Eye of Biodiesel Winners Announced at #NBB16

nbb-16-livergoodThe “Eye of Biodiesel” awards were announced during the 2016 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo in Tampa, Florida this week.

First up was Mike Livergood who received the Lifetime Achievement award. He is retiring this year from ADM after nearly four decades with the company. In his acceptance speech, Livergood talked about how ADM become involved with the National Biodiesel Board back in 1999. “By 2011, we were running eleven biodiesel facilities on three continents with total capacity of nearly three-quarters of a billion gallons a year,” he said. “Biodiesel was truly the savior of the soybean crushing industry.”

Listen to his remarks here: Mike Livergood, Lifetime Achievement Award

nbb-16-climate-leaderThe National Biodiesel Board recognized three organizations in California this year as the Climate Leader award winners. The Environmental Defense Fund (EDF); Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2); and the American Lung Association were all recognized for their environmental leadership to promote all clean fuels, including biodiesel, along the West Coast. These three organizations, along with other NGOs, bolstered and defended Low Carbon Fuel policies in California and Oregon. NBB Director of Sustainability Don Scott (L) presented the awards to representatives each organization – Mary Solecki of E2, Heather Palmer with the American Lung Association, and EDF’s Timothy J. O’Connor.

O’Connor spoke for the group in accepting the award. Timothy O'Connor, Environmental Defense Fund

nbb-16-calabottaBeth Calabotta, former Monsanto Director for Bioenergy and currently serving on the National Biodiesel Foundation, was honored with the Impact award for her tireless dedication to the advancement of biodiesel.

Beth’s experience in the field of agricultural yield technology and the markets that drive demand for protein give her a rare and valuable knowledge base that she has put 100 percent into her work to advance biodiesel. She has contributed greatly to the sustainability efforts at NBB and projects to analyze the real world indirect effects of biodiesel production.

Listen to her remarks on winning the Impact Award here: Beth Calabotta, Biodiesel Impact Award winner

nbb-16-pioneerJohn Maniscalco, who recently retired as the head of the New York Oil Heating Association after more than 20 years was honored with the Pioneer award. In 2013, Maniscalco received the Industry Partnership award.

Maniscalco was at the forefront of leadership in the heating oil industry, serving as the first treasurer of the National Oilheat Research Alliance before his time at NYOHA. He’s also been at the forefront of the industry’s move to Bioheat®, biodiesel in home heating. He was instrumental in New York City implementing legislation for B2 heating oil citywide. New York City continues to be a Bioheat® leader in the Northeast on both policy and public perception when it comes to cleaning up heating oil.

Listen to his remarks here: John Maniscalco, Biodiesel Pioneer Award winner

2016 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Team is Theme for Biodiesel Chair at #NBB16

nbb-16-marr-2National Biodiesel Board chairman Ron Marr with Minnesota Soybean Processors addressed the second general session of the 2016 National Biodiesel Conference with the message of teamwork to accomplish industry goals.

“As a team we have a shared drive and commitment to go out and win,” said Marr. “And as an industry, we have fought hard and had many successes but we also face significant challenges in the months to come.”

Marr stressed the importance of each individual member to get involved, particularly on the national level in contacting their legislative representatives. “Never underestimate the vital importance of your individual effort to your team’s success,” he said.

Listen to Marr’s address here: NBB chairman Ron Marr

2016 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Biomass Innovator to be Recognized by Elite Group

brucedale1An innovator in turning biomass into food and fuel will be recognized by an elite group. This news release from Michigan State University says Bruce Dale, a professor of chemical engineering and materials science at the school will be inducted into the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering’s College of Fellows.

Dale was nominated, reviewed and elected by peers and members of the College of Fellows for outstanding contributions in the biological engineering of transforming plant biomass to food and fuel to achieve a sustainable bioeconomy.

The College of Fellows is composed of the top 2 percent of medical and biological engineers in the country. AIMBE’s mission is to recognize excellence in, and advocate for, the fields of medical and biological engineering in order to advance society.

A formal induction ceremony will be held during AIMBE’s 25th annual meeting at the National Academy of Sciences Great Hall in Washington, D.C., on April 4. Dale will be inducted along with 160 colleagues who make up the AIMBE College of Fellows Class of 2016.

#Biodiesel Policy Update at #NBB16

nbb-16-steckelBiodiesel policy is laser-focused right now on two primary issues – the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) and the tax incentive – two policies that drive growth in the industry.

During an address to the membership at the 2016 National Biodiesel Conference, NBB Vice President of Federal Affairs Anne Steckel said they should take credit in the success of getting higher volumes under the RFS. “The fact that biodiesel was able to achieve most of its policy goals while others did not…is something we should really be proud of,” said Steckel. “I am proud to say that a two billion gallon standard moving forward is a long way away from the original RFS that flat lined biodiesel at 1.28 billion gallons.”

Steckel noted that they will continue to work toward a producers tax credit. “We were successful in winning a two year extension (of the blenders tax credit) through the remainder of this year,” she said. “However Congress…stopped just short of converting the tax credit into a producers incentive.” She says the fight will continue.

Learn more here: Anne Steckel, NBB VP of Federal Affairs

Cindy Zimmerman also interviewed Anne about the 2015 biodiesel numbers that came out earlier this week and how they show the need for a producers tax credit as more biodiesel is being imported into this country to take advantage of the blenders credit.

Listen to that interview here: Interview with Anne Steckel, NBB

2016 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Vehicle Manufacturers Increase #Biodiesel Support

NBB's Biodiesel ChevyFrom coast-to-coast B20 is now formally supported by nearly all vehicle manufacturers. Today more than 78 percent of the diesel vehicles coming off production lines are approved for use with B20, as noted during the annual Biodiesel Showcase that took place yesterday during the 13th Annual National Biodiesel Conference.

Some big examples of support include General Motors (GM), Hino and PACCAR along with Ford and Fiat Chrysler. Among U.S. heavy-duty truck segments, which account for more than 87 percent of actual diesel fuel usage, every major engine manufacturer supports B20 in their new engines except for Daimler’s Detroit Diesel, which remains at B5.

Many users are realizing that B20 biodiesel blends offer them a cost-effective and seamless option to help meet increasingly aggressive greenhouse gas and carbon reduction goals. Energy continues to warrant focus on the worldwide stage as a primary way to reduce the effects of climate change and during this week’s conference, biodiesel role in this efforts were highlighted. The Biodiesel Showcase was one of the best visuals of the benefits of biodiesel and a demonstration that consumer choices for biodiesel play a strong role in influencing vehicle manufacturers to continue to increase their support of biodiesel.

Following are three brief videos about vehicles that are approved for the use of B20. You can get the scoop on PACCAR’s “bright yellow truck” by clicking here.

2016 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Dr. Aydin Sunol, University of Florida

Adrian Ratza, Hino

Mike Fico, Ferman Chevrolet

#NBB16 Biodiesel Lifetime Achievement Award

nbb-16-livergoodMike Livergood is retiring this year from ADM after nearly four decades with the company and for his many years of service to the industry, he received the Eye on Biodiesel Lifetime Achievement award this year at the National Biodiesel Conference in Tampa.

Livergood has been at the forefront of helping develop the biodiesel industry, even before it was commercialized in this country. His work to keep the industry unified through the National Biodiesel Board has been essential to growth and success.

In his acceptance speech, Livergood talked about how ADM become involved with the National Biodiesel Board back in 1999. “By 2011, we were running eleven biodiesel facilities on three continents with total capacity of nearly three-quarters of a billion gallons a year,” he said. “Biodiesel was truly the savior of the soybean crushing industry.”

Listen here: Mike Livergood, Lifetime Achievement Award

2016 National Biodiesel Conference Photo Album

Trestle Energy Receives CARB Pathway Approval

California-based Trestle Energy has received its pathway approval for the production of ethanol from California Air Resources Board (CARB) under the state’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS). Back in 2014, the company received approval by British Columbia.

Trestle Energy logo“We are pleased California has joined BC in approving our fuel pathways,” said James Rhodes, co-founder and president of Trestle Energy. “These pathways demonstrate the ability of American agriculture, industry, and ingenuity to both grow the economy and protect the environment. They also demonstrate the ability of ambitious environmental policies to stimulate innovation and drive down carbon emissions. We look forward to expanding our network of partners to ramp up deliveries for California consumers. We are excited to begin working with Oregon regulators in the coming year.”

According to the company, it’s goal is to apply the ethanol technology under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). EPA approval under the RFS would allow American ethanol producers to compete with foreign sugarcane ethanol imports, creating jobs and climate benefits here at home, says Rhodes, who also noted it would also enable American industries to start delivering on the climate commitments adopted last month in the Paris Agreement (COP21).

Eye on Biodiesel Award Goes to…PACCAR

PACCAR was honored with this year’s Eye on Biodiesel “Initiative Award” for their commitment to #biodiesel blends. Giving remarks during the Biodiesel Showcase, Jason Johnson, director of aftermarket for PACCAR, announced that the new PACCAR MX-11 engine and all model years of its MX-13 engine, both legacy models and new equipment, are now approved for use with B20. More than 100,000 trucks, both new and old, join the biodiesel ranks and each year and these vehicles drive more than 12 billion miles. With this announcement, Johnson said there are now nearly 1 million Peterbilt and Kenworth medium and heavy duty trucks approved for use up to #B20 biodiesel blends.

PACCARAddressing an engaged and excited crowd, NBB CEO Joe Jobe said, “PACCAR’s support underlines that biodiesel is the single best carbon mitigation strategy out there; with widespread support across all diesel applications, we are perfectly positioned to deliver even more cleaner burning biodiesel into the marketplace. The U.S. biodiesel industry has invested over twenty years of research and development activity to provide the highest quality biodiesel fuel for the marketplace, and today we recognize PACCAR for taking the initiative to endorse B20 biodiesel blends for use in your equipment.”

Landon Sproull, PACCAR assistant vice president, said in a statement following the award announcement, “PACCAR is pleased to earn the Eye on Biodiesel Award while we are expanding PACCAR’s engine line of B20 compatible engines. Our new B20 compatible PACCAR MX-11 engine is available in Peterbilt and Kenworth trucks beginning in January 2016, joining our highly successful MX-13 engine. PACCAR designs and builds the most durable, fuel-efficient and highest quality heavy-duty truck engines in the world, and PACCAR engines perform well using a variety of fuel sources.”

“Increasing our support level from B5 to B20 biodiesel blends provides more choice and value to PACCAR’s customers,” Sproull added.

To learn more about PACCAR’s commitment to biodiesel and to learn more about the “bright yellow truck,” watch my video with Jason Johnson.

2016 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo Photo Album

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDF1EDF Renewable Energy has signed an agreement to supply Salesforce with 24 MW of wind energy from its Salt Fork Wind Project in Texas. The Virtual Power Purchase Agreement (VPPA) advances Salesforce’s commitment to power 100 percent of its global operations with renewable energy. The Project, located in the Texas Panhandle in Donley and Gray Counties, east of Amarillo, has begun construction of its total 174 MW capacity and is expected to achieve commercial operation by the end of 2016.
  • Regulators and utilities across the country are grappling with the valuation of distributed energy resources (DERs) such as solar, energy storage, and energy efficiency, as costs continue to fall and penetration increases. According to a new report from GTM Research, “Unlocking the Value of DER 2016: Technology Strategies, Opportunities and Markets,” despite DER growth, few states are developing the policies, technology ecosystem and data infrastructure required to enable the location-based valuation systems that will underlie the development of distribution integrated resource planning and DER procurement processes for grid services.
  • Renovate America, the leading provider of residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing in the U.S., has announced it was named in the 2015 Global Cleantech 100, produced by Cleantech Group.
  • Powerhive, an energy solutions provider for emerging markets announced today that the company has closed a $20M Series A financing round, which will support Powerhive’s expansion into new markets in Africa and the Asia-­Pacific, as well as continued growth in Kenya where the company has operated rural microgrids since 2012.

ExxonMobil, REG to Study Biodiesel from Cellulose

REGBig oil is partnering up with a giant in biodiesel production to explore the potential of biodiesel made from cellulosic sugars. This news release from Renewable Energy Group (REG) says the green fuel company is partnering with ExxonMobil to make the biodiesel by fermenting renewable cellulosic sugars from sources such as agricultural waste.

REG has developed a patented technology that uses microbes to convert sugars to biodiesel in a one-step fermentation process similar to ethanol manufacturing. The ExxonMobil and REG Life Sciences research will focus on using sugars from non-food sources.

“This research is just one way ExxonMobil is working to identify potential breakthrough technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy supplies and realize other environmental benefits,” said Vijay Swarup, vice president of research and development at ExxonMobil Research and Engineering Company. “The science is extremely complex, but we hope to identify new affordable and reliable supplies of energy for the world that do not have a major impact on food supplies.”

”REG has a long history of innovation in the production of advanced biofuels from lower carbon, waste feedstocks,” said Eric Bowen, REG Vice President and head of REG Life Sciences. “We look forward to this collaboration with ExxonMobil to advance our proprietary cellulosic sugar fermentation technology and capitalize on the combined power of cellulosic sugars and microbial fermentation to revolutionize the production of ultra-low carbon, cleaner burning advanced biofuels.”

Through the research, the two companies will be addressing the challenge of how to ferment real-world renewable cellulosic sugars, which contain multiple types of sugars, including glucose and xylose, but also impurities that can inhibit fermentation.

“As we research renewable energy supplies, we are exploring future energy options with a reduced environmental impact,” Swarup said. “Our first challenge is to determine technical feasibility and potential environmental benefits during the initial research. If the results are positive, we can then take the next step and explore the potential to expand our efforts and explore scalability.”

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.