Biodiesel & Bioheat Forum Great Success

Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council (MSRPC) hosted the Biodiesel/Bioheat Forum recently and it was a huge success said Keith Schrader, Chairman of MSPRC. He told DomesticFuel that what promoted the Council to put the event together was having gone to New York City for the past few years to participate in the Bioheat Tour.

biodiesel-bioheat-15-schrader“So I went out this Winter and saw what they were doing in the heating oil market out there and the diesel market,” said Schrader. “We thought we’d really like to have these guys come and spread the good news they have about their industry here in the Midwest. So we invited them to come and look around our industry and then do the Forum.”

The event featured a wide, diverse group with retailers, associations, research organizations, fuel marketers and more and who really want to spread the word on how successful the Northeast has been with biodiesel (new York City uses B20 to offset the emission problems due to heating oil) and Bioheat.

The goal of the Forum, that was achieved, was bigger awareness with retailers and fuel marketers in the Midwest to understand how successful these programs are in other parts of the country. And the people who visited the Midwest enjoyed the opportunity to meet the growers who are growing and producing the biodiesel they use every day.

Learn more about the Biodiesel and Bioheat Forum by listening to Chuck Zimmerman’s interview with Keith Schrader: Keith Schrader, MN Soybean Research & Promotion Council

Biodiesel/Bioheat Forum Photo Album

RINS, Tax Credit Good Drivers of Biodiesel

John Wenzel, with FC Stone, is a large energy dealer and works primarily with large fuel dealers and end users. He spoke during the Biodiesel/Bioheat Forum in Mankato, Minnesota last week. He recently moved to Kansas City from Minnesota and said it was good to be be back.

biodiesel-bioheat-15-wenzelWhen asked what he was hoping to convey to attendees he answered, “I wanted to show how the current oil market is oversupplied but at some point we think it will balance out. I also took a good look at some of the cost drivers around biodiesel and there still is a good opportunity for fuel dealers, I think, to blend biodiesel and for it to be really profitable. It goes back to where are some of the RIN values and also with the tax credit coming up, that’s a big driver and will help fuel dealers blend more biodiesel.”

Wenzel said that it was good to be at an event where he could see biodiesel used in different ways such as with Bioheat. He also noted that Minnesota has a B10 mandate while New York is marketing biodiesel through Bioheat and he thought these are good examples for other states. Ultimately though, he said the biodiesel industry will need to work closely with the oil heating industry to ensure that Bioheat is affordable for consumers who are considering a move to natural gas to meet statewide emission goals.

Learn more about by listening to Chuck Zimmerman’s interview with John Wenzel: John Wenzel, FC Stone

Biodiesel/Bioheat Forum Photo Album

Eric Degesero: Bioheat Wins Environmental Contest

Eric Degesero runs the Fuel Merchants Association of New Jersey who represents retail heating oil and Bioheat distributors as well as motor fuel distributors throughout the state. Degesero said during the Biodiesel/Bioheat Forum in Mankato, Minnesota last week that the state, and thus his members, are seeing interest in Bioheat but an accelerated interest in the heating oil blend due to regulations and the cleanliness of fuels.

biodiesel-bioheat-15-degesero“What’s happened to us over time is that the goal line has been moved. We’ve worked out addressing our fuel being ‘dirty’ from a traditional environmental perspective,” said Degesero. “We worked very hard to remove sulfur from the fuel which we did, and we hadn’t even got that across the goal line and they kicked in a new game around greenhouse gas and global warming potential. That is where biodiesel blended into heating oil, thus the term bioheat, is a game changer because it allows us to be better than our competitor, which is natural gas in the Northeast that is relative to emissions across the board.”

He stressed that using a B5 Bioheat blend poses no problems for current equipment but trials with blends of up to B20 have also posed no issues. Degesero explained that a study they did in conjunction with Penn State found that using a B20 Bioheat blend actually increases system performance in existing heating systems in the field.

Learn more about how New Jersey is adopting and using Bioheat to meet environmental goals by listening to Chuck Zimmerman’s interview with Eric Degesero: Eric Degesero, Fuel Merchants Association of New Jersey

Biodiesel/Bioheat Forum Photo Album

Everyone Wins with Bioheat

Paul Nazzaro said that Bioheat has been a win, win situation for marketers, the biodiesel industry and the petroleum people as well during the Biodiesel/Bioheat Forum that recently took place in Mankao, Minnesota. Nazzaro is the President of Nazzaro Group, who is a liaison between the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) and companies who want to, or do sell Bioheat. Specific to Bioheat, he said the product has allowed the biodiesel industry to reinvent itself and produce a product that is more accepted by consumers.

biodiesel-bioheat-15-nazzaro“In the past, heating oil was dirty, prehistoric and linked to to big oil,” said Nazzaro. “They’re finding out Bioheat is the next generation fuel for them and they are valuing the benefits that come with it.”

He said that education has been very important for the increased adoption of Bioheat and that NBB has been leading the way. But he noted that the education is not coming from newspapers and radio ads and stories, its coming from “gorilla marketing”. “It’s a fuel dealer talking to a consumer about the Bioheat and its benefits.”

You can listen Chuck Zimmerman’s interview with Paul Nazzaro: Paul Nazzaro, Nazzaro Group

Biodiesel/Bioheat Forum Photo Album

New Biodiesel Techs, Feedstocks Help Expand Bioheat

Doug Root works in the world of biofuels in his role with the Ag Utilization Research Institute (AURI) where he looks for new opportunities for Minnesota commodities and co-products. One example: biodiesel. Root spoke during the Biodiesel/Bioheat Forum in Mankato, Minnesota where East met Midwest, or the home of Bioheat met the home of soybean production.

biodiesel-bioheat-15-rootThere are new technologies, explained Root, including new technologies to make biodiesel, new opportunities to utilize the biofuel, and new markets to expand to. There are also opportunities for reduced cost, quality and alternative feedstocks for manufacture of biodiesel or sale into the bioheat market and into the transportation fuels market.

Root said its been exciting to see the biodiesel industry mature and see the improvements in biodiesel quality, year after year to the point where there are virtually no longer low-temperature issues with the biofuel.

You can listen Chuck Zimmerman’s interview with Doug Root here: Doug Root, Ag Utilization Research Institute

Biodiesel/Bioheat Forum Photo Album

Hart Home Comfort Adds Bioheat to Usurp Competition

biodiesel-bioheat-15-hartRay Hart with Oakdale, New York-based Hart Home Comfort, is a Bioheat dealer who distributes the biodiesel heating oil blend across New York and Long Island. He spoke during the Biodiesel/Bioheat Forum that took place in Mankato, Minnesota and hosted by Minnesota Soybean. His company was an early adopter of Bioheat and thought it would be a great renewable fuel to set themselves apart from their competition. And it worked.

His company started with one truck and only a few customers and today his company has a fleet, hundreds of customers and their own terminal where they blend the biodiesel into the heating oil. Hart said that along the way there were a few obstacles. At the time they began selling Bioheat no one had heard of the product before. Education is an ongoing challenge, said Hart, who has been selling Bioheat for nine years but noted that more and more customers are asking for the fuel.

Hart said that they try to do everything possible to source the biodiesel as local as possible. He added that the event was a great opportunity to meet some of the people, including the farmers, who are growing the soybeans to make the biodiesel that has helped his business become successful.

You can listen Chuck Zimmerman’s interview with Ray Hart here: Ray Hart, Hart Home Home Comfort

Biodiesel/Bioheat Forum Photo Album

Reign in the EPA Say Republican Candidates

The last batch of Republican presidential candidates took the Soapbox stage during the last weekend of the Iowa State Fair.

Chris ChristieNew Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) took a different approach and only answered questions. His overall statement was that the government needs to enforce the laws currently in place – not just the laws we like- but all laws. Speaking of a law he doesn’t like: the Clean Power Plan. His state has submitted a request to end the program and believes that each state should set their own legislation and develop their own plans. For example, he noted that Iowa is a land of wind, but in the most dense state in the country, solar works better. New Jersey uses solar, natural gas and nuclear and has already met their 2020 clean power goals.

When asked about the Renewable Fuel Standard (#RFS), he said he supports the RFS. The problem is that the Obama Administration along with the EPA is not enforcing the law. He stressed that he is a huge supporter of more energy options and the RFS provides just this and he called out to other candidates to make up their mind on their RFS position.

Listen to why New Jersey Governor Chris Christie wants to be president: Chris Christie at the Iowa State Fair

U.S. Senator from Texas Ted Cruz (R) took much of his time to crack jokes about the Democrats andTed Cruz the rest of his time to talk about all the U.S. government executive orders he would rescind along with government organizations he would dismantle including the IRS, Department of Education and all the other ABCs. And Cruz promised he will reign in the regulatory agencies that “descend like locusts on farms and ranches and small businesses.” As for energy, not sure if reigning in the EPA includes revisions (or trying to overturn) the Renewable Fuel Standard, Clean Power Plan or WOTUS.

Listen to why Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz wants to be president: Ted Cruz at the Iowa State Fair

Bobby JindalLouisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) went back to the “by the bootstraps” message. He said this election is all about the American dream, like most other candidates, and how to bring it back. He wants to evolutionize the economy, stop illegal immigration, buff up our military power and curb the power of regulatory agencies such as the EPA who is regulating the “water in our backyards”. He concluded, “I ask you to believe again. Let’s rescue the idea of America before it slips away.”

Listen to why Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal wants to be president: Bobby Jindal at the Iowa State Fair

Mark EversonThe very last presidential candidate to take the stage was Mark Everson (R) who is the former IRS Commissioner. Who better to call for tax reform than the person who knows it best. He said that this campaign, this country, needs a new type of politician (one could argue Donald Trump and Ben Carson are proving this to be true). In that he meant one who isn’t a life-long politician but rather one who knows how to run a business. He stressed that tax reform would get the economy going.

Listen to why Mark Everson, former IRS Commissioner wants to be president: Mark Everson at the Iowa State Fair

And thus concludes our #Energy and #Ag coverage of the Des Moines Register’s Presidential Soapbox series at the Iowa State Fair. The election is long so the candidates (especially the Democratic candidates) who chose not to address these concerns head on will have some time to get their messages straight before the caucus tentatively scheduled for Monday, February 1, 2016.

#Biodiesel Update at Biodiesel & Bioheat Forum

During the Bioheat and Biodiesel Forum in Mankato, Minnesota, attendees learned about the benefits and opportunities of Bioheat, and also heard an update on the biodiesel industry. Bioheat is heating oil that is blended with biodiesel to reduce its carbon emissions. Bioheat has been on the rise with state legislation that has passed in many northeastern states in an attempt to reduce emissions from all forms of energy. The result of great Bioheat demand? Greater biodiesel demand.

biodiesel-bioheat-15-session-2The second portion of the Forum kicked off with a call-in from Larry Schafer with the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) who gave a state and federal policy update that included a behind-the-scenes look at the political winds in Washington, D.C. He also discussed the fate of the biodiesel tax credit and reviewed policy initiatives in Minnesota.

Listen to Larry Schafer’s remarks here: Larry Schafer, NBB

Doug Root with the Ag Utilization Research Institute and Steve Howell with MARCIV Consulting took the stage next to discuss how the evolution of the industry paired with emerging technologies and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) has spurred the biodiesel industry to improve its optimization strategies. Remaining competitive, said Root and Howell, is an integral aspect of keeping domestic biodiesel production competitive.

Listen to Doug Roots remarks here: Doug Root, Ag Utilization Research Institute

Listen to Steve Howell’s remarks here: Steve Howell, MARCIV Consulting

The session was rounded out by Gary Koch with Gislason & Hunter LLP who discussed what’s happening in the marketplace when it comes to investing in biodiesel production ranging from venture capital markets to private companies.

Listen to Gary Koch’s remarks here: Gary Koch, Gislason & Hunter

Biodiesel/Bioheat Forum Photo Album

Bioheat Great Option for Winter Heating

biodiesel-bioheat-15-huberJohn Huber is the President of the National Oilheat Research Alliance (NORA), the checkoff program for the oilheat industry. This week he was in Mankato, Minnesota participating in the Biodiesel & Bioheat Forum. His organization does research and development to create new equipment and new products for the industry and educates consumers on how to save energy. One solution, especially for those living in the Northeast? Bioheat.

Huber says Bioheat, heating oil blended by 2-5 percent biodiesel, has been a educational priority for them because it enables consumers to being integrating renewable energy into their home or businesses. In the Northeast in particular, many states have adopted an 80 percent carbon reduction by 2050 and Bioheat is a great solution to meet this goal.

To learn more about the benefits and growth opportunities for Bioheat, listen to Chuck Zimmerman’s interview with John Huber here: John Huber, NORA

Biodiesel/Bioheat Forum Photo Album

Winning Potential for Bioheat in Northeast

Biodiesel and Bioheat ForumMinnesota State Representative Clark Johnson was one of many people participating in this week’s Biodiesel & Bioheat Forum held in Mankato, MN. He serves on the Agriculture Committee and is very interested in biodiesel. He likes the idea of using biodiesel for Bioheat because “there are lots of winners,” like farmers, producers and the environment. And he likes winning.

He sees a huge potential in the northeast U.S. for biodiesel to heat homes. Here at the Forum he was looking forward to hearing from some of the attendees from New York and other states that are involved in blending and distribution of Bioheat.

You can listen to my interview with Rep. Johnson here: Clark Johnson, MN State Representative

Biodiesel/Bioheat Forum Photo Album