS and 2018 biomass-based diesel volume in December of 2016, the new Administration had temporarily delayed the effective date of certain actions taken by President Obama’s administration until March 21. This included the 2017 RFS, which originally had an effective date of February 10th.

The RFS – a bipartisan policy passed in 2005 and signed into law by President George W. Bush – requires increasing volumes of renewable fuels to be blended into the U.S. fuel stream. The law is divided into two broad categories: Conventional Biofuels, which must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 20 percent, and Advanced Biofuels, which must have a 50 percent reduction. Biodiesel is the first Advanced Biofuel to reach commercial-scale production nationwide and has made up the vast majority of Advanced Biofuel production under the RFS to date.

 

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Industry Efforts on the Hill to Propel U.S. Jobs

Industry leaders once again met with key influencers in Washington, DC to discuss important changes to the biodiesel tax incentive. Their goal is to reinstate this important policy and to move away from the current “blenders” structure of the credit that includes non-domestic biodiesel, and reform it as a “producers” credit. The reformed incentive would support biodiesel that is produced exclusively in the U.S., supporting 81,600 domestic jobs and adding $14.7 billion in total U.S. economic benefit.

“These aren’t just jobs; they’re great jobs. But American biodiesel will not reach its full potential under the current regulatory framework,” said Donnell Rehagen, National Biodiesel Board CEO. “Changes that ensure American tax dollars and American programs support American production are just common sense.”

Additionally, industry leaders are pushing for further growth in the Renewable Fuel Standard volumes. Currently, domestic biodiesel producers have 1.5 billion gallons of unused production capacity that stands open and ready to be used.

“It’s simple. Biodiesel can continue to grow American jobs and prosperity in communities throughout the nation,” said Rehagen. “Our members are making real investments and significant impacts across America, and they want to do more.”

NBB is running a grassroots campaign for all biodiesel supporters to let their voices be heard by letting the decision-makers in Washington know that changes to the tax credit, and increased volumes for the RFS are important. A letter can be sent direct to Congress in a few easy steps here.

 

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Biodiesel Industry Continues Growth Despite Challenges

Last year the United States used almost 2.9 billion gallons of biodiesel and renewable diesel leading to many companies expanding their operations. These companies are responding to the fact that despite uncertainty in Washington, Americans are using more biodiesel than ever.

The state of Iowa is known for its commitment to renewable fuels and favorable state policies designed to drive growth of cleaner fuels production. That commitment is once again paying off with three separate companies expanding their biodiesel production capacity. Western Iowa Energy is expanding from 30 million gallons per year to 45 mgy, Renewable Energy Group is expanding their Ralston facility from 12 mgy to 30 mgy, and Ag Processing Inc. is doubling the capacity of their plant from 30 mgy to 60 mgy.

"This expansion reflects our commitment to the biodiesel industry and soybean farmers as we continue to invest in this important value-added market," said AGP CEO Keith Spackler.

Expansions are not limited to just Iowa however, as companies such as Diamond Green Diesel in Louisiana and New Leaf Biofuel in California ramp up production as well.

“We started in 2006 with hopes of getting to 500,000 gallons a year,” said Jennifer Case, president of New Leaf Biofuel. “Expanding to 12 million gallons a year is a number that I would never have dreamt of.”

From coast to coast biodiesel continues to grow and expand. This growth is providing thousands of jobs, enormous economic impact, and is helping to fuel America’s future.

 

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 Biodiesel Provides Great Career for Former Student Scientist

Throughout the country, everyday citizens are working in great careers all thanks to America’s Advanced Biofuel. In fact, the biodiesel industry currently provides 64,000 jobs to the US alone.

Mike Morgan is a plant chemist who works in one of those biodiesel careers. Morgan heads special projects, testing method development, and validation in the laboratory at Louis Dreyfus Company, one of the largest fully integrated soybean processing and biodiesel plants in the US. The annual capacity for LDC’s biodiesel production is 110 million gallons per year.

Morgan first became passionate about biodiesel while in college at Utah State University, serving as co-chair of the National Biodiesel Board’s Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel program. He also used biodiesel that he made at USU to set record speeds on the Bonneville Salt Flats.

Experience from NGSB and passion for the industry have allowed Mike Morgan to be just one example of the many jobs that the biodiesel industry supports.

Managed by the National Biodiesel Board, the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel is a free student professional organization to help foster collaboration, networking, and career development for college students. The NGSB program is always looking for bright young minds interested in sustainability and biodiesel. For more information and to join please visit the website.

 

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 Minnesota Celebrates 15 Years with Biodiesel

“It’s really encouraging to see the governor and the state of Minnesota recognizing the value and benefits of biodiesel,” said Theresia Gillie, President of the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association. “Biodiesel has been a big winner for Minnesota farmers and renewable fuels, and we’re honored to receive this proclamation.”

There was a special day created last month in Minnesota to honor the 15th anniversary of the state’s biodiesel mandate. Governor Mark Dayton proclaimed March 15 Biodiesel Day in Minnesota. The Minnesota Soybean Growers Association and the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council hosted an open house at their offices to celebrate the milestone achievement.

“Minnesota has been at the forefront of the biodiesel movement, and we hope to continue to lead the way into the future,” said Jim Willers, a Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council director. “Biodiesel has been a real boon to our economy, and proven to improve the environment.”

A two percent blend of biodiesel was included in all Minnesota diesel fuel beginning in 2002, and the percentage has grown to 20 percent by summer of 2018. Biodiesel adds an estimated 63 cents per bushel of additional value to soybeans, and contributes more than $200 million to Minnesota’s economy annually. It also has reduced carbon dioxide emissions by more than 7.4 billion pounds in the state.

 

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 Local Biodiesel Makes Everything Greener

Biodiesel is making an impact from coast to coast as people continue to see the benefits of the clean, renewable fuel with some of the greatest impacts felt in local communities.

The New Hampshire Department of Transportation has begun using locally sourced biodiesel as heating oil for one of their facilities. The fuel comes from White Mountain Biodiesel, a local producer providing biodiesel that is renewable, cleaner burning, less polluting, and less expensive than No. 2 heating oil.

“This biodiesel burns warmer and heats better,” said state highway maintenance engineer Caleb Dobbins. “If we can go towards this with less reliance on conventional heating oil, then this is a fantastic way to do it.”

Other places are learning the value of local biodiesel as well. The town of Plainfield, Vermont is working with Vermont Clean Cities to gather used cooking oil from local restaurants and turn it into biodiesel. The University of Idaho is using biodiesel to power trucks and front-end loaders, which help to make more renewable fuels. These groups count on biodiesel to help get the job done.

With all of these local impacts, it is clear that America is becoming more green with cleaner burning, renewable biodiesel.

 

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For the latest issue of Biodiesel Magazine click here.

 

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