Biodiesel Bulletin - April 2011
In This Issue
National Biodiesel Day honors America's advanced biofuel
Each year, on March 18, the biodiesel industry recognizes the vision and foresight of Rudolf Diesel. His birthday was chosen as National Biodiesel Day to honor him for recognizing the valuable role of oil-based fuel from renewable resources.
The first compression ignition engine that Rudolph Diesel displayed at the 1900 World's Fair ran on peanut oil and he designed it with a variety of fuels in mind. In a 1912 speech Diesel said, "the use of vegetable oils for engine fuels may seem insignificant today, but such oils may become, in the course of time, as important as petroleum and the coal tar products of the present time."
"The biodiesel industry has grown to be as diverse as the diesel engine itself," said Don Scott, Director of Sustainability for the National Biodiesel Board. "From the raw materials used to make it, to the engines it is burned in, biodiesel is one of the most diverse alternative fuels on the planet."
Today, biodiesel is the only domestically produced, advanced biofuel that is commercially available in the U.S. It is being used in numerous applications including semi-trucks, tractors, heavy construction equipment, boats, school buses, city transit buses, military equipment, diesel pickup trucks, passenger vehicles, home heating burners, electrical generators and almost every other diesel engine in the marketplace.
Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel effort takes root
The National Biodiesel Board continues its efforts to cultivate support and foster networking among tomorrow’s scientists who are interested in renewable energy. The student co-chairs of the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel are reaching out to campus biodiesel organizations nationwide to recruit members.
Students who join by signing a declaration of support for biodiesel receive regular updates on biodiesel research and news, as well as educational opportunities like webinars, mentoring and career information.
Earlier this year, 11 members of the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel, including the four co-chairs, received scholarships to attend the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo. Special events included a luncheon with several leading scientists in the biodiesel industry, including Mike Haas/USDA, Bob McCormick/National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Steve Howell/National Biodiesel Board.
Lucas Ellis, studying Biochemical Engineering at Dartmouth, said attending the conference “was one of the most rewarding career experiences in my life.”
Qingshi Tu, studying environmental engineering at the University of Cincinnati, said: “The conference offered an opportunity to bridge the research work and practical industry applications. Talking with the representatives greatly broadened my horizon of what today's biodiesel industry is and how the advanced technologies benefit the industry.”
Jeremy Rushlow, pursuing an associates science degree at Central Carolina Community College, said: “The 2011 National Biodiesel Conference was an experience of a lifetime.”
The Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel is supported by the National Biodiesel Board and the United Soybean Board through the soybean checkoff.
“I believe in biodiesel” video campaign a success
The National Biodiesel Board asked you why you believe in biodiesel, and the response was tremendous. The brief videos that were submitted were compiled into a feature video for the 2011 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo held in Phoenix in February.
The self-produced videos came in from all across the country and showcase many of the amazing benefits of biodiesel.
Thank you for all of you who submitted videos. You can check out the final product at the National Biodiesel Board website.
How the biodiesel industry and food production go hand in hand
We have all heard the familiar arguments of food vs. fuel when discussing biodiesel and biofuels. But what effect does biodiesel really have on food markets, and how do we respond to the misinformation?
Ever increasing oil prices due to continued instability in Middle Eastern oil producing nations affects all industries, and the US food supply is no exception. As food is produced, processed and shipped all across the country it relies heavily on petroleum. When petroleum prices rise, renewable energy providers often benefit because the renewable energy becomes more cost competitive with petroleum. This provides an easy but incorrect connection for people to link rising food prices with increased biofuels.
The livestock industry, and as a result dairy, meat, and animal products, benefits directly from a healthy biodiesel industry. Crops like soybeans are grown primarily to supply protein meal for livestock feed. A recent study funded by the United States Department of Agriculture showed that the reduction in protein meal prices as a direct result of the biodiesel industry using soybean oil saved the livestock industry $4.8 billion from 2005-2009. This reduction in feed costs means lower prices for consumers for related food products.
Biodiesel provides multiple benefits to the stability and prices in the US food production industry. Biodiesel is made from a wide variety of renewable feedstocks including soybean oil, recycled cooking oil, animal fats, canola and other vegetable oils. All of these oils are either byproducts or co-products. Creating a market for these undervalued products reduces waste and provides additional revenue for farms and businesses that grow and produce food making them more stable.
The biodiesel industry has a bright future ahead of it and has an important role in energy security, food security and reduced food costs. So in the case of biodiesel it is food AND fuel, and both are cheaper because of biodiesel.
Planters unveils new biodiesel-powered Nutmobile
Watch for the new peanut-shaped, biodiesel-powered Nutmobile as it tours the country in the coming months. Planters recently unveiled the eco-friendly vehicle during the kick-off of their 2011 "Naturally Remarkable" campaign at a sustainability showcase hosted by Global Green, a leading environmental organization.
The "Naturally Remarkable" campaign will transform unused land into natural, green spaces - called Planters Groves. They will be built by The Corps Network, the nation's Service and Conservation Corps., in four U.S. cities -- New Orleans, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and New York City. Designed by renowned landscape architect Ken Smith, Planters Groves will convert vacant land into peanut-shaped urban parks that can be enjoyed by the community.
The new biodiesel Planters Nutmobile uses environmentally-conscious materials and harnesses the power of sunlight and wind. Solar panels on the roof, a wind turbine and a biodiesel generator provide energy for tour stop needs. Interior lighting is provided by low-energy LED lights, with reclaimed wood used to create the flooring.
The Nutmobile will appear at all Planters Groves events and travel to an additional 12 cities to encourage Americans to grow stronger communities by volunteering through The Corps Network.
"During this tour, wherever we go and whatever we do, Planters intent is to leave these communities more 'Naturally Remarkable' than when we found them and to plant something forward for future generations to enjoy,” Jason Levine, senior director of marketing for Planters, said in a news release.
NC reduces petroleum use by 4.5 million gallons – biodiesel plays a role
The North Carolina Solar Center, part of the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University (NCSU), released its annual Petroleum Displacement Plan (PDP) report which found that thirty-eight state agencies collectively saved over 4.5 million gallons of petroleum last fiscal year. This is the equivalent of taking 4,000 cars off the road using an average of 500 gallons of fuel per vehicle per year.
Petroleum reductions were achieved through the use of cleaner burning renewable fuels such as biodiesel and ethanol and advanced technology such as neighborhood electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles. The report accounts for over 27,600 vehicles operated by state agencies. Conservation (reduced mileage) and efficiency through driver behavior and vehicle practices also contributed significantly.
North Carolina requires a 20 percent reduction in petroleum use by the state fleet by 2011. Most of the fuel used by the state fleet is now a biofuel blend. North Carolina used 8 million gallons of B20 last year -- five times as much as conventional diesel.
Benefits of the PDP requirement include reduced transportation related emissions and savings to the state from reduced fuel usage. Furthermore, the requirement supports economic development through domestic alternative fuel production. North Carolina is home to several biodiesel production facilities and one ethanol plant, whereas all of the petroleum used in the state is imported. For more information visit: http://www.ncsc.ncsu.edu.
Eco-Luxury Celebrity Motorhome Runs on Biodiesel
The Verde, a modern, eco-designed motorhome designed to accommodate celebrities on set, went out on location in New York City on March 1. Presented by Quixote Studios, the Verde is built with sustainable, eco-conscious materials, and runs on biodiesel. The frame is built with non-formaldehyde plywood and the bathroom wall is constructed from a blend of recycled aluminum cans, transformer coils, industrial scrap and combustion motor pistons. Finishing touches include eco-poly fabric couch pillows and bamboo curtains.
The luxury motorhome functions as a remote studio and lounge, with an area for stylists and a stainless kitchenette.
"The production community here has been overwhelmingly positive to us," Quixote Vice President Adam Roodman said in a news release about their reception in New York City. “The Verde's bookings calendar is already filling up, and Quixote plans to launch other vehicles, including the Quantam Production Trailer, in the near future.”
For more information visit: www.quixote.com.
The NBB Family of Web Sites
For more information on biodiesel visit our website at www.biodiesel.org or contact us at 888-BIODIESEL.
Kaleb Little, Communications and Member Specialist
Bev Thessen, Information Coordinator
This bulletin is also available online at
2004 National Biodiesel Board - www.biodiesel.org