Page 1

INSIDE: QUICK AND DIRTY FEEDSTOCK CHARACTERIZATION August 2011

Community-Scale Solutions,

Locally Grown

Feedstock How Small-Scale Process Vendors, Feedstock Providers Work Together to Benefit Local Communities Page 24

Plus

Do Community Co-ops Matter? We Think So Page 30

AND

ASTM annexes D7566 to Include Hydroprocessed Biojet Page 34

WWW.BIODIESELMAGAZINE.COM


CONTENTS

AUGUST 2011 VOLUME 8 ISSUE 8

34

30

24 COMMUNITY SCALE

COOPERATIVE

BIOJET

Streamlining a CommunityScale Solution

Do Community Co-ops Matter?

ASTM Approval

BY LUKE GEIVER

BY BRYAN SIMS

Small-scale processors gain popularity here and abroad

How biodiesel and the local community go hand-in-hand

ASTM annexes D7566 to include hydroprocessed biojet

BY ERIN VOEGELE

DEPARTMENTS 4 Editor’s Note Feel the Heat

BY RON KOTRBA 6 Legal Perspectives

Optimizing for Better Economics

BY JOHN EUSTERMANN 8 Talking Point

BQ-9000: A Community-Scale Perspective

CONTRIBUTIONS COMMUNITY

38 Defeating NIMBYism

Ways to combat the not-in-my-back-yarders

BY AL MAIORINO FEEDSTOCK

40 Quick and Dirty Feedstock Characterization Practical advice for community-scale plants

BY CHRISTINA BORGESE AND MARC PRIVITERA

BY RACHEL BURTON 10 Biodiesel Events 12 FrontEnd

Biodiesel News & Trends

18 Inside NBB 22 Business Briefs

Companies, Organizations & People in the News

44 Marketplace/Advertiser Index

Biodiesel Magazine: (USPS No. 023-975) August 2011, Vol. 8, Issue 8. Biodiesel Magazine is published monthly. Principal Office: 308 Second Ave. N., Suite 304, Grand Forks, ND 58203. Periodicals Postage Paid at Grand Forks, North Dakota and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Biodiesel Magazine/Subscriptions, 308 Second Ave. N., Suite 304, Grand Forks, North Dakota 58203.

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EDITOR'S NOTE Biodiesel is hot again (we already knew that, right?), this was the predominant sentiment shared by several speakers and attendees at this year’s Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo, held in Indianapolis in late June. It may seem strange for

FEEL THE HEAT Ron Kotrba

Editor Biodiesel Magazine rkotrba@bbiinternational.com

biodiesel to be a topic of conversation at the world’s largest ethanol conference, but with so much focus on ethanol plants diversifying coproduct streams—specifically the growing popularity of backend corn oil extraction—biodiesel received a considerable amount of attention. In addition to all of the peripheral talk about biodiesel, and how its resurgence is boding well for ethanol producers by putting upward pressure on corn oil prices, thereby enhancing ethanol producers’ bottom lines, I moderated the FEW’s one-andonly biodiesel-dedicated panel. The speakers included David Winsness, the chief technology officer of Greenshift Corp., supplier of corn oil extraction units for the ethanol industry; Jake Ferris, a retired professor from my alma mater Michigan State University, who spoke about his econometric model on the economics behind biodiesel production from corn oil; Ernie DeMartino, president and CEO of Biodiesel Experts International LLC, whose presentation focused on his company’s work with Israel-based TransBiodiesel on enzymatic biodiesel production; and Dave Elsenbast with Renewable Energy Group Inc., who gave a solid speech on the current state of the biodiesel industry and REG’s integration of corn oil as one of many feedstocks the company uses to produce its fuel. I’ve said this before about our industry, but the diversity of the panel—the largest U.S. biodiesel producer, a researcher, an equipment maker helping to create more feedstock, and a biodiesel producer working on an alternative approach to biodiesel production—exemplified nicely the fact that this industry, despite its ups and downs, is rife with forward thinkers and innovators who will continue to push the envelope on what is possible in the world of methyl ester refining. While the future of the biodiesel tax credit is uncertain, what remains steadfast is this industry’s ability to adapt and progress, no matter the political climate. And that makes me very proud to be a part of it.

FOR MORE INFORMATION AND PERSPECTIVE, VISIT KOTRBA’S BLOG AT BIODIESELMAGAZINE.COM/BLOG/READ/

Associate Editors Luke Geiver covers the importance of local cooperatives to the biodiesel industry in “Do Community Co-ops Matter?” on page 30.

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Erin Voegele writes “Streamlining a Community-Scale Solution” on page 24 about international developments in small-scale biodiesel production.

Bryan Sims investigates a recent ASTM annex to D7566 covering hydroprocessed biojet fuel in “ASTM Approval” on page 34.


www.BiodieselMagazine.com E D I T O R I A L Ron Kotrba Editor rkotrba@bbiinternational.com Bryan Sims Associate Editor bsims@bbiinternational.com Erin Voegele Associate Editor evoegele@bbiinternational.com Luke Geiver Associate Editor lgeiver@bbiinternational.com Jan Tellmann Copy Editor jtellmann@bbiinternational.com P U B L I S H I N G Mike Bryan

&

S A L E S

Chairman mbryan@bbiinternational.com

Joe Bryan

CEO jbryan@bbiinternational.com

Tom Bryan

Vice President tbryan@bbiinternational.com

Matthew Spoor Howard Brockhouse

Vice President, Sales & Marketing mspoor@bbiinternational.com Executive Account Manager hbrockhouse@bbiinternational.com

Jeremy Hanson

Senior Account Manager jhanson@bbiinternational.com

Chip Shereck

Account Manager cshereck@bbiinternaional.com

Marty Steen

Account Manager msteen@bbiinternational.com

Bob Brown

Account Manager bbrown@bbiinternational.com

Andrea Anderson

Account Manager aanderson@bbiinternational.com

Dave Austin

Account Manager daustin@bbiinternational.com

Nick Jensen

Account Manager njensen@bbiinternational.com

Jessica Beaudry

Circulation Manager jbeaudry@bbiinternational.com

Marla DeFoe

Advertising Coordinator mdefoe@bbiinternational.com

John Nelson

Senior Marketing Manager jnelson@bbiinternational.com

Jaci Satterlund Elizabeth Burslie

A R T Art Director jsatterlund@bbiinternational.com Graphic Designer bburslie@bbiinternational.com

Subscriptions Subscriptions to Biodiesel Magazine are free of charge to everyone with the exception of a shipping and handling charge of $49.95 for any country outside the United States, Canada and Mexico. To subscribe, visit www.biodieselmagazine.com or you can send your mailing address and payment (checks made out to BBI International) to: Biodiesel Magazine Subscriptions, 308 Second Ave. N., Suite 304, Grand Forks, ND 58203. You can also fax a subscription form to (701) 746-5367. Reprints and Back Issues Select back issues are available for $3.95 each, plus shipping. Article reprints are also available for a fee. For more information, contact us at (701) 746-8385 or service@bbiinternational.com. Advertising Biodiesel Magazine provides a specific topic delivered to a highly targeted audience. We are committed to editorial excellence and high-quality print production. To find out more about Biodiesel Magazine advertising opportunities, please contact us at 701-746-8385 or service@bbiinternational.com. Letters to the Editor We welcome letters to the editor. If you write us, please include your name, address and phone number. Letters may be edited for clarity and/or space. Send to Biodiesel Magazine Letters, 308 Second Ave. N., Suite 304, Grand Forks, ND 58203 or e-mail to rkotrba@bbiinternational.com.

Please recycle this magazine and remove inserts or samples before recycling COPYRIGHT Š 2011 by BBI International

TM

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LEGAL PERSPECTIVE

Optimizing for Better Economics BY JOHN EUSTERMANN

In light of the current economic state of affairs, owners of existing biorefineries are looking at ways to reduce costs and boost revenues. Upgrading

and optimizing current facilities appears to be at the top of the list. Incorporating new technologies and equipment into existing facilities can optimize yields and even create new revenue streams. When considering upgrades to technology, management is wise to consider the impact such activities have on previously executed financing or development agreements, technology licenses, or permits. Financing Documents: Existing lenders and capital providers to a facility will often encourage optimizing activities that clearly show cost benefits to the plant’s operations, whether it improves efficiencies or adds new revenue streams. Discussions of any of the aforementioned modifications should include a dialogue with the company’s lenders and other strategic capital funding sources. For facilities still subject to construction, term and/or working capital loans, there are likely several loan document restrictions that require lender consent to any significant changes to the plant. Also, subdebt/convertible debt providers and/or preferred equity holders likely have rights under their relevant agreements that warrant consideration in advance of any plant modifications. A review of all financial and operational covenants as well as any rights and preferences under preferred equity arrangements is also warranted. Before approving new capital investment, lenders and other stakeholders will want to review all background materials about the proposed project, including revenue enhancing and payback projections to ensure such figures are based on sound assumptions. If management is seeking to finance plant modifications and grant liens on the new improvements, it is important to recognize that its current secured lenders likely have blanket liens and security interests in all existing and future acquired company assets. In such instances, each lender will likely need to agree to appropriate subordination and intercreditor arrangements. Finally, if financing the optimization activities, most lenders will ask for a collateral assignment of relevant project agreements and warranties, such as any technology license agreements, construction contracts, operational agreements, equipment warranties and off-take agreements. Technology Licenses: In most instances, a technology license agreement is included in the overall construction or document package. This document is typically executed between the process technology provider as the licensor and the entity developing the project as the li6

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censee. Technology licenses in this arena generally include language governing the scope of use of the initial process technology. Further, in most instances, such agreements include specific language regarding each party’s rights, duties and obligations related to subsequent technological modifications that the licensee may make or consider making to the initial licensed process. Such language generally sets forth what modifications can or cannot be made to the process, how the final ownership of such modifications will look and what notice and disclosure activities are required in the face of such modifications. It is not unusual to see provisions in the license agreement where the licensor grants the licensee a limited license to use the technology solely in connection with the initial design, construction, operation, maintenance and repair of the facility. Such language seeks to limit the licensee’s ability to use the process technology to the initial plant design and configuration, and excludes such use for purposes of a plant or process that has been modified. Further, many licenses contain provisions stating that any and all modifications to the process technology are deemed the property of the licensor and that the licensee agrees to assign all rights, title and interest in such modifications to the licensor. A close examination of the terms and conditions of the applicable technology license agreement and the respective parties’ intellectual property rights thereunder is warranted in the face of optimization strategies that involve technological modifications. A failure to do so may result in several unexpected technology ownership issues for both the plant owner and the follow on technology vendor. Permits and Site Control Issues: The effect that any proposed optimization projects may have on a facility’s environmental controls likewise cannot be overlooked. Although permits are management’s main focus when initially developing and financing a biofuel refinery, they often become a nonissue as the-day-to-day operations of the facility take over. When considering plant modifications, permitting should become top of mind. Plant upgrades and optimization activities can trigger management’s need to obtain new or revised air and water permits. Required regulatory reviews will determine if additional permitting is required for operational compliance of the facility in its optimized state. Author: John Eustermann Partner Attorney, Stoel Rives (208) 387-4218 jmeustermann@stoel.com


Introducing Algae Technology & Business magazine. The algal biomass industry’s premier source for in-depth reports, technical updates, and expert commentary

Biorefining Magazine’s Algae Technology & Business covers the latest developments of new technologies and commercial markets derived from algae. Discover for yourself the most recent news, products, events and players who are shaping this fast-moving, powerful industry. As algae biomass utilization edges closer to commercialization, you now have an information source at your fingertips. Algae Technology & Business will help you discover and learn the power of green. Contact us today and learn about this exciting industry!

Contact info Conta

Reach key contacts in the algae industry. Reserve your ad space for the Fall issue by September 12th, 2011. In addition to our regular subscriber base, this issue will be distributed at the Algae Biomass Summit, International Algae Congress, Southeast Biomass Conference & Trade Show, and the National Biodiesel Conference.

Phone: 866-746-8385 Fax: 701-746-5367 70 Email: service@bbiinternational.com


TALKING POINT

BQ-9000: A Community-Scale Perspective BY RACHEL BURTON

In 2008, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory published results from its third national biodiesel fuel quality survey. The results stated that “small producers failed the (ASTM) specifications more often than medium or large producers.” From an industry perspective, this was probably not surprising. Larger producers are generally better capitalized and have more extensive quality control laboratories. At the same time this information was released, Piedmont Biofuels made a strategic decision to voluntarily implement a quality management system (QMS) at its central North Carolina production facility. With this NREL data published, Piedmont was inspired to demonstrate that smaller producers can consistently make a quality biodiesel product. During the past three years of system implementation, people often asked, “Has it been worth it? Has your investment in quality management paid off?” If you talk to any staff member at Piedmont, you would hear a resounding “Yes!” So, how has the BQ-9000 program made a difference in our small biodiesel business? The initial implementation of the program was difficult; we had to make a cultural shift across the entire company. With time we were able to create a quality-aware employee culture. Issues related to fuel quality are announced and explained at the weekly staff meetings. Piedmont serves more than 450 individual consumers of biodiesel throughout the central North Carolina region. These retail customers became public advocates of the BQ-9000 standard. Our members know that our fuel is analyzed to the ASTM specifications every time and is a premium product. With the quality management program in place, Piedmont witnessed new opportunities in the marketplace. When you are one of 30 some biodiesel plants listed on the BQ-9000 website, and one of only a handful in the Southeast, the phone will ring for product requests. The state of North Carolina also sees the value of the BQ-9000 accreditation program, and it is now a requirement to bid on state contract for biodiesel blends. The North Carolina state contract supplies all the school bus

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fleets and the NC Department of Transportation with biodiesel. NCDOT has been using biodiesel statewide since 2006, which is approximately 9 million gallons of B20. I think the most significant benefit for our participation in the program came last year during the lapse of the federal tax credit. At that time, many other producers opted to idle production without the economic tax incentive. Certain market opportunities allowed us to continue production at reasonable economics, and we give credit to our BQ-9000 accreditation for opening these doors. Other small or community-scale producers often ask how much it cost to go BQ-9000. There is an initial investment with membership and auditor fees as part of the registration process. The other investments are time and personnel. It is critical to have the personnel to create and maintain the quality management program. Training for other key staff involved in the product chain should be included. Next, if a producer does not have in-house laboratory capabilities, there can be expenses for third-party testing or the purchase of new equipment. Initially, it may be difficult to justify the investment for this type of technical capabilities. If you are serious about bringing biodiesel to the market, fuel quality has to be at the forefront of your operation. At Piedmont, we are now reaping some of the multiyear benefits of the quality management investment. With a solid documentation program in place, our team can easily evaluate long-term production trends that enhance both process evaluation and opportunities for improvement. Even a small producer can sign up as a member of ASTM and AOCS, participating in their inter-laboratory cross-check program. One can gain access to the technical developments maintaining biodiesel’s status as an advanced biofuel. The BQ-9000 program helped Piedmont achieve its goal: making a quality biodiesel fuel on the community-scale. Author: Rachel Burton Research Director, Piedmont Biofuels (919) 321-8260 Rachel@biofuels.coop


EVENTS CALENDAR International Biorefining Conference & Trade Show SEPTEMBER 14-16, 2011

Hilton Americas – Houston Houston, Texas The International Biorefining Conference & Trade Show brings together agricultural, forestry, waste, and petrochemical professionals to explore the value-added opportunities awaiting them and their organizations within the quickly maturing biorefining industry. (866) 746-8385 www.biorefiningconference.com

Northeast Biomass Conference & Trade Show

Biomass Event Hotspot: Atlanta in November If you go to one event in the Southeast this year, make it BBI International’s Southeast Biomass Conference & Trade Show, produced jointly by Biomass Power & Thermal and Biorefining magazines. The Southeast Biomass Conference & Trade Show returns to Atlanta this year, and will be held Nov. 1-3 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. The conference, one of three distinct regional offshoots of BBI’s International Biomass Conference & Expo, will feature more than 60 speakers in four tracks: -

Electricity generation Industrial heat and power Biomass project development and finance Biorefining

The Southeast Biomass Conference & Trade Show will connect the area’s current and future producers of biomass-derived electricity, industrial heat and power, and advanced biofuels, with: -

Waste generators Aggregators Growers Municipal leaders Utility executives Technology providers Equipment manufacturers Investors Policy makers

The Southeast Biomass Conference & Trade Show is designed to help you, the biomass industry stakeholder, identify and evaluate solutions that fit your operation. It's time to improve your operational efficiencies and tap into the revenue generating potential of sustainable biomass resources in the region. Register today at www.biomassconference.com/southeast.

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OCTOBER 11-13, 2011

Westin Place Hotel Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania With an exclusive focus on biomass utilization in the Northeast—from Maryland to Maine—the Northeast Biomass Conference & Trade Show will connect current and future producers of biomass-derived electricity, industrial heat and power, and advanced biofuels, with waste generators, aggregators, growers, municipal leaders, utilities, technology providers, equipment manufacturers, investors and policymakers. Register by August 30 and save $200 on conference registration. (866) 746-8385 www.biomassconference.com/northeast

Algae Biomass Summit OCTOBER 24-27, 2011

Hyatt Regency Minneapolis Minneapolis, Minnesota Organized by the Algae Biomass Organization and coproduced by BBI International, this event brings current and future producers of biobased products and energy together with algae crop growers, municipal leaders, technology providers, equipment manufacturers, project developers, investors and policy makers. It’s a true one-stop shop—the world’s premier educational and networking junction for all algae industries. (866) 746-8385 www.algaebiomasssummit.org

Southeast Biomass Conference & Trade Show NOVEMBER 1-3, 2011

Hyatt Regency Atlanta Atlanta, Georgia With an exclusive focus on biomass utilization in the Southeast—from the Virginias to the Gulf Coast—the Southeast Biomass Conference & Trade Show will connect the area’s current and future producers of biomass-derived electricity, industrial heat and power, and advanced biofuels, with waste generators, aggregators, growers, municipal leaders, utility executives, technology providers, equipment manufacturers, investors and policy makers. (866) 746-8385 www.biomassconference.com/southeast


get more.

NATIONAL

BOARD

NBB Is Your Member Organization.


Biodiesel News & Trends

PHOTO: CU BIODIESEL

FrontEnd

TRAVELING PLANS: CU Biodiesel converted a hot dog stand into a movable biodiesel production system used for educational purposes.

Knowing Where the WVO Goes Matters The University of Colorado at Boulder is outsourcing the used cooking oil produced on campus, and CU Biodiesel, a student led organization, is trying to stop it. “The university keeps on expanding and building cafeterias,” says Jan Laesecke, operations director for CU Biodiesel. “Right now,” Laesecke says, “we are trying to convince the university to give its WVO to a service that uses it for biodiesel production” rather than giving it to a service that sells the WVO on the commodities market. To do so, Laesecke and the other members of the student biodiesel group have gathered signatures, filed the appropriate paperwork with the school and even passed out information on the uses of biodiesel and the possible places the fuel could be used on campus. “Our ideal goal would be that eventually the university would have its own facility for biodiesel production on campus for transporting students around campus.” And that shouldn’t present too much of a challenge, considering that the “Buff (Buffalos) Buses” on campus currently run on B20. Unfortunately, while the chance that CU Biodiesel may someday be able to produce large amounts of biodiesel on campus for on-campus use may seem slim, the same might be said for Laesecke’s efforts to direct the school’s WVO away from the commodity markets and into a reactor. “Facing such a huge public university, and such a huge bureaucracy, there are certainly a whole lot of factors that the students don’t even see,” he explains, citing the student group’s chances at roughly 50 percent. But, if the students are successful in resourcing the WVO, their efforts will not end by simply knowing where their WVO is going. CU Biodiesel is currently working with the Sustainable Oil BIODIESEL MAGAZINE AUGUST 2011 12 z

Service, one of the oil collection companies on campus, and a supplier and producer of biodiesel sourced from, you guessed it, WVO. The Sustainable Oil Service currently supplies the Boulder County fleet with biodiesel and if the efforts by CU Biodie- ALWAYS PRESENT: Every year the team from CU Biodiesel attends the National Biodiesel sel pay off, SOS could Conference. become busier. Until then, CU Biodiesel will continue to work to promote and educate others on the positives and ultimate needs for using biodiesel. The students have converted a mobile hot dog stand into a biodiesel production vehicle that they use as a demonstration device during educational workshops. Every year, the students in the group travel to the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo and learn more about the new trends in the industry. During their own workshops, Laesecke says he has recognized a trend amongst the attendees. “Everyone seems to have their own opinion on what the next generation’s solution is. I think that it is important we stress that our solution shouldn’t be one miracle technology that we are all hoping and praying for,” he says, “rather than a more ideological stance on our decrease on energy.” —Luke Geiver

PHOTO: CU BIODIESEL

Why CU Biodiesel is fighting to redirect on-campus waste oil


FRONTEND

The Evolution of Green Valley Biofuels Biodiesel and algae companies unite

For Green Valley Biofuels, the waiting game is over. The biodiesel production company located in Warrenville, S.C., will no longer be restricted by that time-consuming, profit-regulating factor the industry knows as feedstock. The company has signed a partnership with Bard Energy Holding Inc., an algae cultivation expert from Pennsylvania. The agreement is simple: Bard will grow the algae at the biodiesel production site and Green Valley Biofuels will use the lipids from the cultures as feedstock for biodiesel. If the partnership proves out, the entire industry and those waiting for the generation of nonfood feedstocks to truly take off will have a model of how to make algae-to-biodiesel work on a commercial scale. But to get to where it is today, Green Valley Biofuels has had to evolve and adapt to obstacles such as expired tax credits and feedstock acquisition. In 2010, the plant began phase one: building a 35 MMgy facility. The initial plan was to use chicken fat as the main feedstock for the plant, but with the tax credit absent, the biodiesel refinery was unable to make it work. But, even in tough times, Chuck Pardue, president of Algae Bioenergy Solutions, had his sights set on algae, and wasn’t afraid to take the leap and make the idea of algae a tangible option for biodiesel production. A retired Army JAG Lieutenant Colonel, Pardue formed Algae Bioenergy Solutions with Green Valley Biofuels and continued to search for a lowcost, proven technology for algae cultivation. He found Bard, and Surajit Khanna, its chairman and CEO.

Now the two are working together to bring the cultivation process Khanna has been developing the past four years in Pennslyvania down to South Carolina. “This plant will provide feedstock for Green Valley Biofuels, a sister company of ABS, as well as valuable coproducts,” Pardue explains. “For over three years, ABS considered numerous algae technology companies to be its partner.” Today, the company that once sought to use chicken fats as a feedstock could be the first large-scale biodiesel production company to use algae. From Khanna’s perspective, even that isn’t enough. Khanna tells Biodiesel Magazine that the work of Bard and some of the other leading algae companies isn’t simply about proving growth technology or extraction techniques, but instead, to facilitate the success of companies like those of sister companies Algae Bioenergy Solutions and Green Valley Biofuels. The plans thus far are to install the first of Bard’s photobioreactor systems at the Warrenville site this summer. Will the culitvars grow? Most likely. Is the biodiesel production technology on site already capable of handling the algae-based feedstock? Of course. Should the entire industry believe this will truly work when we truly see it? Yes, but maybe all should be assured by the likes of Pardue, as this could be just another phase in the evolution of algae-to-biodiesel production. —Luke Geiver

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FRONTEND

Hawaii Biodiesel Data

Biodiesel plays small, but significant, role in state’s electricity market Data recently released by the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism demonstrates that biodiesel is beginning to play a role in the state’s energy mix. The report addresses energy usage through May. The monthly report states that more than 4.4 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity were generated from biodiesel during March. The year-to-date level as of that month was more than 8.1 million kWh. To put that number in perspective, more than 131.5 million kWh of electricity were produced using petroleum-based diesel in March, with the year-to-date level for that fuel reaching more than 404 kWh. Those numbers seem to indicate a great deal of growth potential for biodiesel use in the state’s electricity market in the future. It is also important to note that more electricity was generated by biodiesel in Hawaii this year than by wind and hydro power systems. In fact, just more than 2 million kWh of electricity was generated by those renewable fuel sources during March. The year-to-date total was just under 5 million kWh. The report also addresses other aspects of in-state biodiesel

use. According to data released by the department, Hawaii consumed 11,274 barrels of biodiesel in March. To put that in perspective, the state consumed more than 752,000 barrels of traditional diesel oil fuel during the same month. The year-to-date use for biodiesel and diesel oil this year is estimated to be a respective 23,777 barrels and 652,576 barrels. The report also indicates the price per barrel of biodiesel was significantly higher than traditional diesel oil. The average cost of a barrel of biodiesel during the month was $168.52. This is roughly $50 higher than the $117.73 average price of diesel oil during the same period. The price of biodiesel was lower than the average price to date for all of 2011, however, which the report estimates to be $186.97. The per-barrel price differences between diesel oil and biodiesel during the month translate into higher costs to produce electricity via biodiesel use. The data shows that the cost of diesel oil per kWh of electricity generated is nearly 25 cents. In comparison, the cost per kWh for biodiesel was nearly 48 cents.—Erin Voegele

Hawaii Biodiesel Use March 2011

January-March 2011

Barrels consumed

11,274

23,777

Average cost per barrel consumed

$168.52

$186.97

Total cost of biodiesel consumed

$1,899,899

$4,494,180

Cost per KWH generated

$0.478

$1.016

Month-end price per barrel

$178.02

$168.94

* Data sourced from Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism

Pennsylvania Plant Averts Disaster American Biodiesel Energy Inc. gears up for restart following fire Erie, Pa.-based American Biodiesel Energy Inc’s 5 MMgy biodiesel plant faced down a fire in early May, and won. According to Lee Akerly, the company’s president, the biodiesel plant shares a building with North American Powder Coatings. The fire started in the powder coatings side of the building he says, noting that American Biodiesel Energy escaped the fire with only minor damage. Akerly estimates his plant will be fully operational by mid-July. “As soon as the building is repaired, we’ll be back in business,” he says. “It’s not a matter of 14

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putting the biodiesel [plant] back together; it’s a matter of putting the building back together so that we have the proper infrastructure, such as electricity.” According to Akerly, superior engineering and design of the plant helped avoid disaster during the fire. On one side of the wall there was fire, on the other was our methanol tank, he says. The properly insulated methanol tank was not affected, however, aside from some smoke damage to the insulation. American Biodiesel Energy’s plant began operations in 2009. The faculty con-

AUGUST 2011

verts waste oil feedstock into biodiesel. —Erin Voegele


PHOTO: UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO

FRONTEND

CREATING WORTH: University of Idaho graduate student Randy Maglinao stands in front of the bench-scale reactor used to convert glycerin into propylene glycol.

Converting Waste to Value

Idaho researchers investigate glycerin-to-propylene-glycol methods As the biodiesel industry continues to ramp up production, the amount of crude glycerin entering the market will also increase. i IIn the h past, some producers d h have struggled to find a home for the low-value byproduct. However, several research projects are underway with the goal of using the product as a feedstock for higher-value bio-based products, including propylene glycol. One such project at the University of Idaho is being led by Brian He, an associate professor, and graduate student Randy Maglinao. He tells Biodiesel Magazine he has been interested in pursuing this line of research for several years and was finally awarded an internal grant through the university’s National Institute of Advanced Transportation Technology last year. A technical report that outlines the first stage of the research was recently released. “It is really a summary for the first stage to see if it’s feasible to

convert glycerol from biodiesel production into something useful,” He says. The technical report notes that propylene glycol l l l and d glycerin l i are very similar i il chemically. Glycerin is converted into propylene glycerol when one of the three oxygen/hydrogen groups in the molecule is replaced by a single hydrogen atom. This has been done in the past by supplying the molecule with external hydrogen. According to the report, in this situation the hydrogen (H2) reacts with the oxygen/hydrogen group to form water, leaving behind one hydrogen atom. He and Maglinao have tried to create this reaction without the use of external hydrogen. Rather, the team theorized that adding water, heat and pressure—and using a catalyst—the glycerol could be converted into propylene glycol without adding any external hydrogen. “Of course, the drawback of [this method] is that you have to sacrifice

some of the feedstock to internally generate hydrogen…that is immediately used for hydrogenation in the process,” He says. “That iis the h major j iinterest iin my research. h If I can do this, I don’t have to have an additional facility just for hydrogen generation. Also if I sacrifice some of the glycerin, I can generate the hydrogen, thus…lowering the cost.” However, more research is needed to prove the concept on a larger scale, He continues. To date, He’s research has been completed in a 300 milliliter reactor. He is now working to secure funding to scale up the process to a slightly larger bench scale; a 1 gallon, continuous flow reactor. Additional goals of his future research include improving the catalyst and optimizing the production of propylene glycol rather than ethanol. “The next step is to see if I can find an alternative catalyst that targets only one [of these products] to optimize the targeted product in terms of yield,” he says.—Erin Voegele

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FRONTEND

Groundbreaking Nears for Proposed Plant Construction is expected to begin on new Iowa biodiesel plant this summer After several years of delays, it seems that Growth Design Energy’s proposed biodiesel plant will finally become a reality. In May, the Iowa Power Fund Board awarded the company $1.5 million to support the project. According to Kristin Hanks, program planner for the Iowa Office of Energy Independence, which serves as the administrative agency for the Iowa Power Fund, Growth Design Energy applied for the funding during the spring of 2009. The project was put on hold several times as the company worked to securing financing. Hanks notes the process to secure funding is ongoing. The $1.5 million obligated by the Iowa Power Fund will be provided once certain benchmarks are met. “We do not provide funding until they can verify that they have all of their matching funding in place,” Hanks says. Information published by the Iowa Power Fund states that $7.805 million in matching funds are needed for the project.

Growth Design Energy has 120 days to finalize its financing, Hanks says, noting that they could ask for an extension, if necessary. It’s unlikely, however, that Growth Design Energy—or any other company— could reapply for funding. “Our appropriations sunset at the end of [June], and there is no pending legislation that would grant further appropriations,” Hanks says. She also stresses that Growth Design Energy is not the only company currently in this position. There are several other companies working to secure necessary financing under the same time constrictions. According to the contract the Iowa Power Fund has with Growth Design Energy, construction on the proposed plant is scheduled to begin during the third quarter of this year, with the plant achieving full operation by September 2012. The facility, which is slated to be located near Forest City, will have an annual production capacity of approximately 3 million gallons and produce biodiesel from waste oil feedstocks.

Hanks says there are several reasons the Iowa Power Fund has chosen to support this biorefinery project. “The Mcgyan process that Growth Design is using for this biorefinery uses less energy, uses less water, and uses a different type of catalyst,” she says. The project will also reduce emissions. In addition, construction of the plant and the commercialization of the Mcgyan processing technology is expected to provide a boost to the renewable and sustainable energy industries within Iowa. During its history, the Iowa Power Fund has invested more than $65.2 million directly into 45 competitive projects, leveraging more than $576 million in energy research and development, early stage commercialization and education. This includes providing support to several biodieselrelated projects, including those pursued by BioProcess Algae, Renewable Energy Group Inc., Novecta LLC, and the Iowa Biodiesel Board.—Erin Voegele

Fueling Support

Country singer Willie Nelson and his crew continued with their commitment to biodiesel at a recent tour stop in Colorado. RecycOil LLC and the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance teamed up to fuel Nelson’s vehicles with biodiesel the morning his Country Throwdown tour stopped at Red Rocks Amphitheater. “It is a terrific honor to fuel up Willie Nelson's tour as he is an artist that has fueled up country music fans across the USA,” said RecycOil CEO Aaron Perry. “His support of farmers and the biodiesel industry are testament to his commitment to rural communities and the production of sustainable, American-made biofuels.” RecycOil recycles waste cooking oil from more than 1,600 restaurants, businesses and sporting and cultural venues located in Colorado and the southern region of Wyoming. The company not only supplies biodiesel producers with recycled oil feedstock, but also partners with fuel distributors to provide biodiesel to customers in Colorado. According to Tanner Watt, SBA associate director, the organization's goal is to connect biodiesel users with local biodiesel providers. “It’s about educating consumers and giving them options so they can make purchasing decisions that benefit their communities and the environment.” 16

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PHOTO: RECYCOIL LLC

Willie Nelson’s use of biodiesel draws publicity at Red Rocks

FUELING A LEGEND: RecycOil fuels Willie Nelson’s tour bus during his Country Throwdown tour stop at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado.

Last year, the SBA introduced its Sustainability Report Card, which is aimed at summer music tours. Artists involved in the program this summer will use ABA tools to help source and evaluate biodiesel and biodiesel blends on their summer tours in order to purchase and use the most sustainably produced fuel in each market they visit. —Erin Voegele


FRONTEND

A New Waste Trap Technology for Licensing? Hawaii researchers are taking on trap grease for use in biodiesel What do commerce, industry and waste trap grease have in common? Researchers at the University of Hawaii at Manoa are trying to find out. Through a research effort related to the Water, Energy and Soil Sustainability effort already happening at Manoa, (an effort funded in part by the U.S. DOE), lead researcher Michael J. Cooney will look at ways to treat waste trap grease into more useful products like biodiesel or soil enhancers. The team of collaborators from the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources and even the Shidler College of Business will also be joined in their efforts by Pacific Biodiesel Inc. “Without a cost-effective way to treat waste trap grease,” Cooney says, “the local restaurant industry will be threatened, which would negatively impact both the visitor industry and the community.” As it is now, most fats, oils and grease (FOG) cannot be disposed of in the regular sewer lines, but are instead collected by truck, shipped to a processing center, broken down into smaller fractions and eventu-

Teaching Technicians A National Biodiesel Board program educates future mechanics

A partnership between the NBB and the Universal Technical Institute has trained more than 300 diesel instructors on how biodiesel works with existing diesel technology. Those instructors then pass on the invaluable information to their students, helping to dispel myths about the fuel. “I've found that students are very curious about biodiesel, but they come in with misinformation,” says Jason Mosler, an instructor and technical team leader at UTI. “They think that it's fryer grease, that you can make it in your backyard. When we can clear the air on those misconceptions and explain what commercial biodiesel really is, their eyes are opened.” Providing accurate information to students ultimately helps ensure they will be equipped to answer future customers’ questions about the fuel. Moser says this is important because biodiesel is likely to be a part of any diesel technician’s future. “People listen to their automotive technicians, and if there is an information gap there, techs are not likely to recommend biodiesel to their customers,” says Rachel Burton, who leads NBB's Biodiesel for Diesel Technicians program. —Erin Voegele

ally sent to waste-treatment facilities. But, much like tipping fees at landfill sites, the cost to dispose of the FOG is high, and in some cases the waste treatment facilities won’t accept the shipment. Pacific Biodiesel specializes in production from used cooking oil and has experience in handling waste trap grease. Edward Zwick, general counsel for the company, says any potential licensing of a process or technology that comes from the efforts by everyone involved in the project, could be significant. Joining the collaboration is also another waste treatment specialist, RealGreen Power, a startup based in Hawaii that has developed an anaerobic bioreactor containing “bionest” structures that help to retain microbial content, which helps to maintain high digestion efficiency, according to the company. RealGreen Power’s process can produce water suitable for irrigation, or potable water suitable for drinking. Pacific Biodiesel President Bob King says the partnership will be “gratifying,” and adds that he is also looking forward to helping RealGreen Power. —Luke Geiver

Dubai’s Biodiesel P d Buses B Powered

A few buses show a popular stance on a global scale The idea of sustainability isn’t just for rural communities or energy-strapped areas. In Dubai, the police department has taken a lead-by-example approach and entered into the first phase of a project that will recycle the used cooking oil from within the department for use as biodiesel feedstock. The biodiesel produced via used cooking oil will then be put to use in buses used by the department. The Dubai police force has already won the Dubai Award for Sustainable Transport for its biodiesel agenda and for helping 25 percent of its employees commute by bus. The Dubai police force is a prime example of an organization that cares about sustainability. Its work to plant mangroves (in an area that later became a nature preserve), launching a marine pollution-sensing boat and a plan to plant 1 million trees, the police force shows that community scale co-ops, fleet sustainability standards and even law enforcement groups in a country where fossil fuel is the law, all are adopting a stance on renewable energy that serves the biodiesel industry well. —Luke Geiver

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The Value of Insurance When Devastation Strikes As someone who hails from Joplin, Mo., a town that was recently hit by one of the most destructive tornados in U.S. history, I have come to understand the value of insurance in a way that many, thankfully, never will. Along with inner strength, faith, hope, and courage, good insurance is a critical component for weathering devastating events like those recently experienced in my hometown.

While the U.S. biodiesel industry hasn’t lived through anything as vicious as the Joplin tornado, last year, we did survive the market equivalent of an F5-rated twister with the combined loss of the federal tax credit, renewable fuel standard, and major international markets. Along with those essential personal qualities that are helping Joplinites recover from their disaster, insurance, in the form of state policies, has also helped the biodiesel industry survive its own disaster. Last year was, of course, not great by any measure. But were it not for state policies, industry sales and production would have been at levels just north of 15 percent of their 2008 highs. With state policies in place, however, the industry produced at a rate a little over 40 percent of that high water mark—still not good, but much better than the alternative. One of my goals as NBB’s director of state governmental affairs is to help our members establish a system of state programs around the country that are sturdy enough to survive even the strongest of storms. We aren’t there yet, but we continue to move forward with more and better state policies each and every year. In 2010, for example, Connecticut and New York City passed sweeping Bioheat requirements. This year, Vermont passed a statewide 18

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Bioheat requirement. All told, nine states and two major municipalities have now passed biodiesel blend requirements. Once implemented, these policies will comprise a meaningful safety net for the industry. In addition, even during trying fiscal times, states continue to pass consumption incentives for biodiesel that increase market Shelby Neal, share for our product. This year, Iowa passed Director of State a 4.5-cent incentive for blends of biodiesel Governmental at or above five percent and New York State Affairs, NBB passed an incentive of up to 20 cents per gallon for B20 Bioheat blends. These policies, which join dozens of similar measures on the books in other states, provide a level of certainty for the biodiesel industry that markets will exist even in the absence of key federal policies. Ultimately, policymakers nearly everywhere realize that biodiesel is a great product. It’s clean, it’s renewable, and it’s made in their own backyards. For these reasons, I believe we will continue to see state markets expand in the coming years through blend requirements, market-based incentives, and carbon reduction initiatives. And who knows, one day state policies may even overtake federal policies as the principal industry drivers. Until that time, however, we will continue growing state programs, the U.S. biodiesel industry’s insurance policy. Shelby Neal, Director of State Governmental Affairs, National Biodiesel Board

NBB welcomes new members Augsburg Energy LLC—Park Ridge, N.J. Green Grease LLC—Park Ridge, N.J. Noble Americas Corp.—Stamford, Conn. Eberle Biodiesel LLC—Alvin, Texas Soy Energy LLC—Mason City, Iowa Deerfield Energy LLC—Deerfield, Mo.


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NBB Isuzu commercial trucks now powered by B20 Isuzu Commercial Truck of America Inc. is the newest original equipment manufacturer to support B20. Isuzu recently announced that all of its new 2011 and forward model year diesel engines, including its four popular N-Series truck models and the new Isuzu Reach commercial van, are compatible with B20. Isuzu’s B20 announcement marks the first Asian manufacturer to approve B20 in its U.S. market spec engines, and it commands an impressive 73 to 75 percent market share of the low cab-forward, medium-duty truck market in the U.S. According to Brian Tabel, Isuzu commercial truck’s retail marketing manager, Isuzu’s announcement of B20 support came as the result of three key factors: growing consumer demand for the fuel, an extensive B20 research project by Isuzu engineers in the U.S. and Japan, and improved U.S. biodiesel fuel quality. He specifically noted the industry’s efforts to secure a specification for B6 to B20 biodiesel blends, ASTM D7467, as a contributing factor to OEM acceptance.

Tabel added, “In looking for ways to lessen our environmental footprint while also improving fuel economy, we realized that our customers can much more easily afford a high fuel-efficiency, B20compatible diesel vehicle running on biodiesel blends than some of the very expensive hybrid vehicles out there. Biodiesel just makes sense.” Now more than 60 percent of manufacturers in the U.S. market approve the use of B20 or higher blends in at least some of their equipment. Much of that progress is attributable to the efforts of NBB’s OEM Outreach & Education Program, led by NBB Technical Director Steve Howell. During NBB’s June membership meeting, Howell was presented with a “B20 Vision Award” plaque and recognized by the NBB Governing Board for his outstanding efforts to foster OEM support for B20 biodiesel blends.

Preparation begins for 2012 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo It may be hard to believe but preparations have already begun for the 2012 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo. This year’s four-day event will be held at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center, Orlando, Fla., Feb. 5-8. Exhibitor registration information will be coming soon along with sponsorship opportunities. Exhibitors are encouraged to take advantage of the early-bird pricing. Make sure you are a part of the largest biodiesel event in North America. As part of the annual conference, the National Biodiesel Board recognizes individuals and organizations that have made an outstanding difference in furthering biodiesel with the Eye on Biodiesel Awards. The awards honor industry leaders in six The National Biodiesel Board is accepting nominations for the annual Eye on Biodiesel "I" categories: Awards. The deadline is Sept. 1. • Innovation: Goes to individual, organization or company with the best idea, new product, research results, invention or marketing strategy to further biodiesel. • Inspiration: Presented to an individual who has gone above and beyond to create awareness. • Industry Partnership: Presented to an organization that has worked cooperatively and proactively with NBB to further success of biodiesel. • Influence: Goes to an organization or individual that has influenced public acceptance of biodiesel. • Impact: Awarded for success in legislation, new markets, OEM outreach and other areas of impact on the industry. • Initiative: Awarded for success in legislation, new markets, OEM outreach and other areas of impact on the industry. NBB will begin accepting nominations for the 2011 awards, which are due by Sept. 1. To submit a nomination, email Kaleb Little at klittle@biodiesel.org. Please include in your email: the person/company or organization you are nominating, which award you are nominating them for, the nominee's contact information, the reason for nomination, your name, and your phone/email. AUGUST 2011

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NBB study finds biodiesel is bright spot in US economy The U.S. biodiesel industry will grow to support more than 74,000 jobs throughout the economy by 2015 while creating some $4 billion in household income, according to an economic study released by the National Biodiesel Board. The report also found that the biodiesel industry will grow to generate nearly $1.6 billion in local, state and federal tax revenues in 2015. “It is critical to be able to quantify the economic and job creation impacts of the biodiesel industry,” said Joe Jobe, NBB CEO. “With Congress so focused on the economy, this study allows us to show exactly what the industry is and where we are headed.” The study was conducted by Cardno ENTRIX, an international consulting firm that specializes in environment and natural resources economics. While the difficulties faced by the biodiesel industry in 2010 are well documented, the study shows a strong turn around in 2011

and beyond. Production jumped 69 percent in January of this year and has been steadily climbing since. The study predicts the industry will support more than 31,000 jobs in 2011, generate income of nearly $1.7 billion to be circulated throughout the economy, and create more than $3 billion in GDP. Under projected expansion by 2015, that economic impact would grow even further to supporting more than 74,000 jobs, $4 billion in income, and some $7.3 billion in GDP. Much of this turnaround has been attributed to the solid policy framework in place including the biodiesel tax incentive, EPA’s renewable fuel standard, and biodiesel’s designation as the first commercially available advanced biofuel in the United States. “At a time when the federal government is looking for answers on how to jumpstart the economy, these numbers make clear that the federal policies supporting biodiesel are paying off,” Jobe said.

Bioheat outreach kicks into high gear August usually isn’t the time of year for Bioheat and home heating to be top-ofmind subjects, but this summer the NBB Petroleum Outreach team has created a buzz around Bioheat with some new and exciting outreach initiatives. One of the best ways to reach consumers with the benefits of Bioheat is through their current heating oil company. That is why a comprehensive set of print New Bioheat printed materials are available to fuel dealers by contacting Paul Nazzaro at (978) 664-5923. materials was developed for Bioheat fuel dealers to alert consumers about the emergence of Bioheat in their area. Door sachusetts radio station, 92.5 The River. The program includes inhangers, statement stuffers, post cards, larger trifold brochures, ternet positioning, radio advertising, and a smart car with a full Frequently Asked Questions, and Myth’s and Facts brochures were Bioheat wrap touring a number of Northeast area events, including an Aug. 18 appearance at the Boston Green Fest. all made available to Bioheat dealers. “This grassroots ad campaign has educated thousands of po“As the heating oil industry transitions to a Bioheat industry its important end users know why companies are making the change,” tential Bioheat users and has people asking, ‘where can I get this said Paul Nazzaro, NBB Petroleum Liason and president of Ad- great product?’” said Nazzaro. “It is really pull-through marketing vanced Fuel Solutions. “This initiative makes it possible for Bioheat at its best.” Another major project in the Bioheat consumer communicadealers to educate their customers with a consistent, focused mestion program is development of a New York Transit and New York sage.” Another unique marketing opportunity that the petroleum Subway Bioheat marketing theme. Coordination between CBS Outoutreach team has taken advantage of to spread the news about door Media and the petroleum outreach team is underway to bring Bioheat is a comprehensive campaign with an independent Mas- the Bioheat message to the forefront in New York City. 20

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UTI partnership helps NBB educate thousands of diesel techs

Jason Mosler teaches students about the diesel engine at the Universal Technical Institute's Phoenix campus. Mosler is one of 300 instructors recently trained on biodiesel.

The term “grease monkey” has new meaning, thanks to a National Biodiesel Board training program in partnership with Universal Technical Institute. Future diesel technicians are learning about biodiesel, made from recycled grease, and its many other diverse feedstocks. The partnership between NBB and UTI, the nation’s leading provider of entry-level technicians to the transportation industry, has taught more than 300 instructors about how biodiesel works with existing diesel technology.

“People listen to their automotive technicians, and if there is an information gap there, techs are not likely to recommend biodiesel to their customers,” said Rachel Burton, who leads NBB’s Biodiesel for Diesel Technicians program. “Instructors say that a lot of their students come into the classroom thinking biodiesel is just fryer grease. But they leave with a much deeper understanding.” The program has had a partnership with UTI since 2009. In June, Burton led training for the last of UTI’s 10 campuses, in Dallas. Burton is working with UTI on integrating biodiesel into the formal diesel curriculum. She also leads training with other auto-diesel training organizations. The NBB’s leadership in this effort has multiplied. Other states are replicating the program on a local level. In Iowa, the Iowa Biodiesel Board received a grant to conduct similar trainings. The NBB and Iowa Soybean Association have supported the IBB program in an effort to reach even more diesel technicians. NBB hopes to partner with other states with biodiesel incentives to provide credible technical information to the diesel service industry. For more on biodiesel, including additional training opportunities for OEMs and dealers, visit www.biodieselautomotive. org/.

NBB strengthens alliance with DOE’s Clean Cities program The National Biodiesel Board continues to build bridges with the U.S. DOE's Clean Cities program, thanks in part to a grant designed to educate Americans on biodiesel and other alternative fuels. The program’s 87 Clean Cities Coordinators are soldiers in the battle for America’s domestic energy security. They teach fleet managers, petroleum distributors and others about alternative fuels on the ground in their cities. The NBB is helping to ensure the coordinators have the information and tools they need to accomplish their mission. Recent activities include: • In June, NBB sponsored, attended and staffed a booth at the U.S. DOE Clean Cities Stakeholder Summit in Indianapolis. • In June, NBB completed the last of 12 alt fuel work shops held nationwide during the two-year grant program. • In April, NBB hosted a webinar with more than 100 coordinators, DOE staff, and their stakeholders, providing important information on OEM acceptance, the renewable fuel standard, sustainability issues and the Advanced Biofuels Initiative.

• NBB has also held RINs training and fuel quality webinars, inviting coordinators to attend. The Alternative Fuel Trade Alliance, a group of industry associations who partnered under the recent DOE grant, is closing out the two-year, $1.6 million grant to raise public awareness and foster understanding of alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies. The Alliance includes the Renewable Fuels Association, the National Biodiesel Foundation, the Propane Education & Research Council, the Clean Vehicle Education Foundation and ASG Renaissance. Joe Jobe, CEO of the NBB, said, “This program has helped unite the mainstream alternative fuel organizations in working collaboratively towards a common goal: educating America on all aspects of alternative fuels, and increasing their use. This will benefit our air quality, our energy independence and our economy.” The DOE Clean Cities Program network includes 87 active coalitions covering 80 percent of the U.S. population, with a mission to reduce petroleum consumption. AUGUST 2011

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BusinessBriefs Australia-based Algae.Tec Ltd. has formed a collaboration contract with the Manildra Group to construct a demonstration-scale algae production facility at its 100 MMgy ethanol plant in Nowra, Australia. The project could be operational early next year. Manildra is making several contributions to the project, including access to the land and utilities. Algae.Tec’s role is to build the plant, and ensure safety and site regulations are met. One primary advantage of locating the demonstration-scale facility at the Manildra ethanol plant is the variety of CO2 sources that are available. Algae.Tec’s technology features enclosed photobioreactors.

Beginning in September, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will begin using biojet fuel sourced from fats, oils and greases on a series of more than 200 flights. KLM will have Dynamic Fuels to thank for the fuel. A 50/50 joint venture between Syntroleum Corp. and Tyson Foods Inc., Dynamic Fuels officially opened a commercial-scale renewable diesel facility in Geismar, La., using feedstock sourced from Tyson. The KLM flights will be from Amsterdam to Paris, and according to Dynamic Fuels, the commercial renewable jet fuel underwent “rigorous renewable jet fuel testing and certification.” The certification work was performed by the Air Force Research Laboratory, Rolls-Royce Group and Cessna Aircraft Co. The fuel is made using Syntroleum’s Bio-Synfining Technology, a process that converts triglycerides or fatty acids using heat, hydrogen and proprietary catalysts. The entire process revolves around the Fischer-Tropsch process and Syntroleum focuses on three key areas. The first is the production and cleanup of synthesis gas made up of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. The second is a process that converts the synthesis gas to wax. The final process, or the Synfining process, is an upgrading step that transforms the FT wax into the diesel or jet fuel.

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Companies, Organizations & People in the News

#ONSULTING

&RAZIER "ARNES!SSOCIATES ,,#

Frazier, Barnes & Associates LLC recently announced that it has been retained to provide exclusive biodiesel market commercialization services for the new U.S. Biofuels Exchange (US-BX). Formed to become the ultimate sales and procurement tool for the biodiesel industry, US-BX will transform the way biofuel product is purchased and sold, at home and abroad. Sales and procurement of biofuel product can now be accomplished online with the touch of a button, the company states. The technology has the potential to significantly increase the liquidity of the biodiesel market and bring buyers and sellers together anonymously. FBA will focus on increasing the volume of biodiesel traded on the exchange. The US-BX has completed a rigorous testing program and all trading capabilities are now activated. Sellers post the specifics of their product on the internet, much like eBAY, and buyers execute the purchase at their convenience. The US-BX is a “two-sided” exchange, meaning that sellers can post “lots for sale” and buyers can post “lots wanted.” Everything is done in realtime and all postings are free.

Kartik Chandran might be the best person in the country to develop a new technology for converting organic waste sludge into biodiesel and methane. At least the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation thinks so. Chandran has been awarded $1.5 million to develop the system that will be put to the test at a sanitation facility in Accra, Ghana. Chandran, an associate professor at Columbia University, has already achieved a lot in the wastewater treatment sector. Along with his team at the New York City-based univer-

AUGUST 2011

sity, he developed a system to test nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions at wastewater treatment facilities approved by the U.S. EPA and now used across the U.S. Chandran has developed a unit of measure than can explain a microbe’s propensity to produce nitrous oxide. His research found that when the bacteria used to convert the ammonia become overworked, large emissions of nitrous oxide occur. When treatment facilities are not equipped to handle the overload on the bacteria, significant amounts of emissions occur. The waste and fecal sludge to biodiesel work will be done with a team of partners. The process the team will work on utilizes the fecal sludge and other organic materials going into the wastewater facility, potentially reducing the amount of waste necessary to process.

TWO WORLDS COLLIDE: Steve Ciatti, an Argonne National Lab engineer, works on an engine to combine the benefits of both spark and compression ignition power.

The Chrysler minivan’s engine may be quite different by 2013. Argonne National Laboratory is trying to combine the positive elements of gasoline and diesel engines for use in such vehicles as Chrysler’s popular Town & Country minivan. Steve Ciatti, a mechanical engineer at Argonne, is leading a team that is attempting to construct and test a hybrid engine that will employ the properties of the diesel engine, mainly the ability of the diesel engine to use compressed air without a spark to ignite the fuel into energy. Argonne isn’t alone in the effort to bridge the properties of the diesel and gasoline engines. The U.S. DOE is


BUSINESSBRIEFS Sponsored by partaking in the effort, along with partners Chrysler, Delphi, FEV and Ohio State University. The DOE has spent almost $15.5 million on the project that first started in 2010, with the other partners putting up nearly the same amount. The end date for the project is scheduled for 2013 and to this point the work is only 17 percent complete, according to a presentation given by Chrysler during a DOE summit.

New Jersey is home to a new biodiesel terminal location. Sprague Energy and Sunoco Logistics held a grand opening ceremony for the terminal, located at Sunoco Logistics Newark Terminal, in June. The multiproduct fuel terminal will provide biodiesel-blended transportation fuel and heating oil. Sprague will have the ability to provide multiple biodiesel and Bioheat blends at the terminal for ultra low sulfur No. 2 diesel fuel, heating oil, and in the future, ultra low sulfur kerosene No. 1 diesel fuel. Blends available are B2, B5, B10 and B20. The location features 132,000 gallons of bulk storage and utilizes state-of-theart rack injection. Biodiesel blended at the location will be sourced from a variety of producers and feedstocks. Government and private fleets will initially make up a significant portion of the demand for biodieselblended fuels sourced from terminal.

Ames, Iowa-based biodiesel producer Renewable Energy Group Inc., and its wholly-owned subsidiary REG Albert Lea LLC, entered into asset purchase agreements with SoyMor Cooperative and SoyMor Biodiesel LLC to acquire SoyMor’s idled 30 MMgy biodiesel facility in Albert Lea, Minn., according to an 8-K filing on June 13 to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. According to the filing, REG would issue 1,850,000 newly-issued shares of its common stock and assume certain li-

abilities in exchange for the transfer of substantially all the assets of SoyMor Biodiesel LLC and SoyMor Cooperative’s soy lecithin assets, which are collocated with the biodiesel production facility, and are also idled. Closing of the deal is contingent on customary closing conditions, including the approval of SoyMor’s members. In 2009, SoyMor Biodiesel LLC received a $25 million loan from the USDA to diversify its operations by purchasing equipment that would enable it to convert multiple types of feedstocks, including an unrefined corn oil waste product from nearby ethanol facilities, into biodiesel. The original configuration of the plant, which opened in 2005, was built to exclusively process soybean oil.

Renewable energy for a cleaner tomorrow!

Hawaii-based Pacific Biodiesel has hired two new employees to support its feedstock development project. Project Manager Matt Johnson and Farm Manager Dan Rudoy have been added to the company’s team. The two will support the cooperative feedstock development program that is being completed with the Army Corps of Engineers Research and Development Center. According to Johnson, the new project aims to determine the feasibility of producing a variety of different biodiesel feedstock in the Hawaiian Islands. This includes identifying the costs associated with feedstock production and the cost-per-gallon of oil produced. Oilseed crops have not traditionally been produced in the state commercially, he says. The twoyear project will investigate the production of two varieties of sunflower, three varieties of camelina, one variety of flax and one type of chia, Johnson says. Initial acres for

the trial will be planted this month. Johnson notes that a total of 100 to 150 acres are expected to be planted as part of the project.

Nansulate EPX insulation, corrosion prevention, chemical and flame resistant coating by Industrial Nanotech Inc. was created for insulation of pipes, tanks, and equipment to reduce energy costs and stand up to harsh environments. This two-part epoxy formula is splash resistant to acids, bases, and fuels and also reduces heat transfer to lower energy demand. It is easily applied with a texture sprayer, trowel or stiff brush while equipment is in-service. This textured coating is waterbased, low odor, and low VOC. It insulates surfaces up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, including steam pipes, boilers, valves, heat exchangers, ovens, chilled water pipes and more. It can be used for both metal (with Nansulate High Heat primer) and nonmetal surfaces, and its hard, durable finish stands up well to humid environments. The coating lowers energy consumption, reduces surface temperature for worker safety and lowers heat emitted into the environment by hot equipment. It has a short return on investment, typically one year or less, with average reported energy savings of 20 percent, according to the company. SHARE YOUR BUSINESS BRIEFS To be included in Business Briefs, send information (including photos, illustrations or logos, if available) to: Business Briefs, Biodiesel Magazine, 308 Second Ave. N., Suite 304, Grand Forks, ND 58203. You may also fax information to (701) 746-5367, or e-mail it to rkotrba@ bbiinternational.com. Please include your name and telephone number in each correspondence.

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COMMUNITY SCALE

PORTABLE SOLUTION: The FuelMatic system can be built into a shipping container to create a mobile production solution. PHOTO: GREEN FUELS AMERICA INC.

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COMMUNITY SCALE

Streamlining a Community-Scale Solution Green Fuels America spearheads an innovative approach to vertically integrated, community-scale project development BY ERIN VOEGELE

It’s been a rough couple of years for the biodiesel industry, domestically and abroad. Facilities of all sizes, and processing of virtually every type of feedstock, were forced to operate below capacity, and in some cases, idle altogether. The tide has been shifting in recent months, however, and the industry seems to be bouncing back. Not only are existing facilities ramping up production, but new projects are once again under development. While this positive turn may seem obvious with large, industrial-scale operations, the same phenomenon is occurring with smaller, community-scale projects.

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COMMUNITY SCALE [the government in that country] setting some very clear obligations in their net fiveyear plans to achieve a 20 percent inclusion of biofuel in their fuel.” According to Hygate, several factors in particular are making systems manufactured by Green Fuels America an attractive investment in certain parts of Latin America. He attributes this to trade policies like NAFTA and CAPTA as well as the availability of loan guarantees from Ex-Im Bank. “You are [also] seeing free-trade zones being set up in various countries where you can bring things in without paying a tariff, and they prefer U.S. technologies because they know that, among other things, if you're around in the U.S. and you don’t ship a product that works, you won’t be around very long,” Hygate adds. “It makes things much safer for them.”

are a lot of entrepreneurs trying to produce biodiesel to blend into petroleum diesel [in these countries].” Springer also notes that in some countries with centralized fuel marINNOVATIVE INTEGRATION: kets, such as Mexico, Green Fuels America the government has to Inc. President Greg buy into a project. Springer works to complete the Collin Hygate, value chain for his chairman of Green customers. Fuels America’s parent company Green Fuels Ltd., adds that his companies are seeing action all around the world. “What we’re seeing globally is a rapid increase in the national mandates and targets being set by government to achieve biofuel inclusion in their fuel supply, and that seems to be driven by their international obligations to reduce greenhouse gas carbon emissions,” Hygate says. “That fuel needs to be supplied by someone, and what we are seeing in our marketplace in countries where those mandates are being set—and their obligations are being taken seriously—we’re seeing very rapid growth in our business activity. Mainly in Central and South America we’re seeing quite a lot of activity, as we are in China with

The Equipment

PHOTO: GREEN FUELS AMERICA INC.

According to Greg Springer, president of Green Fuels America Inc., interest in community-scale biodiesel production is increasing all around the world. He attributes this to both high fuel prices and the specific advantages community-scale production can offer. A primary advantage of communityscale production is it allows for a relatively independent, local solution to fuel production. “You can cut your costs and provide fuel independence for a particular region,” he says, noting the logistical advantages of using a locally sourced feedstock and selling the fuel into local markets significantly reduces transportation costs. Other relevant factors include reducing carbon dioxide emissions. While the U.S. and Germany are leaders in industrial-scale biodiesel production, they are not the regions in which communityscale production is experiencing the most profound growth. Rather, Springer says, the hot spots for community-scale production right now are such countries as Columbia, Mexico, Argentina, Croatia, South Africa, and even Canada to a certain extent. “In some cases—like in Columbia and Canada—the federal government has come up with a mandate to put a certain amount of biodiesel in all diesel sold,” Springer says. “In Canada they are looking at a B2 mandate; Columbia is up to B8 at the moment. There

TINY POWERHOUSE: The camelina seed is tiny, but the impact locally grown camelina can have on a community-scale biodiesel producer can be huge.

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Green Fuels America primarily serves regions in North, Central and South America. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of U.K.-based Green Fuels Ltd., which has also established sales operations in Asia. Both the U.K. parent company and its U.S. operations manufacture personal-scale and commercial-scale systems for biodiesel production. The companies supply three main lines of community-scale systems: the 2,000 gallon-per-day FuelMaker, the 5,000 gallon-perday FuelMatic, and the 12,500 gallon-per-day FuelSonic. The midsized system gets a full 80 percent of attention from customers, Springer says, noting that the other two systems represent about 10 percent each of his company’s operations. In fact, 23 FuelMatic systems have been sold to date on a worldwide basis, to customers in Hong Kong, Croatia, England, Ireland, the U.S., Mexico, Paraguay and other countries. “Our machine is built on skids at the factory,” Springer says. “It’s a standard design; it’s not custom each time somebody calls and orders it.” The systems are also CE- and ATEX-certified, he says, explaining that ATEX certification means the system is designed to be explosion proof. “We have a touch screen microprocessor, which is remotely located to meet that APEX spec, but that can be plugged into the Internet so you


COMMUNITY SCALE

Those looking to establish agriculturebased, community-scale biodiesel production through Green Fuels America have the opportunity to work with Larry Beck, manager of Nevada-based Bio-Ag Farms LLC to establish camelina crops. Beck began working to develop switchgrass production for cellulosic ethanol several years ago before expanding his scope to the biodiesel feedstock camelina. To date, Beck’s company has developed approximately six strains of drought-tolerant camelina, and is continuing to develop new strains at a rate of two or three per year. As a consultant with Green Fuels America, Beck works with an owner of a proposed community-scale system to help them determine feedstock needs. This includes how much feedstock will be needed to feed the plant and what variety of camelina will work best in their local region. He also helps them explore potential markets for the meal coproduct. “We also meet with their agricultural people and show them how to plant camelina, cultivate it and harvest it,” Beck says. This is important because some people looking to enter the biodiesel space do not have an agricultural background. “A lot of people who want to get into the biofuels business aren’t the individual farmers, but the entrepreneurs that see the value of it,” Beck says. “They have no idea how to grow

can monitor it from anywhere in the world,” Springer says. The systems are extremely feedstock flexible, capable of processing everything from virgin vegetable oils to waste grease and rendered fat, and uses no water in the purification process. Springer notes that the system includes a patent-pending glycerin separation process. “Our machine uses a drywash resin, which uses BD10 from Dow Chemical, to take the soap from the biodiesel, so our system uses no water wash,” he explains. “It uses just this resin material from Dow Chemical to purify biodiesel.”

PHOTO: GREEN FUELS AMERICA INC.

Taking Camelina Community Scale

BUILDING BETTER FEEDSTOCKS: Bio-Ag Farms LLC has developed several varieties of camelina and is available to help Green Fuels America Inc.’s customers developed vertically integrated feedstock solutions.

the feedstock and what it takes to grow the feedstock, and to be able to accumulate the feedstock—that’s where our expertise is.” In addition to the fact that camelina oil results in a high-grade biodiesel fuel, the nutrient value of the meal that is produced during oil extraction makes using the feedstock even more attractive. According to Beck, the seeds contain approximately 40 percent oil. “[During crushing] you leave about 8 to 10 percent of the oil in the seed, and it creates a very high protein meal that is high…in omega-3, omega-6, vitamin E and fatty acids, all of which are very valu-

able to the livestock industry,” he says. The crop is also a good option for farmers, as its profit margin is relatively high while its water requirements are relatively low. Beck says that his company has already worked with Green Fuels customers in Mexico, South Africa, Australia and the U.S. to establish camelina production. BioAg Farms currently has about 900 acres of camelina in production. The focus right now is to produce planting seeds that will be supplied to customers. Beck says the operation has produced about 2 million pounds of planting seeds so far.

The system also features onboard methanol recovery. “The biodiesel is sort of splashed into a chamber as a vacuum pulls on it and takes the methanol vapor out of the biodiesel so we meet the methanol spec,” Springer says. “Then it sends it through to the condenser to turn it back into liquid, and uses it again in the process.” In addition to having no water wash, the system also uses no steam. “The whole system runs on electricity, so in a remote environment, you can use a diesel generator to run the plants,” Springer says.

While most built-on-site plants can take a year to a year-and-a-half to establish, the development time for one of Green Fuels’ systems is significantly shorter. Once a system is ordered, Springer estimates it takes approximately five months to construct, ship and bring into operation. The equipment can be loaded into shipping containers and transported practically anywhere in the world. Springer says that the permitting process is considerably simpler because each FuelMatic system is built using the same design. The skid-mounted systems are also easier to finance, he says. This is due to the fact that

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COMMUNITY SCALE Case Studies in Vertical Integration A project spearheaded by McDonald Francis Farms is seeking to develop four vertically integrated, community-scale biodiesel projects in Mexico. Each project will feature equipment manufactured by Green Fuels America, Insta-Pro International and Technochem. Bio-Ag Farms will also be involved in establishing camelina feedstock for each project. According to Green Fuels America, each of the four 5,000-gallon-per-day plants will require approximately 35,000 acres of camelina to produce sufficient feedstock. The resulting fuel will be marketed to PEMEX and Mexico’s Airport and Auxiliary Services Department. POPULAR PRODUCTION: The 5,000-gallonAlso in Mexico, Cleanfuels Engergias Renovalbes, as designated by the governper-day FuelMatic biodiesel processor is ments of Mexico and Columbia, is developing biodiesel production in the Mexican state Green Fuels America Inc.’s most sought after of Chiapas. The group is using a FuelMatic processor to manufacture biodiesel from community-scale production system. jatropha and other locally grown feedstocks that are produced by local farmers as part of an economic development program. The resulting fuel is used to power state vehicles and buses. Quality Trait Analysis A project in Hong Kong is also using FuelMatic equipment to produce biodiesel using jatropha oil. Greg Springer, president of Green Fuels America, notes The QTA System includes an infrared spectrometer and a user interface that the Hong Kong project is incredibly that connects you to the technical unique, as the biodiesel processor has expertise and systems to provide actually been installed into a shipping highly accurate quality data on your container, which allows it to be moved products, raw materials, by-products, and in-process streams. from location to location. “Our customer based in Hong Kong has control of sig■ ASTM Ck 2-09 Approved for nificant areas of jatropha in the southMethanol, Free Glycerin, Total Glycerin and Cloud Point east [region] of China,” he says. “They recognize that early on, those planta■ Very low cost per sample tions themselves are not going to yield ■ No sample preparation significant quantities [to support individ■ Excellent accuracy and consistency ual plants]. The concept is they will eswith industry standardization tablish processing locally, close to each ■ Requires fewer technical resources plantation, but in the early stages they for quality control move our biodiesel processor from one ■ Technical service available 24 x 7 location to another.” ■ Background system monitoring

Quality Testing

at the Speed of Light

Contact QTA for more information

1-(866)-yourQTA www.qta.com • help@qta.com 4900 Este Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45232

they can be financed as a piece of capital equipment rather than a permanent fixture attached to the property.

Achieving Vertical Integration “Our market is broken up into two really major segments,” Springer says. “There is the vertical integration of the agricultural,” which involves growing oilseed crops, crushing the seeds, degumming the oil, 28

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COMMUNITY SCALE producing biodiesel, and selling the resulting fuel and meal byproduct. The second segment includes community-scale biodiesel processors that utilize waste oils, grease and animal fats as feedstock. Regarding customers that intend to use Green Fuels’ systems to manufacture biodiesel from waste materials, Springer notes there is a need to pretreat the oil, and has formed a partnership with a company that offers equipment to do so. This allows potential customers easy access to necessary preprocess equipment. “For the preprocess machine, we are working with a company called SRS International,” Springer says. “It uses Dow Chemicals BS19 and BD20 resins to reduce the [free fatty acids].” Since the preprocess equipment requires the use of methanol, it also includes a distillation column. According to Springer, feedstock that comes out of the preprocess system features a free fatty acid level of less than 1 percent. Green Fuels America has also formed partnerships with several other entities that allow it to provide prospective customers with an innovative, one-stop solution for vertically integrated, agriculture-based biodiesel production. The group includes Larry Beck and his company, Bio-Ag Farms LLC, which specializes in camelina production, seed crushing equipment supplier Insta-Pro International Inc. and degumming equipment supplier TechnoChem International Inc. “The reason I got involved in setting up these vertical partners is because we were trying to complete the value chain for the customer,” Springer says. Community-scale producers are unique in that they are designed to integrate into their local communities. In other words, they generally need to be able to source local feedstocks and sell their fuel locally in order to remain competitive. The solution Green Fuels America is able to provide to its customers—in cooperation with its partners—encompasses everything from farming expertise to an integrated plant set up that includes feedstock preprocessing and biodiesel production under one roof. According to Springer, there are several considerations a group or individual should make when considering whether to establish a community-scale biodiesel project. The

most pressing issue is feedstock, its availability and quality. The second is who your local customer will be, and for what purpose they intend to use the fuel. If they intend to blend the biodiesel with transportation fuel, you will have to meet different specifications than you would if your customer planned to use the product in a burner or boiler, Springer says. Finally, you need to consider which equipment to buy. “In the past 20 months, I’ve talked to about 500 potential customers and listened to their stories,” Springer says. “Many of

them think they can go for much larger plants, but they don’t really understand the scale and logistics. Even at a 5,000 gallonper-day plant, that means you are moving a couple of tanker trucks into your plant with feedstock, and a couple of tanker trucks out of your plant with biodiesel every week. It comes out to approximately 1.6 million gallons per day.”

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Author: Erin Voegele Associate Editor, Biodiesel Magazine (701) 540-6986 evoegele@bbiinternational.com

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COOPERATIVE

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COOPERATIVE

Do Community Co-ops

Matter?

RFS2 mandates biodiesel production, but local communities need a cooperative approach BY LUKE GEIVER

Eric Williams used to work as a civil engineer in a building owned by a farmer co-op that, among many things, made soy biodiesel. Today, Williams works in energy efficiency in Omaha and every Friday night he joins up with the members of his own coop, architects, graduate students, financial consultants and anyone else interested in making biodiesel. “We realized that it is more effective to process the fuels then it would be for any of us to work alone,” Williams says. With the help of those architects and financial consultants, he formed the Omaha Biofuels Coop, a licensed producer-consumer operation that touts the motto: producing, using and promoting biofuels. Back in 2006 as a civil engineer, Williams says he also realized that even with large biodiesel production facilities scattered across the country, “there were very few options for cars in the area to use biodiesel.”

Times have changed since 2006, and today the average driver has greater access to biodiesel than ever before (which, unfortunately in some cases, still isn’t that great). But, more gallons of available biodiesel haven’t put an end to stories like those of Williams and the Omaha Biofuels Coop. In fact, more biodiesel co-ops are meeting on Friday nights, sometimes on the loading dock of their industrial buildings, than ever before. For a nominal fee, co-op members can fill up their Volkswagen diesels, Ford F-250s or even their John Deeres, but don’t confuse their stories with a nice back-page feature in the Sunday Life section of the local newspaper. Biodiesel co-ops are doing their part in the continued growth of the industry one 5-gallon jug of waste vegetable oil (WVO) biodiesel at a time. If the 5 MMgy producers are working to provide an advanced biofuel for mass use, it’s the 5-gallon folks who are

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PHOTO: REVO INTERNATIONAL

COOPERATIVE

SERIOUS EFFORTS: Following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Revo International provided WVO-based biodiesel for the relief efforts.

Revo International may have Japan’s largest biodiesel production facility (30,000 liters per day) and Revo International may have supplied biodiesel to one of the world’s most famous races (Dakar Rally), but nothing can top what the company did in the aftermath of the Tohuku earthquake and tsunami that rocked Northern Japan earlier this year. At the request of the Kyoto Co-op, a regional cooperative in the affected area, the Kyotobased biodiesel producer provided nearly 500 gallons of biodiesel for use in the disaster relief efforts in the Iwate region. “We heard that

Iwate Co-op delivered relief supplies to the victims using C-Fuel in the disaster area,” says Atsushi Yoshiike of Revo. The C-Fuel Yoshiike refers to is a waste vegetable oil-based biodiesel that Yoshiike also says has been appraised as an alternative energy by Japanese officials during the time of the disaster. The relief efforts by Revo didn’t end with the supply of C-Fuel to the Iwate region, however. The company also answered the request of Ukyo Katayama, a former F1 driver and friend of Revo International President Tetsuya Koshikawa, who

working to help the end-users understand why such a fuel is so special in the first place. Don’t believe it? Think about all the times someone you know, or have read about, has made a misinformed statement about a biofuel’s negative properties. Eric Williams speaks to people like that every day, and every day, he says, his co-op is growing.

energy company. And, unlike Williams, Thalacker doesn’t cater to urban drivers (although he would). Thalacker, along with co-founder Marc Verdi, is aiming to supply biodiesel and grow his cooperative by providing farmers, particularly family farmers, with biodiesel. His approach is to keep his fuel local, and help small cattle operations or horse ranchers in the region save a few dollars by purchasing biodiesel from his cooperative that he says will be priced lower than the going rate for petro diesel today. “You look at all the pressures that family farms have, and family ranchers have,” he says, “and $4 petrodiesel seems insane.”

Keeping it Rural Matters Christian Thalacker wasn’t a civil engineer before he started the Louisville Biodiesel Cooperative, he was an energy consultant who bought and sold for a large wholesale

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formed his own relief efforts in the wake of the disaster. Katayama has been very interested in the prevention of global warming after his retirement, Yoshiike says, and after the earthquake, “he knew there would be a lack of fuel in the disaster area.” Katayama and Koshikawa had participated in the Dakar Rally race in the past, but, as Koshiike says, they worked to help supply biodiesel in other regions of the area. That Revo’s biodiesel was used during the relief efforts should come as no surprise though. Since 2002, the company has been fueling Kyoto city buses and garbage trucks. In addition to WVO sourced from restaurants, Yoshiike says the company also collects from food factories and general households. The feedstock is pretreated before entering the production process, and the glycerol coproduct is used to fuel the boilers that provide power for the production process. “We aim to not discharge waste into the environment,” Yoshiike says, and the fuel produced by Revo has been approved in Japan for use much like the ASTM process is in the U.S. “Many companies and communities in Japan have shown interest in C-Fuel that reduces CO2 emissions,” he says. After recent events, it might be hard to argue that those interests will only grow even after the relief efforts have been completed.

Thalacker estimates that the average local farmer in his area uses roughly 3,000 gallons of fuel per season. Although his co-op is rather new, it started in November, he says that farmers in his area (about 70) would love to have biodiesel available and “as soon as it is ready,” he adds, “they are ready to buy.” The Louisville Biodiesel Cooperative offers up one of the greatest benefits of the growing number of co-ops across the country. Their model of staying local, and being as green and transparent as possible is one that nearly every co-op is adopting in its own way, and is a positive medium to create a network of public and private


relationships of businesses and consumers, all holding the same opinion of biodiesel. “There is a resonance with the restaurants,” he says of the places he collects the WVO used to produce his product. “There is a resonance with the big commercial-size kitchens,” a mutual feeling he says both parties believe in. Thalacker says he isn’t reinventing the wheel though, he’s simply trying to mimic the operational standards of arguably the most successful biodiesel co-op in the country, Piedmont Biofuels, a co-op he’s talked with several times. He’s also trying to take the same approach as people in places like Austin, Texas, or Chapel Hill, N.C., who he says are giving back to the restaurants that donate their WVO to the co-ops by performing as much marketing as possible for those establishments. While Thalacker does say he has to compete in his area with “the big players” who collect WVO for use as animal feed, he might be encouraged to know that people like John Campbell, vice president of government relations for Ag Processing Inc., an original player in the biodiesel industry, and the model of how a successfully run, corporate cooperative should look, are in support of communityscale co-ops. “People like to hear and see small energy ventures,” Campbell says. “I think the neat thing about biodiesel is that there are a lot of different business models under the biodiesel tent and there isn’t just one size fits all.”

The Community Cooperative As both Thalacker and Williams can attest, the model is based on sweat equity, finding funding and getting the word out. To do that, Williams and his team try to have information readily available for people with questions. He says having a Web presence has been helpful, as has sending out a weekly newsletter, “the scoop,” that lets people know about biofuels-related happenings in the area, including their own production reports and significant national stories. “We go to a number of different events, a number of person to person networking meetings,” he says. “Going out and actually meeting people in person, giving presentations, has been very effective for us.” Thalacker takes farm visits and spends plenty of time speaking with the farmers that

come into his wife’s food co-op to drop off their produce. “It is a tough business at the co-op level until you are making money, and even then you are looking at any ways to make as much revenue as possible.” To start the co-op in Louisville, Thalacker decided to go the nonprofit route, but even for community-scale cooperatives, the old adage in biodiesel is still true, feedstock is king. To make the fuel, some use reactors like those made by Springboard, but both Williams and Thalacker chose to reuse or make their own reactors that work in a batch process. Starting an average-size co-op costs, Thalacker estimates, between $50,000 and $75,000 on the low side. The model for growth all happens (after finding feedstock of course) by adding members. But, for each co-op, the type of members will determine CAREFUL STEPS: Marc Verdi takes all the precautions he the success of the project and the can while forming a biodiesel cooperative in Louisville. He project’s goals. For an urban-based is a financial analyst by trade. co-op, the more members, the better. But for those like Thalacker, who cater In Louisville, it’s the same. “The more to rural drivers and farmers, finding the right members is key. “If we got 300 club mem- connected we get to consumers and producers bers, that would be great,” he says, but would who care, the better,” Thalacker says. “It doesn’t hurt for us to have those kinds be more costly to get the word around. From Thalacker’s perspective, the large farm opera- of things (small-scale co-ops) around,” Camptions or corporate partners that will come to bell says, “because it has a certain amount of fill up in the hundreds and thousands of gal- appeal and that helps all of us.” That appeal lons would be better than giving a Volkswa- may be growing from different sources—one, the industry’s large producers ramping up to gen driver three 5-gallon jugs. Regardless of who the members are or meet the RFS2’s mandate calling for the use of how many gallons they are using, the signifi- massive amounts of biodiesel, and the other, cance of the community-scale biodiesel coop- from places like William’s biodiesel shop on erative to the overall biodiesel industry may the southeast part of Omaha on a Friday night best be seen by what Campbell points out where members can watch the crew preprocess about his company’s history. Back in 1995-’96, the oil before production, only to drive off in Campbell says there was really no reliable sup- their cars or trucks fueled by a sustainable fuel ply of biodiesel. “Our board and management and have a first-hand understanding of how elected to go out on a limb and build the first biodiesel works—and more importantly, what purpose-built biodiesel plant in North Ameri- to tell others about it. ca,” adding that “there was an enthusiasm for Author: Luke Geiver it at our company to take the risk early.” Other Associate Editor, Biodiesel Magazine (701) 738-4944 people obviously came along, he points out, lgeiver@bbiinternational.com “but those first steps were inspired by our pretty close connection to the farmers.”

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PHOTO: LOUISVILLE BIODIESEL CO-OP

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BIOJET

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BIOJET

ASTM

Approval Hydroprocessed biojet achieves significant milestone toward commercialization BY BRYAN SIMS

The introduction of biobased jet fuel into the commercial market is poised for takeoff as the ASTM International Committee on Petroleum Products and Lubricants has approved the addition of a new biobased jet fuel annex to the alternative fuel specification D7566. Titled “Standard Specification for Aviation Turbine Fuel Containing Synthesized Hydrocarbons,� the annex will set fuel properties for hydroprocessed esters and fatty acids fuel derived from biomass feedstocks such as camelina, jatropha or algae, as well as production control criteria of the fuel for aviation use. The vote concludes the technical review process, and final issuance of the revised specification was released in early July. Now airlines can immediately use a 50 percent blend of biofuel in their planes.

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PHOTO: RENTECH

BIOJET

BIOJET FEED: Earlier this year, Rentech received approval by the Province of Ontario, Canada, to obtain a long-term supply of up to 1.3 million tons per year of Crown timber for the company’s planned biobased jet fuel project, Project Olympiad, located in the Township of White River, Ontario.

ASTM’s decision to amend the jet fuel specification was welcomed by various stakeholders within the aviation fuel supply chain, most notably the Air Transport Association of America Inc., the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines. According to John Heimlich, vice president and chief economist for the ATA, it will take time for significant volumes of biojet fuel to enter the market due to competitive hurdles, petroleum price volatility and scarcity of financing for fuel production facilities and other factors, “but there are reasons to expect up to 1 billion gallons of biofuel to be in annual production by 2020,” he says in an email correspondence. Heimlich says that the worldwide airline industry is projected to spend approximately $176 billion on conventional jet fuel this year. “A plethora of U.S. and non-U.S. airlines have worked tirelessly together and with the military to facilitate the development and deployment of alternative aviation fuels,” Heimlich says. “That work has clearly paid off.” While the latest ASTM certification will undoubtedly help end-users such as airlines to use a cleaner-burning fuel in their engines, it will also play an important role in opening the market for prominent biobased jet fuel producers and technology players. Honeywell’s UOP, for example, has played an active role in supplying its fuel for testing by various OEMs, airlines, airports and 36

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other participating stakeholders for several years within the aviation fuel supply chain. According to Jim Rekoske, UOP’s vice president for renewable energy and chemicals, UOP intends to continue its commitment of providing biobased jet fuel and of being proactive in addressing the demand by opening discussions with domestic and international parties interested in potentially licensing its technology to build, own and operate biobased jet fuel production facilities in North America, Asia, Europe and India. “The demand signal is now coming from the backend of [the aviation fuel supply chain] and it’s now coming in force with the ASTM approval,” Rekoske tells Biodiesel Magazine. “What it’s going to take is some time for that demand signal to work its way forward into the front part of the chain so that the raw materials can be readily accessible, the conversion facilities can be built and operational and so on. That’s really the lag we’re working with.”

More Competition? With the ASTM approval, some in the biorefining industry may wonder if it will foster increased competition among existing participants, like UOP, within the aviation fuel supply chain. Rekoske believes it will, and he doesn’t think it’s a bad thing and expects direct competitors to create new business opportunities and collectively establish a competitive market.

AUGUST 2011

“We welcome the competition to be able to go after these markets together,” Rekoske says. “They’re big markets…there’s 55 billion gallons of jet fuel consumed annually in the U.S. alone. That’s a lot of jet fuel and it’s going to take a lot of facilities, so I think there’s room for a lot of different technologies to thrive and succeed.” Not only should it be a boon for companies like UOP, but it should also embolden other companies to move forward more quickly with their own certification efforts. Companies, including Amyris Inc., Gevo Inc., Terrabon Inc., Virent Energy Systems or Solazyme Inc., target a biobased jet fuel product from different processes and molecules not covered under the latest ASTM approval. This is a promising sign as a collaborative effort is underway among airlines, engine and airframe manufacturers, airports, the Federal Aviation Administration, the military and others to certify and approve pathways for processes that convert sugars and lignocellulosic feedstocks to jet fuel. According to Aaron Imrie, Virent’s commercial manager of fuels and lubricants, who also represents the company within the ASTM committee, the company is in the initial stages of getting its biobased jet fuel approved by independent third-party valuators. Wright Patterson Air Force Base is currently evaluating the physical properties of Virent's product from its pilot facility in Madison, Wis.


BIOJET “Once everyone is comfortable sharing the information, we’ll start to share that data as part of the ASTM body,” Imrie says. “That’s the final step.” Gary Luce, CEO of Houston-based Terrabon says his company has been trying to get its alcohol-based jet fuel certified through ASTM for about a year and a half now. Terrabon’s cellulosic gasoline product, made at its demonstration facility in Bryan, Texas, is a viable drop-in renewable gasoline blendstock that looks similar to cracked gasoline coming off the fluid catalytic cracking conversion process, Luce says, a pathway commonly used by today’s petroleum refiners. “So far, we’ve gone through 100-liter tests and, by next year, we’ll make about 6,000 liters that will be going into these further tests,” Luce says. Terrabon is currently working with Logos Technologies to help it get its fuel qualified with the military and other potential end-users.

Rentech is heavily involved in deploying its biojet fuel process technology. Earlier this year, the company received approval by the Province of Ontario, Canada, to obtain a long-term supply of up to 1.3 million tons per year of Crown timber for the company’s planned biobased jet fuel project, Project Olympiad, located in the Township of White River, Ontario. Last year, Rentech forged partnership Solena Group Inc. to integrate its Fischer-Tropsch synthetic fuel technology platform in Solena’s proposed BioJetFuel project—called GreenSky—in the United Kingdom. Ramsbottom added that Rentech plans to produce biojet fuel from sugarcane bagasse and wood sources out of its demonstration unit located in Commerce City. Ramsbottom contests that ASTM certification may somewhat weaken the barrier to entry for biobased jet fuels, such as HEFA and other alcohol-based jet fuels, long-term sustainable and economic production of

the product remains in question, particularly when it comes to feedstock sourcing and price competition against crude oil. “It all comes down to economics,” Ramsbottom says. “I think the airlines to date haven’t wanted to recognize the benefits of green fuels in terms of the pricing and I think they’re constrained through their economics on what they can pay for fuels. I also think there has to be, at some point, a meeting of the minds as to energy security and green attributes, and if it has to compete head on with the price of crude oil, it’s going to be a long day until there’s a supply of this product.” He adds, “For us being approved two years ago, we’re at that stage now where the entire supply chain needs to come together and move forward with increasing supply in order to satisfy the demand.” Author: Bryan Sims Associate Editor, Biodiesel Magazine (701) 738-4974 bsims@bbiinternational.com

Challenges Still Looming The ASTM’s decision presumably sets a meaningful precedent on the world stage for incorporating biobased jet fuel into the fossil aviation fuel supply. In 2009, ASTM approved the now widely used FischerTropsch process under the alternative jet fuel specification, and no other company knows this better than California-based Rentech Inc. Rentech operates a demonstrationscale facility in Commerce City, Colo., deploying its synthetic fuels technology that has produced more than 40,000 gallons of biobased jet fuels. Last year, a commercial flight flew on a blend of its trademarked RenJet fuel—the company’s renewable, certified jet fuel—and conventional Jet-A with no difference in performance when compared to conventional jet fuel, according to President and CEO Hunt Ramsbottom. Rentech employs a proprietary process based on Fisher-Tropsch chemistry that, together with gasification and upgrading, is capable of converting syngas from biomass and fossil sources into hydrocarbons that are subsequently upgraded with technology from a UOP alliance.

SIMPLICITY Turnkey Biodiesel Technology

EXPERIENCE 12 operating Biodiesel plants.

EXPERTISE Process (catalyst free and with catalyst), Distillation columns, Automation

COMPATIBILITY 0% to 100% FFA

OPTIMIZATION Maximum yield, efficiency and best in the class technology

RANGE Traditional process (Esterification and Transesterification) to Advanced process (catalyst free)

JatroDiesel, Inc. 845 North Main St., Miamisburg, OH 45342 Phone: (937) 847-8050 ext. 201 | www.jatrodiesel.com | sales@jatrodiesel.com AUGUST 2011

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COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTION

Defeating NIMBYism Overcome project opposition through strategic offense and building a local alliance BY AL MAIORINO

Picture this: the CEO of a large biofuels production corporation wants to pursue a new development. The economic difficulties haven’t slowed his company so he decides to build a new biodiesel plant near a small town in Massachusetts. The company’s management team constructs the business plan, collects the proper paperwork and prepares for the approval process. In an instant, the zoning commission holds off on granting their permit. Why? Nearby town residents of the proposed site created an opposition group to fight the project. Despite the fact that the new plant would increase the tax revenue, improve the local economy, and most importantly a produce renewable,

cleaner burning, nontoxic energy source, the community for one reason or another is opposing the project. The residents say the new facility would be too close to their homes and may be potentially hazardous to their health. They are concerned about a variety of issues from noise and traffic created by the construction to the dangers of living near a chemical plant. This is when the CEO realizes that opposition is indeed a road block that may halt or even destroy his project. So what does he do now? The problem that this company faces is not so uncommon. It is called the ‘Not in My Backyard Syndrome’ (or NIMBYism). It consists of strong opposition by one person or a group of people to a new project or

development in their community. The key to NIMBY opposition is in the location of a proposed construction. It has been suggested that the NIMBY syndrome stems from self-preservation. Communities simply don’t want anything that may potentially be dangerous to their health, or merely to their lifestyle and community vibe. Whatever their motivation may be, NIMBYs, as they are commonly referred to, are very likely to organize quickly to communicate their opposition to a local project in an effort to curb development. The origins of NIMBYism are somewhat vague. Some scholars believe the concept originated as early as the 1950s, however, the practice of communal opposition

The claims and statements made in this article belong exclusively to the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Biodiesel Magazine or its advertisers. All questions pertaining to this article should be directed to the author(s).

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to development blossomed in the 1980s. During that time, community concerns were reasonable and justified in most cases. First of all, the biodiesel production industry was so new that people simply feared it as the unknown. The lack of information obstructed the public’s ability to weigh the advantages of biodiesel against the dangers of its production. In addition, with the technology available during that period, building a biodiesel plant in a neighborhood could mean noise, traffic and pollution. The equipment and safety protocols used in biodiesel production were far less advanced than they are now. The risks of explosions, methanol spills and general exposure to chemicals were high. While those days are gone, the sentiment of opposition remains, as does the stigma of a biodiesel plant near one’s home. With the use of modern technology and strict government regulations, the inconvenience caused by any sort of development is usually reduced to the minimum. The NIMBYs always find a reason to oppose development. It seems that very often they are simply “in it to win it.” They oppose just for the sake of making a statement. Remarkably, members of NIMBY groups frequently support renewable energy initiatives—they approve of biodiesel as an alternative energy source that does not harm the environment. However, when a biodiesel plant construction is proposed in their neighborhood, NIMBYs quickly organize into an opposition group. The society as a whole understands the necessity of clean renewable energy, nevertheless, in reality, virtually nobody wants to make their backyard available. Therefore, the physical proximity to a development seems to be the main criterion in NIMBY activity. If your firm finds itself involved in a NIMBY fight, take the steps necessary to ensure the proper message is getting out to the public. Very often the opposition stems from misinformation and poor communication between project representatives and the community. In this case, it is better to play

Very often the opposition stems from misinformation and poor communication between project representatives and the community. on the offensive. Instead of waiting for the opposition to grow, present the facts. Make sure community members understand how biodiesel works, how it is created and what advantages it brings to the community, the country and the world. Chances are local residents’ knowledge of methanol use in biodiesel production is limited to the dangers of explosions and chemical spills. Your goal is to demystify the process. Explain safety procedures and protocols that will ensure the absence of health threat to the neighborhood. Explain the environmental and economic benefits of building your plant. These are a few basic facts you need to relay to the community. The next crucial step is to look for local support and build allies in order to form a supporter coalition. First and foremost, you need to identify and create a database of local residents who are in favor, against, or undecided about the project. A good way to begin is to carry out a poll or a phone bank, inquiring local residents on their view of the renewable energy industry in general, and about your development plan in particular. The results of the surveys may then be published to showcase the positive attitude in the community toward your venture. Once the database is created, it has to be maintained and updated frequently for the campaign management to be aware of the changes in the local opinion. One way to do this is through a targeted direct mail and/or advertising campaign. In addition, a strong social media campaign is a modern and necessary tool to spread your message, reach out to the community and provide supporters with a communication outlet. Now that you have distinguished supporters from opposition, the next step is to reach out to third-party groups that support

your development. These groups could be anything from small businesses to a local decision maker. Those companies or groups who you have had a positive relationship with or will benefit from your project should be encouraged to participate in the campaign. Residents should express their support through writing letters to their elected officials or newspapers. Those who are looking to support further can attend public hearings where they can speak about the benefits of your project. Most likely, an independent pro-group would have emerged by now and will actively participate in all aspects of the campaign. You may choose to fight NIMBY on your own. However, experience shows that hiring a specialized firm will provide you with the necessary tools and tactics to ensure a victory for your development. Trained professionals from a grassroots firm will make sure that the correct message from your company is being distributed to the community and the silent majority is heard. The way you approach the situation will make all the difference. When it came down to it, the CEO of that biofuels corporation had a decision to make. He could choose to ignore the NIMBY fight, avoid communicating with the local community and take the situation to an unnecessary level of tension. Instead the company’s management team hired a specialized firm that developed a strategy, engaged in conversation with the community and encouraged the proponents of the project to voice their support. Soon after the conflict was put to rest, the permit was granted and the company went on to build the plant.

AUGUST 2011

Author: Al Maiorino President, Public Strategy Group (617) 859-3006

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FEEDSTOCK CONTRIBUTION

Quick and Dirty Feedstock Characterization Practical advice for cash-strapped community-scale biodiesel plants BY CHRISTINA BORGESE AND MARC PRIVITERA

Feedstock characterization, process conversion and fuel finishing are the building blocks of biodiesel production. Of the three, feedstock characterization is usually underestimated. The lack of depth in the understanding of feedstock’s impact on the business plan has lead to challenges that might have been avoided for smaller scale producers. This article on feedstock is the first of three installments to discuss the building blocks of biodiesel production. Nontraditional methods to process higher free fatty acid (FFA) feedstocks are more technically complex compared to

traditional systems. High FFA feedstocks include yellow grease, brown grease, tallows, and algal oils. Yellow grease is primarily comprised of restaurant and cooking wastes. Brown grease typically comes from grease trap waste, dissolved air flotation skimmings, agricultural spoils and meat cut waste. Algal oil is only now emerging as another feedstock. Tallows and rendered fats typically have a high existing market value. The National Renderers Association defines yellow grease as no more than 15 percent FFA and no more than 2 percent MIU (moisture, insolubles and unsaponifiables). The historical reference on FOG, Bailey’s Industrial Oil and Fat Products, de-

fines brown grease as having an FFA level between 15 and 50 percent. There is much debate throughout the industry on how exactly to define brown grease. In reality the nomenclature is inconsequential. What really matters is the actual FFA and MIU content received at the plant and whether or not the system is capable of processing the material. A rookie mistake is negotiating a contract to buy yellow or brown grease without the needed characterization. The excitement of the green movement has enabled community-scale efforts to repurpose locally collected waste material. Concurrently, municipalities have been working to solve the problem of FOG

The claims and statements made in this article belong exclusively to the author(s) and do not necessarily refl ect the views of Biodiesel Magazine or its advertisers. All questions pertaining to this article should be directed to the author(s).

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continuing to create sewer system backups. Over the last 10 years local municipalities have enacted new regulatory practices for all FOG producers requiring increased collection and reporting. This has created a need for a community-based outlet for the collected material. Most commonly this material is land-applied or dewatered and disposed in landfills. Many small biodiesel producers have begun to look at this locally collected waste material as a feedstock. The characterization methods of that feedstock are critical to their success. In every system from community-scale to major industrial operations, it’s important to characterize your inbound raw materials. Regardless of your processing capabilities, the critical feedstock measurements are moisture, insolubles, solid particle size, melt point curve, FFA and sulfur. The test methods to determine these characteristics need to be quick and reliable so that the material can be analyzed before it enters the feedstock storage tank. The first step in feedstock characterization is to identify a potential supplier and set up the collection of samples for a defined period of time to gather a statistically significant set of data for the proposed feedstock supply. This data set is usually comprised of a minimum of seven samples. To be statistically rigorous, the number of required samples is calculated using the precision of the measurement and the desired risk tolerance in the results. A common brown grease source is a restaurant grease trap. Material in grease traps is usually only 2 percent recoverable oil depending on the pumping frequency of the trap. This 2 percent, however, if allowed to enter the sewer system, is what causes all the problems. Time-honored practices in processing collected grease trap waste (GTW) focus on dewatering the material with a polymer then solidifying the remainder for land application or land fill disposal. The oil phase almost always becomes part of the solidified sludge and previously was con-

sidered a low-value material. In recent years new process technologies have been developed that can convert high FFA oil into biodiesel. These new processing capabilities have placed a renewed focus on separating the oil from the solids in an effort to recover as much value from the collected material as possible creating new composting and energy producing opportunities. When polymer is used to bind the oil with the remaining solids, additional attention in sampling and analyzing the sludge is required for accurate characterization of the feedstock. There are current requirements for sampling grease traps. The challenge is getting a good representative sample. Sludge sticks (clear PVC pipes with valves on the bottom) are a usual method for grabbing a trap sample. If the trap is pumped on a frequent basis, it could turn out that the oil layer is indistinguishable and the ability to calculate the amount available for conversion becomes difficult. A more convenient way to gather a representative sample is to sample from the discharge of the vacuum trucks after it enters the first stage of the dewatering process, usually the pit, and after it is well mixed as a load. The focus should be first on the total amount of oil in the collected material. A centrifuge method is normally used. The ASTM D2709 Standard Test Method for Water and Sediment in Middle Distillate Fuels by Centrifuge specifies to use a 100 milliliter (mL) sample spun at a centrifugal force of 800 for 10 minutes. This test is part of the B100 fuel specification. Adopted from this test is a centrifuge method that uses a 15 mL sample and provides a visual representation of the feedstock’s characteristic fractions. This grossly determines the volume percents of floating and heavy solids, free water and oil. The main drawback to this method is that it lacks the capability to test bound water in the oil phase. Now with your separated centrifuge sample, pull an aliquot of the oil layer and titrate for FFA. This titration method should

be derived from ASTM D974, Test Method for Acid and Base Number by Color-Indicator Titration. Quickly summarizing, dilute your sample in isopropyl alcohol and titrate it against standardized KOH using phenolphthalein as an indicator. Even though you have pulled an aliquot from your oil layer for your FFA titration, most likely your oil still is wet to some extent. A very important detail in the measurement of the moisture in the oil is the difference between the free and bound moisture. Each play a role in the reaction inhibition and the formation of the undesirable byproducts, but many times the collection of the sample, the sample preparation, or the measurement method does not give an accurate representation of the moisture present. A Karl Fischer titration is the classic method for measuring total moisture. The equipment for a Karl Fischer moisture titrator typically costs $5,000 to $8,000. It is a sensitive machine that requires frequent calibration and maintenance and in the biodiesel world it is best used to measure moisture in fuel against a known standard. The variability of MIU in feedstock often throws a Karl Fischer off its measurement causing many man hours to recalibrate and clean. A less expensive but reliable method used to test the moisture in the oil is water bomb. This method uses a pressure-versus-time correlation from reacting the test method reagent with the sample in a calorimetric bomb reactor. This quick method can provide valuable insight into the bound moisture that the centrifuge method is unable to provide. Another simple but less accurate method for measuring bound moisture is the hot pan test. In a lab hood while wearing proper protective equipment, heat an electric frying pan and gather about 10 mL of oil for a sample. When the pan surface is at a stable 220 degrees Fahrenheit, measuring with a noncontact temperature device, pour 1 mL of feedstock into the pan. If it bubbles like crazy, stop. This indicates that you have sig-

AUGUST 2011

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FEEDSTOCK

nificant bound water and need to process the feedstock further. If there are no visible bubbles, pour the remainder of the material onto the surface of the pan. If the increased volume in the pan also shows no bubbles, then the feedstock is fairly dry. At this point remember to turn off the pan, or this test will turn into a smoke point test, which could be useful in other situations dealing with oil. The hot pan test is especially useful as a visual aid to illustrate how much water is in the feedstock to those who may not understand the difference between free and bound moisture. A more refined and detailed characterization should be completed offline in the lab. A temperature-versus-viscosity curve should be run. This will give an indication of how easily the water will separate from oil in the feedstock. As the oil heats up, the water will separate from the remaining liquid at different rates at different temperatures. This would not have been obvious in the centrifuge test previously conducted. The

temperature-viscosity profile is critical to the proper operation of the disc stack centrifuge, which is usually the first of the plant operations in the separation of the oil from the water. If the viscosity it too high, the water is not able to move through the mass to coalesce with other droplets to become large enough to release from the oil. High viscosity oil will not be able to travel up the disc surface cavities to separate from the water, and the water will be unable to release from the disc film and flow to the higher density collection port. The processing challenges of using wet, high FFA, brown grease feedstock can be overcome using proven processing methods including the traditional blending, acid esterification and even supercritical methanol technology. One detail of brown grease feedstock characterization that cannot be overlooked is sulfur content. Measuring sulfur in the feedstock is an expensive aspect that might not be in the planning budgets for many community-based and local-scale

biodiesel producers. Brown grease is going to have a significant amount of sulfur. The technology and methods to remove the sulfur from the feedstock and ultimately the fuel is a difficult path to maneuver, as many of the required unit operations do not scale down economically from the normal largescale refinery desulfurization systems that is a part of any dinosaur feedstock diesel operation. Planning for sufficient analytical support for the needed sulfur disposition study throughout any nontraditional process system is critical as the 15 ppm specification is a difficult level to meet. Characterization methods are critical to benchmark the feedstock sulfur content. Tracking the effectiveness of sulfur removal along with other process conversion technology details will be covered in future installments. Authors: Christina Borgese, Marc Privitera Founding Engineers, PreProcess Inc. (949) 201-6041 christina@preprocessinc.com


BIODIESEL MARKETPLACE Ag Products & Services

Cleaning

Equipment & Services

Equipment

Ductwork

Analytical Instruments

Turner BioDiesel 715-288-6480

www.turnerbiodiesel.com

Hydro-Klean, Inc. 515-283-0500

www.hyrdo-klean.com

Wilks Enterprise, Inc. 831-338-7459

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Associations/Organizations

Emergency Spill Response

Expellers

Red River Valley Clean Cities 651-227-8014 www.CleanAirChoice.org

Hydro-Klean, Inc. 515-283-0500

French Oil Mill Machinery Company 937-773-3420 www.frenchoil.com/biodieselmag.shtml

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Chemicals-Additives

www.hydro-klean.com

Hydro-Blasting Hydro-Klean, Inc. 515-283-0500

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Railcars

Dyes

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Tank Cleaning Services Hydro-Klean, Inc. 515-283-0500

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Conferences/Trade Shows & Meetings Algae Biomass Summit 763-458-0068 www.algaebiomasssummit.org Algal Biomass Organization 763-458-0068 www.algalbiomass.org

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Construction Fabrication

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800.852.5942

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Bismarck State College 701-224-5735 www.BismarckState.edu/energy Biodiesel Education Prog. Univ. of Idaho 208-885-7626 www.biodieseleducation.org

Chemicals-Catalysts

Employment

Bases

Recruiting

BASF 724-538-1358

www.inorganics.basf.com

Evonik Degussa Corporation 732-651-0001 www.degussa-biodiesel.com Methanol of Orlando 407-234-1788 SMOTEC PLUS Co. 201-506-9109 44

jmm@arllc.org

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Call: 216-881-7900 info@metchem.com Fax: 216-881-8950

SearchPath of Chicago 815-261-4403,x100 www.searchpathofchicago.com

Engineering Process Design Crown Iron Works Company 651-639-8900 www.crowniron.com

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BIODIESEL MAGAZINE

Met-Chem ¿lter presses are ideal stock pre-¿lters. They have been sucessfully used in process ¿ltration of Magnesol™ and in various other applications for processing biodiesel.

AUGUST 2011

Filtration Media Met-Chem, Inc. 216-881-7900

www.metchem.com


BIODIESEL MARKETPLACE Flaking Equipment

Storage

French Oil Mill Machinery Company 937-773-3420 www.frenchoil.com/biodieselmag.shtml

Guttman Group 800-245-5955

Laboratory-Equipment

Tanks

Biodiesel Analytical Solutions 800-483-8107 www.biodieselanalytical.com

JVNW Inc. 503-263-2858

French Oil Mill Machinery Company 937-773-3420 www.frenchoil.com/biodieselmag.shtml

Used Equipment

Laboratory-Testing Services

UPM Machine 713-440-8200

JatroDiesel Inc. 937-847-8050 www.guttmangroup.com

www.jvnw.com

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Pacific Biodiesel Technologies 503-263-1851 www.biodiesel.com

Engine Testing www.upmmachine.com

Roush Industries 734-779-7736

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Transportation

Biodiesel

Railcar Gate Openers www.sumaenergy.com

Blender/Distributor American Biofuel Solutions, LLC 305-246-3835 www.305biofuel.com

Market Data Research 13 503-863-9913

Mcgyan Biodiesel, LLC 763-421-3729

Research & Development

Marketing Suma Energy LLC 516-816-3705

www.jatrodiesel.com

www.Research13.com

The Arnold Company 800-245-7505 www.arnoldcompany.com

Vehicles

PICK-UP & DELIVERY.

Miscellaneous Maas Companies 507-285-1444

www.maascompanies.com

Process Technology Grease Collection Service Aluminum Vacuum Tank Trucks

Modular Systems GreeNebraska Renewable Diesel Refineries 402-640-8925 www.greenebraska.com

Tank Sizes from 300 to 7000 Gallons

Slide-In Units

Turnkey Systems Green Fuels America, Inc. 866-996-6130 www.greenfuelsamerica.com

Size & Pump Options In STOCK Selection

Ask about our dual tank & pumping systems.

• •

Cennatek Bioanalytical Services 519-479-0489 www.cennetek.ca

Industries Inc.

Iowa Central Fuel Testing Lab 515-574-1253 www.iowafueltestinglab.com Saskatchewan Research Council 306-787-9400 www.src.sk.ca

866-789-9440 www.keevac.com Denver, CO • Bellefonte, PA • Kansas City, MO

Loading Equipment-Liquid PFT-Alexander, Inc. 1-800-696-1331

www.pft-alexander.com

Separators Hydrasep, Inc. 662-429-4088

www.hydrasep.com AUGUST 2011

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Advertiser Index 2 2011 Algae Biomass Summit 48 2011 International Biorefining Conference & Trade Show 47 2011 Northeast Biomass Conference & Trade Show 46 2011 Southeast Biomass Conference & Trade Show 43 2012 Pacific West Biomass Conference & Trade Show 7 Algae Technology & Business 9 Algal Biomass Organization 28 Cognis Corp. / QTA Group 37 Jatrodiesel 11 & 29 NBB National Biodiesel Board 42 Oil-Dri Corporation of America

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August 2011 Biodiesel Magazine  

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August 2011 Biodiesel Magazine