SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2013 VOLUME 10 ISSUE 5
The Quick and the Mobile
Biodiesel’s Quality Evolution
The functionality of, and applications for, portable biodiesel analyzers
The story behind major improvements in U.S. biodiesel fuel quality
BY RON KOTRBA
BY RON KOTRBA
Biodiesel Quality: An Industry Imperative
34 Advertiser Index 8 39 22 36 11 32 5 30 9 35 27 26 12 18 19 20& 33 24
2013 Algae Biomass Summit Biodiesel Industry Directory Biodiesel Plant Map Crown Iron Works Company Eastman Chemical Company EcoEngineers Evonik Corporation French Oil Mill Machinery Company GEA Westfalia Separator Genscape, Inc. INTL FCStone Inc. Iowa Central Fuel Testing Lab Lindquist & Vennum PLLP MaxFlo Advanced Filtration Methes Energies National Biodiesel Board SGS North America, Inc.
13 Superior Process Technologies 2 The Jacobsen Publishing Company 37 Wilks Enterprise, Inc.
California-based Community Fuels raises the bar for biodiesel producers
BY LISA MORTENSON, CHRISTOPHER YOUNG AND STEVEN SABILLON
DEPARTMENTS 4 Editor’s Note
INSIDE: OPTIMIZING FREE AND TOTAL GLYCERIN MEASUREMENT
Restoring a Tarnished Reputation
BY RON KOTRBA
Quality: An Industry Imperative
6 Legal Perspectives
Improving Access to Capital Markets
BQ-9000 Producer and Laboratory Community Fuels Goes Above and Beyond to Provide Superior Product
BY JOE LEO Plus
Biodiesel’s Quality Evolution Page 28
7 Talking Point
Portable Analyzers Provide Quick QC Checks for Plants, Revenue Maximization for Blenders
Measuring Reaction and Separation
BY JEFF FETKENHOUR
ON THE COVER:
Inside Community Fuels' biodiesel production facility in Port of Stockton, Calif.
9 Biodiesel Events 10 FrontEnd
COVER PHOTO: CAPTIVATING PHOTOS
Biodiesel News & Trends
14 Inside NBB 18 Business Briefs
Companies, Organizations & People in the News
38 Marketplace Biodiesel Magazine: (USPS No. 023-975) September/October 2013, Vol. 10, Issue 5. Biodiesel Magazine is published bi-monthly by BBI International. 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.
SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2013
RESTORING A TARNISHED REPUTATION
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Welcome to the ever-popular Quality, Testing and Standards issue of Biodiesel Magazine. Back in the mid-2000s, when Min-
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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 701-7465367. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 701-7468385 or email@example.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 email to rkotrba@ bbiinternational.com.
nesota became the first state in the U.S. to implement a biodiesel mandate, then just at 2 percent, the excitement was high as biodiesel entered the mainstream diesel fuel market. Not long after, however, reports of clogged filters and mysterious residues left from biodiesel surfaced, and media reports ran with the news that this new fuel, biodiesel, was causing problems. And it got worse from there. In 2006, National Renewable Energy Laboratory conducted a biodiesel fuel quality survey whose results were astonishing: More than half the samples tested in the survey were out of specification. Since then, the industry and its leadership have fought hard to restore biodiesel’s reputation, and years later, the efforts finally appear to be paying off. Read about the historical struggles biodiesel has endured, and how the U.S. industry has regained respect for producing high-quality fuel in “Biodiesel’s Quality Evolution” on page 28. In “The Quick and the Mobile” on page 22, I interview three leading companies with portable biodiesel analyzers to discuss application, functionality, cost, accuracy, and what’s in the pipeline for future use. While results from portable devices cannot be used to show ASTM compliance, they are useful tools for quality control inside the plant. Outside the plant, blend analyzers can help maximize revenues from tax credits, RINs and low carbon fuel standard credits by allowing the blender to check the biodiesel concentration of incoming diesel fuel so they can increase the biodiesel portion to the desired percentage before distributing the product. Also, BQ-9000-certified laboratory and biodiesel producer Community Fuels gives us “Biodiesel Quality: An Industry Imperative” on page 34, a mustread article about the California producer’s views on quality, and how it goes the extra mile to provide superior product to its customers. “Quality is easy to talk about but much more challenging to truly achieve,” write the authors from Community Fuels. “It requires substantial investment, serious commitment and continuous action.”
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SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2013
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Improving Access to Capital Markets BY JOE LEO
Let’s be honest, despite the fact that the biodiesel industry is experiencing arguably its most successful year, it is still difficult for biodiesel producers to raise capital in the current investing climate. This difficulty in accessing the capital
markets, especially equity capital, is hindering the biodiesel industry’s ability to expand and implement process and technical improvements, which could improve efficiency and profitability in the industry. This pain is shared almost universally by companies in various industries following the worldwide financial problems that we have endured in recent years. In response to difficulties that companies face in raising capital, Congress passed the 2012 Jumpstart our Business Startups Act (JOBS Act) with the goal of improving access to the U.S. capital markets. One provision of the JOBS Act required the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to allow advertising and general solicitation in certain unregistered capital raises when all of the participating investors are accredited under SEC regulations. The ability to use advertising and general solicitation was previously reserved for capital raises that were registered with the SEC. Accredited investors under SEC regulations are primarily higher income and net worth investors. Categories of accredited investors include: (i) individuals with annual income in excess of $200,000 (or $300,000 in joint annual income with a spouse) for the two most recent years and who expect the same level of income in the current year; (ii) individuals who have net worth in excess of $1 million without including equity in the investor’s primary residence; (iii) directors and executive officers of the companies raising capital; and (iv) certain business and other entities with assets in excess of $5 million. While this is not an exclusive list of investors who qualify as “accredited” under SEC regulations, these are the most common types of accredited investors. On July 10, the SEC adopted final regulations implementing this key provision of the JOBS Act. The longstanding prohibition against advertising and general solicitation in unregistered capital offerings has created difficulties in modern times when so much communication takes place through the internet and social media. In order to allow greater access to the capital markets, Congress sought to use these new communication tools to enhance the ability of companies to attract investors.
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Congress determined that the competing interests of investor protection versus increasing businesses’ access to capital through modern forms of communication could be appropriately balanced by the SEC. Under these new rules, companies engaging in advertising and general solicitation must take reasonable steps to determine whether the investors participating in their capital raises are actually accredited. This reasonable verification is a greater duty than companies currently have when they pursue unregistered capital raises, which is the trade-off that must be considered by companies who wish to pursue these types of unregistered offerings. Under these new rules, the SEC has developed a list of methods that companies can use to determine whether the investors participating in the unregistered offering meet the accredited standard. However, the SEC went out of its way to state that it wants to provide flexibility to companies in order to meet this requirement in a way that makes sense for their business. Further, the SEC proposed additional rules not yet effective, which would require companies raising capital through advertising and general solicitation to file additional information with the SEC. While this could add additional burdens to companies pursuing unregistered offerings using advertising and general solicitation, it is certainly less burdensome than registering with the SEC. No firm timetable has been established for when these additional filing rules may become effective. The bottom line is, while pursuing an unregistered capital raise using advertising and general solicitation may require additional steps in order to comply with these SEC regulations, it may provide your company access to investors who were previously unavailable, and expand the potential pool of capital available. These new regulations become effective on Sept. 23. It is important to note that the changes made by the SEC only enhance the ways in which companies can raise capital through unregistered offerings and provide a new tool that can be used. The traditional methods of conducting unregistered capital offerings are intact and available to be used. Author: Joe Leo Attorney, BrownWinick Law Firm 515-242-2462 email@example.com
Measuring Reaction and Separation BY JEFF FETKENHOUR
The quality of biodiesel is critical to reliable performance and acceptance in the market. ASTM International establishes standards by which biodiesel fuel quality is evaluated. These standards are defined by the ASTM Standard Specification D6751. Listed among the 21 specifications in D6751 is standard method D6584, Test Method for Determination of Total Monoglycerides, Total Diglycerides, Total Triglycerides, and Free and Total Glycerin in B-100 Biodiesel Methyl Esters by Gas Chromatography. This referee test method is used to evaluate the extent of reaction from feedstock (e.g., triglycerides) to biodiesel (i.e., methyl esters) as well as the separation of free glycerin from the finished product. Proper application of D6584 is even more important now that it serves in part to distinguish the new No. 1-B grade biodiesel classification by identifying and quantifying total monoglyceride content. For the biodiesel producer trying to optimize plant production and qualify inventory for valid RINs, correct measurement of free and total glycerin is vital. The determination of glycerin and glycerides by D6584 requires effective gas chromatography (GC). Fundamentally, the sample is introduced through the instrument inlet, the analytical column separates the components (and analytes of interest), and calibration information is used to process the data for compound identification and quantification. There are many gas chromatography system options available and at work in analytical laboratories todayâ€”some with more bells and whistles than others, but all are expected to achieve the same analytical results and meet method repeatability and reproducibility requirements. Some may come equipped with an autosampler to ensure more consistent sample introduction for better retention time stability; others may have more user-friendly data processing software that enable chromatogram overlays for easier peak identification and interpretation. Regardless, all systems must be capable of consistently supporting sufficient chromatographic peak shape, peak resolution, calibration and retention time stability. Analysts are expected to maintain a logbook to record instrument usage, calibration information and maintenance events. These log entries support troubleshooting of instrument performance issues. Additional daily diagnostics such as detector output and gas levels can be recorded to monitor instrument stability. Analytical columns have a limited lifespan. Some analysts will base column replacements on the number of injections made or a period of time (e.g., three months). While this type of proactive
approach may be suitable, it may result in change-outs that occur prematurely, resulting in unnecessary laboratory expenses, or change-outs that occur too late, resulting in poor peak identification and quantification. Regular, day-to-day comparisons of chromatography generated during analysis of reference standards as well as characteristic sample patterns are useful for monitoring the decline in column performance. Evidence of decline can be indicated by gradual retention time shifts to earlier elution times or excessive peak shape tailing of the internal standard 1,2,4-Butanetriol. Regular analysis of reference standards enables the analyst to proactively identify instrument performance concerns before they impact the integrity of the test results. Accurate interpretation of chromatography for application of D6584 relies on both the evaluation of standard reference materials analyzed for quality control, such as calibration and marker standards, and the software features provided by the instrument vendor, such as overlay and integration functions. Initial calibration steps establish the method for compound identification and quantification. Continuing calibration verification (CCV) analyses acquired routinely with sample analyses are implemented to verify retention times and calibrations are correct. Commercially available monoglyceride reference materials are particularly helpful for the assessment of total monoglcyerides. These reference materials establish a direct retention time marker for monopalmitin, monoolein and monostearin. Ideally, computer software features for the GC system permit the option to overlay various chromatograms (e.g., CCV, Mono-marker, and characteristic samples) to look for retention time alignment. When the Mono-marker is included in an overlay of chromatograms, the retention time for three of the five monoglycerides summed for total monoglycerides can be definitively established. Use of control charts to trend retention times, relative retention time indices and percent recovery can also be used to establish confidence in the instrument control status for defensible results. Overall, the correct application of D6584 serves to ensure quality production processes, validate the grade of biodiesel blendstock and promote confidence for OEMs and obligated parties.
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Author: Jeff Fetkenhour Owner, Gorge Analytical LLC 541-386-0249 firstname.lastname@example.org
2013 Sponsors, Supporting Organizations, Media Partners & Exhibitors
September 30 - October 3, 2013 Hilton Orlando | Orlando, Florida
EXHIBITORS Alfa Laval, Inc. Algae Biomass Organization Algae Foundation Algae Biotech Algae Industry Magazine Algae To Omega Holdings, Inc AlgEternal Technologies LLC Algix LLC AMEC Applied Chemical Technology Appropriate Technical Resources Algae Testbed Public-Private Partnership (ATP3) BD Biosciences BioProcess Algae, LLC CBO Financial, Inc. Cellana LLC Colorado Lining International
Crown Iron Works Company Diversified Technologies, Inc EMD Millipore Energi Insurance Services Inc Evodos Flottweg Separation Technology, Inc. Fluid Imaging Technologies, Inc. GEA Westfalia Separator GF Piping Systems Heliae Corporation Measurement Specialties, Inc. MicroBio Engineering National Center for Marine Algae and Microbiota (NCMA) National Renewable Energy Laboratories Nexus Corporation OpenAlgae
OriginOil, Inc. Particle Sizing Systems Phenometrics Inc. Rough Brothers Inc. Sapphire Energy Inc. SCHOTT North America, Inc. Southwest Research Institute Texas A&M AgriLife Research Thar Process The Boeing Company University of California, San Diego US Department of Energy Biomass Program UTEX The Culture Collection of Algae Waterwheel Factory, Inc. Watson-Marlow Pumps Group
AS OF AUGUST 21, 2013
EVENTS CALENDAR National Advanced Biofuels Conference & Expo SEPTEMBER 10-12, 2013
CenturyLink Center Omaha Omaha, Neb. Proving Pathways. Building Capacity. Produced by BBI International, this national event will feature the world of advanced biofuels and biobased chemicalsâ€•technology scale-up, project finance, policy, national markets and moreâ€•with a core focus on the industrial, petroleum and agribusiness alliances defining the national advanced biofuels industry. 866-746-8385 www.advancedbiofuelsconference.com
Algae Biomass Summit
SEPTEMBER 30-OCTOBER 3, 2013
Hilton Orlando Orlando, Fla. This dynamic event unites industry professionals from all sectors of the worldâ€™s algae utilization industries including, but not limited to, financing, algal ecology, genetic systems, carbon partitioning, engineering and analysis, biofuels, animal feeds, fertilizers, bioplastics, supplements and foods. 866-746-8385 www.algaebiomasssummit.org
International Biomass Conference & Expo Orlando Convention Center Orlando, Fla. Organized by BBI International and coproduced by Biomass Magazine, the International Biomass Conference & Expo program will include 30-plus panels and more than 100 speakers, including 90 technical presentations on topics ranging from anaerobic digestion and gasification to pyrolysis and combined heat and power. This dynamic event unites industry professionals from all sectors of the worldâ€™s interconnected biomass utilization industriesâ€•biobased power, thermal energy, fuels and chemicals. 866-746-8385 www.biomassconference.com
International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo JUNE 9-12, 2014
Indiana Convention Center Indianapolis, Indiana Now in its 30th year, the FEW provides the global ethanol industry with cutting-edge content and unparalleled networking opportunities in a dynamic business-to-business environment. The FEW is the largest, longest running ethanol conference in the worldâ€•and the only event powered by Ethanol Producer Magazine. 866-746-8385 www.fuelethanolworkshop.com
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MARCH 24-26, 2014
Biodiesel News & Trends
Study shows biodiesel feedstock diversity in Germany’s fuel With 53 percent raw material content, rapeseed oil remains the most important raw material source for the production of biodiesel in Germany, followed by palm oil with 25 percent, and coconut and soy oil at 11 percent each. This is the result of the study presented by the Union zur Förderung von Oel- und Proteinpflanzen e.V. (UFOP). Sixty fuel filling stations throughout Germany, weighted according to market shares, were sampled. The biodiesel percentage, as well as its raw material composition, was determined on behalf of the UFOP. In an initial analysis step, the biodiesel components of the samples were determined according to DIN EN 14078. Samples with biodiesel content greater than 1.5 percent (v/v) were then treated in accordance with DIN EN 14331. This implies a separation of the diesel matrix from the biodiesel. Finally, the fatty acid samples of the gained biodiesel fractions were determined according to DIN EN 14103. The obtained fatty acid patterns were compared with fatty acid patterns of known oils such as rapeseed, soy, palm and coconut. Ideally, an identification of the analyzed raw material basis was realized by a simulation calculation. All samples with a biodiesel content of less than 1.4 percent were designated as diesel fuels without biodiesel. This corresponds to a total number of 12 samples (out of 60 total). Of these 12 samples, 10 had a biodiesel content of less than 1 percent with five of them less than 0.5 percent. UFOP notes that in 2010 and 2011, after the immediate national implementation of the Renewable Energies Directive, German agriculture benefitted from the fact that mostly only certified rapeseed from domestic production was available. The feedstock mix resulting from this survey reveals that the certification systems approved by the EU Commission have now also been introduced in countries outside the EU such as Argentina, Brazil as well as Indonesia and Malaysia. In other
words, the supply of sustainably certified raw materials for biofuel production has become globalized since implementation of the RED, according to UFOP. UFOP says it has serious misgivings and believes that closer attention must be paid to the quality of the national implementation and the certification introduced in the sense of fair competition, but also
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for natural and environmental protection. The RED makes it possible to examine the quality of the sustainability certification. UFOP urges the EU Commission to set out strict rules for the quality of the implementation and monitoring by the certification body as well as the responsible authorities of the member states.
Researchers develop 5 ppm FAME detector for jet fuel Millions of dollars and years of testing have already been invested in the attempt to increase ASTMâ€™s allowable amount of fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) contamination in jet fuel, which can occur from pipeline movement of diesel containing low-level biodiesel blends followed by jet fuel. At high concentrations, biodiesel contamination in jet fuel may impact the thermal stability of the fuel, leading to coke deposits in the fuel system. Contamination can also impact the freezing point of jet fuel, resulting in gelling. Such conditions may result in engine operability problems and possible engine flameout. The current amount of biodiesel contamination allowed in ASTM D1655, the jet fuel spec, is up to 5 parts per million (ppm), a level so low that traditional analytical equipment such as gas chromatography, Fourier transform infrared and high-performance liquid chromatography cannot detect it. â€œAllowing a higher level of biodiesel in the ASTM specifications for jet fuel than 5 ppm will make it much easier for pipelines to manage shipments of biodiesel blends in a manner that ensures jet fuel will always meet the specifications,â€? says Steve Howell, senior technical advisor with the National Biodiesel Board. The U.K.-based Energy Institute is leading a large consortium of
interested parties to conduct testing (at 400 ppm, or four times the proposed allowable limit) needed by jet engine OEMs, the Airframe OEMs and the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to support up to 100 ppm biodiesel contamination in jet fuel. The report, to be published soon, will be reviewed and used to help determine the path forward at ASTM. While those involved wait, researchers at the University of Tennessee have developed thin-film sensors with high sensitivity toward biodiesel contamination in jet fuel. Small strips of these sensors have been tested to detect the trace biodiesel contaminant in diesel at
as low as 0.5 ppm in less than 30 minutes. The sensor also gives quick response to B20 in less than five minutes and may be used with the naked eye. The sensors, developed by UT chemistry professor Ziling Xue, are intrinsically small, easy to use, inexpensive, and can be mass-produced for disposable applications. When combined with a portable reader, the sensors can be used as a compact portable device for field applications. The university is seeking partners to commercialize the technology.
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IPT works to commercialize hydroesterification process International Procurement Tools LLC has signed an exclusive technology license agreement with Brazilian firm USDA and owner Ubaldino Soares to become the global distributor of hydroesterification biodiesel production units. IPT is in talks with a number of fabricators in third-world countries to build the units, and it is working with an engineering firm to do the P&IDs and other detailed design engineering work. The process involves converting 100 percent of any lowgrade feedstock to free fatty acids (FFA) first, prior to biodiesel conversion, with a hydrolysis step involving heat and pressure (subcritical water) at 270 degrees Celsius and 60-65 kgf/cm2 in a high-pressure tower, inducing a chemical reaction between the water and feedstock without a catalyst. The fatty material is preheated and fed on the bottom of the tower while demineralized water is preheated and fed on the top. For this, independent piston pumps with a flow rate of 1:1 (fatty material: water; w:w) are used. The denser water flows to the tower bottom and the fatty material flows to the top, creating a countercurrent flow where the hydrolysis reaction happens. The FFAs are discharged from the top of the tower and dehumidified in an expansion tank by adiabatic vaporization, says Peter Brown, co-founder of IPT. The water-glycerin mix is released from the tower bottom to a flash tank and sent to the evaporator. The glycerin, according to Brown, is 99.8 percent pure since there is no methanol or catalyst present in the hydrolysis step. The second step is esterification of the FFAs to biodiesel with methanol and no acid catalyst. The FFAs from hydrolysis are
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preheated and deaerated to remove air and moisture, then purified by vacuum distillation. In this process, the unsaponifiable matter and other unwanted materials are removed. The distillator is operated at medium temperature (220 C) and under high vacuum. The distilled FFAs are condensed and transferred to storage. The residue, consisting of nonvolatile contaminants, are withdrawn at the bottom of the distillator and sent to the waste tank. The esterification is performed in a stainless column at temperature of 210-220 C and pressures of 20 kgf/cm2. The distilled FFAs and methanol are preheated and pumped into the column in a countercurrent flow. The biodiesel is discharged from the bottom of the column and a mixture of water and methanol are discharged from the top, and sent to recovery. Soares, who holds a patent on the technology, says, “Most existing solutions for producing biodiesel in Brazil rely on transesterification technology. The few esterification solutions require immense amounts of energy, ion acid beds that deteriorate under the production process and need constant ion replenishment. I discovered that maintaining a delicate balance in the pressure/ temperature equation during production dramatically alters the energy consumption and allows for almost no additional inputs. One of my units has been producing pure biodiesel and glycerin for five years now.” “The process is hardly new, since it has been in operation in three locations in Brazil for at least three years,” Brown says. “It has just not been commercially available until today, and we intend to bring it to market worldwide.”
Loyola University Chicago is expanding its biodiesel laboratory with much-needed additional space, and a new processor and analytical instrumentation. Lab manager Zach Waickman says Loyola built the school’s biodiesel program over the past five years to be a hands-on application, real-world, experiential learning piece of sustainability education at Loyola. The university was recently awarded a P3 (people, prosperity and planet) award from U.S. EPA to utilize living machine technology to clean biodiesel wash water as part of its ongoing sustainability efforts. The new lab will help facilitate this and other student-led projects. “We were space-constrained, and limited to what we could do in that space,” says Waickman. The old lab was only 425 square feet. Inputs like methanol had to be stored elsewhere and carted in, and the lab’s bulk biodiesel storage was also inconveniently located off-site. In the new lab, everything will be fully connected in a 3,000-square-foot space integrating biodiesel production, bulk storage, soap processing, product development, research and testMAKING THE GRADE: Students with Loyola University Chicago's biodiesel ing. “We were in a separate building before, two blocks off camprogram, shown demonstrating the process, will now be able to produce 50 times pus,” Waickman says. “Now we’ll be in a single building with all the more biodiesel than the old, much cruder, 2,000 gpy processor could manufacture. other environmental projects.” The heating and cooling is coupled Feedstock will remain used cooking oil from Loyola, Northwestern with the biodiesel generator in the basement, and 90 percent of the University and other area colleges. Most of the fuel produced is sold heating and cooling needs in the building will come from biodiesel and geothermal. Now, instead of draining glycerin one graduated cylinder at back to area college shuttle buses, with the rest going to private wholesale by appointment. a time, for example, it’ll be piped over to the new methanol distillation While the biodiesel lab already has access to certain analytical apparatus. equipment on campus, new instruments are being obtained to conduct Biodiesel Experts International was contracted to provide the oxidation stability and other critical tests for water and sediment, sulfur, lab’s new biodiesel production unit. BEI owner Ernie DeMartino free and total glycerin, and others. “For us, it’s about students getting says the unit is a traditional chemical batch system, but all the piping is hands-on experience with analytical equipment and quality control color-coded for educational purposes, and there are site glasses on all process and techniques,” Waickman says. the tanks. The skid-mounted unit also has separate flash evaporation Waickman says the LUC biodiesel lab is working closely with many for biodiesel and glycerin. The new system is scaled at 100,000 gallons other colleges to ultimately get similar sustainability programs running. per year, but Waickman says his goal is to produce about 30,000 gpy.
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PHOTO: LOYOLA UNIVERSITY CHICAGO
Loyola University Chicago upgrades biodiesel lab
RFS at a Crossroads By now you’ve surely noticed the debate on Capitol Hill over the renewable fuel standard (RFS). We wanted to take a moment to offer a clear outline of what the issues are and where we think they’re headed, while also calling on everyone who supports the RFS to reach out to their members of Congress regularly as the process plays out this year. First, the good news. As Biodiesel Magazine Editor Ron Kotrba highlighted recently, biodiesel is a bright spot in the RFS. Our industry is exceeding its volume requirements and producing enough fuel to fill the vast majority of the advanced biofuel pool. We are an EPA-designated advanced biofuel that’s doing just what the RFS promised: creating jobs, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving U.S. energy security by diversifying our fuel supplies. This is not going unnoticed in Washington. At recent Congressional hearings, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have highlighted the benefits of biodiesel’s growth. However, many other lawmakers remain unconvinced, or unaware, of our industry’s success, and we need to redouble our efforts to make sure they know our story, with an emphasis on how it is helping businesses in their districts. First, let’s recap what’s happened on Capitol Hill. Petroleum groups and other critics have cranked up their criticism of the RFS, making repeal a top priority and pressing lawmakers to do something. The House Energy and Commerce Committee has taken the lead on reviewing the program, seeking feedback from stakeholders through a series of white papers on various issues of concern, and more recently holding several hearings exploring those issues. We have submitted responses to each of the white papers outlining our industry’s successes, and National Biodiesel Board CEO Joe Jobe testified at one of the hearings, on July 23, doing an excellent job in delivering our message. In July, a small working group of House members, led by Rep. John Shimkus, R-Ill., was named by Republican leadership to take the lead in exploring potential legislation. Meanwhile, Senate leaders said just before Congress’ August recess that they would hold hearings on the RFS in the fall.
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To date, most of the debate has focused on the ethanol blend wall, the shortfall in cellulosic ethanol production, rising RIN prices and RIN fraud. Many lawmakers, particularly those in oil-heavy districts, are calling for full repeal of the program, and legislation to repeal or effectively gut the program has been introduced in the House and Senate. It appears, Anne Steckel, Vice however, that the debate is heading more to- President of Federal Affairs, National ward whether the policy should be somehow Biodiesel Board altered or amended. While some of those efforts may be wellintentioned, we firmly believe that no legislative changes are needed because Congress, when it initially created the RFS, gave the EPA tremendous flexibility in managing the program and ensuring it runs smoothly. The EPA can adjust volume requirements as needed, for example, and in fact in its most recent announcement finalizing 2013 volume requirements, the agency reduced the cellulosic requirement, and said it planned further reductions in 2014 to address concerns that have been raised. Additionally, we are concerned that legislative changes could end up being a Trojan horse for weakening or gutting the RFS. There are powerful and well-funded interests lining up against the program. Unnecessarily opening it up in Congress, even for tweaking, when the EPA already has that authority could quickly turn into an opening for critics to significantly undermine the program and its benefits. Because of these concerns, we urge you to closely follow this debate and make a habit of talking to your members of Congress about the importance of the RFS to our industry and to your business. If you need help contacting your members, please don’t hesitate to call our Washington office. The RFS—a backbone of our industry—is at a critical juncture in Washington, and we need your help to ensure its continued success. Anne Steckel, Vice President of Federal Affairs, National Biodiesel Board
NBB A strong start: 2014 National Biodiesel Conference promises to deliver results “Strong” is the one-word theme of the 2014 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo, to be held Jan. 20-23 in San Diego. “We’re stronger than ever as a fuel, we’re standing strong in the face of challenges, and to stay strong in the future we need to stand together,” said Donnell Rehagen, National Biodiesel Board chief operating officer and conference director. “We chose this theme because it reflects where we are as an industry in so many ways.” The 2014 event has several changes in store, including an earlier time frame than its traditional first week of February. Living up to the conference’s reputation as “the” event of the year where biodiesel business gets done, there is more networking time built into the schedule. Also, unconventional session formats will add variety to the rich educational content, such as “Ask the Expert” and “Conversessions.” A Vehicle Showcase and Ride-and-Drive will show off the ever-expanding array of B20-approved vehicles. Registration will soon open at www.biodieselconference.com, where you will also be able to view session titles, descriptions and tentative times. “Attendees will find we’ve really honed in on what we can offer to help their biodiesel-related business thrive, and we’ve designed our educational content and networking events to facilitate that,” Rehagen said. The conference takes place at the San Diego Convention Center and San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina.
Student scientists urged to apply for scholarship program In the halls of our nation’s colleges and universities are some of tomorrow’s world-class scientists, and the NBB is committed to fostering collaboration, building connections and honing their professional development. That’s why NBB is again offering scholarships to bring members of the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel to the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo. The program is made possible by the United Soybean Board and state checkoff organizations. NBB will also invite college students to submit abstracts for a poster session, which will take place in the exhibit hall for the third year in a row. Applications for both programs can be found starting in mid-September on www.BiodieselSusainability.com.
NBB members encouraged to take on leadership role The upcoming National Biodiesel Board membership meeting to be held Nov. 18-20 in Washington, D.C., is one of three major membership meetings at which industry participants can help set the direction for the future of the biodiesel industry. “Any successful industry association is made up of actively engaged members who are educated about our issues and volunteer their time to execute the membership’s vision for the future,” said NBB Chairman Gary Haer. “There are many opportunities throughout the year for members to guide the direction of their trade association but no greater opportunity than serving on the governing board.” The main business at the November membership meeting will be the election of eight board positions created by term expirations. The election committee appointed by Chairman Haer is currently seeking nominations from the membership to fill the seats and the full membership will vote in November.
“These leadership positions are critical to our industry and manageable in your current job,” said Haer. “The industry is in a tremendous position for continued growth but there are sure to be significant challenges still ahead. The collective efforts of a unified industry will be necessary to face those challenges.” While in Washington, D.C., NBB members will conduct Hill visits with members of Congress and the administration on important industry issues including the renewable fuel standard and the biodiesel tax incentive. The annual review and update to the organization's Resolutions and Position Handbook also takes place in the fall. For additional details about governing board positions or the upcoming membership meeting, please contact Donnell Rehagen in the NBB office. SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2013
New NBB technical director fortifies biodiesel team On track to again break annual production records this year, the National Biodiesel Board and industry welcome Scott Fenwick as the newest staff member. Fenwick brings more than 20 years of experience in the industry to bolster an already strong team. Fenwick is the current chairman of the BQ-9000 Commission and is an officer of the ASTM Committee D02 that presides over the current biodiesel specifications and test methods. Fenwick has spent the majority of his career working within the fuel inspection industry. He has managed several independent fuel labs within the Gulf Coast, including an active technical role for global biofuel specifications. Fenwick provided quality assurance services to companies involved with production, blending and distribution with a concentration on renewable fuels. As technical director, Fenwick takes on the day-to-day management responsibilities of running the technical program and expanding NBB’s technical reach to better match the growing industry needs and challenges. The move introduces the technical director role as a staff position in the Jefferson City office and
elevates long-time biodiesel industry technical leader Steve Howell to senior technical advisor. The change will more fully utilize Howell’s senior level of experience to continue the outstanding progress he has forged for biodiesel with third parties and global technical committees. Adding Fenwick to the NBB staff Fenwick roster further builds on changes announced earlier this summer that demonstrate the biodiesel industry’s growing significance in our transportation energy picture. Lindsay Fitzgerald was brought on to fill a new position overseeing regulatory affairs in Washington, D.C. She previously worked for the U.S. EPA, where she served as a specialist in the Office of Transportation and Air Quality working on the renewable fuel standard. NBB has also hired former U.S. Rep. Kenney Hulshof on an interim basis for direct outreach to key contacts in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Fuel quality program continues growth, provides confidence The BQ-9000 program is the unique combination of the ASTM standard for biodiesel, ASTM D6751, and a quality management system that includes storage, sampling, testing, blending, shipping, distribution, and fuel management practices to ensure quality for consumers. According to Scott Fenwick, BQ-9000 program manager, more than 80 percent of U.S. biodiesel production is from BQ-9000accredited producers. This number continues to increase as more biodiesel producers are accredited into the program and it shows the industry’s continued commitment to fuel quality. This year the program has accredited new companies in all three categories, bringing year-to-date totals in the program to 45 certified producers, 24 marketers and 11 laboratories. At present, there are an additional 13 companies in the process of becoming certified.
The BQ-9000 program is governed by the Biodiesel Accreditation Commission. The NBAC is a group of industry representatives appointed by the National Biodiesel Board governing board to design and implement the fuel quality program. Fenwick was previously the chairman of the NBAC but will continue his work with the BQ-9000 program as the lead staff contact. “My role with the BQ-9000 program has changed as I moved from the industry side to the staff side but the NBAC is made up of a great group of producers, marketers, consumers and petroleum industry representatives,” Fenwick said. “The program is poised to continue its growth and provide confidence that the biodiesel fuel in the marketplace is produced to, and maintained at, the industry standard, ASTM D6751.”
NBB welcomes new members New York Corn & Soybean Growers Association—Sackets Harbor, N.Y. 16
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The BQ-9000 program is open to any biodiesel producer, fuel marketer or testing laboratory. For more information or to inquire about becoming a BQ-9000accredited organization, contact Scott Fenwick at the NBB office or visit www. bq-9000.org.
ASTM efforts provide backbone for OEM biodiesel support The ASTM Biodiesel Task Force has been pretty quiet lately, and that’s good news for consumers. The past 20 years of intense National Biodiesel Board activity conducting testing and improving the specifications is having the desired effect of providing a fuel that users are confident in. Most don’t realize the tremendous amount of research and testing it takes to secure an ASTM fuel standard, which virtually every petroleum and engine company votes on. Over the years, NBB has invested millions of dollars in research to address questions and concerns expressed by the engine and vehicle manufacturers, by the petroleum industry, by regulators, and by the user community. Some of these changes were made to address problems that were observed in the field, while other changes were needed to bolster the overall confidence of OEMs. The evolution in new diesel engines and aftertreatment exhaust systems led to the addition of specifications to protect diesel oxidation catalyst and particulate traps, and other changes were because of the move to ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel. Over the past two years, both with bio- NBB Senior Technical Advisor Steve Howell, center, was honored this summer with the ASTM diesel production exceeding 1 billion gallons, Award of Merit for his contribution in leading the efforts on setting and maintaining biodiesel fuel standards at ASTM. Howell is the only person to be honored as a fellow of both the American problems from the field have been no more Oil Chemist Society and ASTM International. than those of conventional petrodiesel alone— NBB and the ASTM Biodiesel Task Force are also monitoring ismaybe even less. All the research, testing and specification work by sues and problems being experienced with ULSD containing no NBB has resulted in wide-scale support from the engine and vehibiodiesel, such as reports of internal injector coking with some new cle community. More than 75 percent of the OEMs doing business high-pressure common rail fuel injection systems, and of corrosion in the U.S. now support B20 in all or part of their product line— in some fuel station tanks. including the recently released 2013 Chevy Cruze diesel passenger NBB believes this ongoing work with the OEMs and petrocar, the new 2014 Dodge Ram 1500 diesel pickup truck, and the leum industry will be even more important as the U.S. embarks on Ford F250 pickup truck. efforts to reintroduce the diesel passenger car to the U.S. market. The good news for biodiesel producers is that NBB is continuAs OEMs work to meet ever-increasing fuel economy standards, ing to conduct research and testing to address questions raised as these new passenger cars, such as the B20-approved Chevy Cruze, engines, vehicles and base diesel fuel change to meet ever-increaswill grow in popularity. The new generation of diesel passenger ing U.S. EPA emissions and fuel economy requirements—and the cars is clean, quiet and powerful. They get comparable mileage to remaining questions from OEMs that haven’t issued B20 support gasoline-electric hybrids, often at a lower price, and with new emisyet. Current testing includes research to ensure the metals specificasions catalysts they are as clean as or cleaner than natural gas vetions have been set correctly for the full useful life of the new diesel hicles. If you haven’t driven a new diesel car lately, you should! aftertreatment system catalysts for the 435,000-mile EPA lifetime Users and biodiesel producers alike can take comfort in the certification values each OEM must meet. fact that NBB is working cooperatively with engine and vehicle Working with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, admanufacturers to make sure the biodiesel blends will work as well ditional information is being researched on advice for applications in these new diesel passenger cars as conventional petroleum diesel, where fuel is stored for more than a year, to gain additional inforif not better. mation on cold flow properties, and to confirm the performance of the new No. 1-B biodiesel grade in extremely cold weather. The SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2013
PHOTO: NATIONAL DISTRIBUTORS INC.
National Distributors Inc. formed a new partnership with Maine Standard Biofuels to use a biodiesel blend made from locally collected used cooking oil that will save the beverage company 10 cents a gallon, a total savings of $3,500 by the end of this year, and more than $7,000 by the end of 2014. “As a Maine company, we are always striving to find ways to help the environment and protect our state,” says Jeff Kane, president of National Distributors. “Our new relationship with Maine Standard Biofuels is a great opportunity for our company to build on our industryleading efforts to reduce our energy costs and provide the best service to our retailers and customers. We plan to use this new blend of fuel in all of our diesel trucks. We are really excited about our savings, but most importantly, we’re
Companies, Organizations & People in the News
proud that we are able to utilize a fuel source that originates from our restaurant accounts.”
Renewable Energy Group Inc. completed the purchase of a 30 MMgy biodiesel plant in Mason City, Iowa, formerly owned by Soy Energy LLC. REG acquired the biorefinery for $11 million in cash and the issuance of a $5.1 million promissory note. REG plans to repair and restart the facility using soybean oil and low free fatty acid feedstocks by the end of the year. The acquisition brings the company’s total annual production capacity to 257 million gallons. REG now owns and operates eight active biorefineries. REG also will now be offering biodiesel at the InternationalMatex Tank Terminals in Bayonne, N.J., in New York Harbor, one of the world’s largest petroleum trading hubs. This new location allows REG to sell large volumes of biodiesel via barge or truck. The company also recently finished upgrading its REG-Albert Lea plant in Minnesota, and it has started operations at its REG-New Boston facility in Texas.
John Swire & Sons (Green Investments) Ltd. has acquired Scottish biodiesel producer Argent Energy. Argent Energy says it pioneered large-scale commercial biodiesel production in the U.K. when it started production at its state-of-the-art plant, designed and built by Austria-based BDI-BioEnergy International, near Motherwell, Scotland, in 2005. The award-winning firm makes its biodiesel from used cooking oil, tallow and sewer grease. The acquisition for an undisclosed sum sees the firm remain in private ownership, according to Argent Energy, and it will continue to operate independently. It employs 70 people.
After years in the works, Enerfuel S.A.’s 25,000 ton (7.5 MMgy) multifeedstock biodiesel plant in Sines, Portugal, has officially begun production. Enerfuel first commissioned Austria-based BDI-BioEnergy International AG to carry out the overall planning, delivery and installation of the biodiesel facility in 2006, which cost about €10 million ($13.4 million). After installation was completed, Enerfuel halted the project in 2008. In September
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PHOTO: VIESEL FUEL
2012, BDI was commissioned by Enerfuel to restart and finalize the project, a job worth another €3 million to BDI. Enerfuel brought in Portuguese oil company GALP as a partner. The newly operational biodiesel refinery is using animal fats and used cooking oil as biodiesel feedstock.
Florida-based Viesel Fuel has retooled to produce biodiesel using enzymes from Novozymes. Owner Stu Lamb says the process is less expensive while opening up feedstock choices and producing high-quality glycerin. The enzymes can be reused 10 to 15 times. After extensive feedstock cleaning using filtration, centrifugation and caustic treatment, the prepped feedstock is then filtered again
through a 1 micron filter and checked for its alkalinity before mixing with the liquid enzymes and methanol in a plastic reactor tank. The product is settled before extracting the glycerin and demethylating the fuel. Lamb says the plant uses a proprietary resin process to polish the fuel before sending it to the final stage, a vacuum tower to remove water. Additionally, a proprietary ultrafiltration system is used to extract the enzymes from the glycerin for reuse. Lamb says next year Viesel Fuel is primed to produce between 5 and 7 million gallons.
McDonald’s UAE announced that Del Monte, its fresh produce supplier, recently implemented the pioneering biodiesel initiative originally campaigned across the UAE by McDonald’s in 2011 in partnership with Neutral Fuels. A total of 20 vehicles from Del Monte’s logistics fleet are currently running on biodiesel made from McDonald’s UAE’s used vegetable cooking oil. Del Monte’s entire fleet of vehicles is expected to run on biodiesel by the end of 2013.
Biodiesel of Las Vegas has received its BQ-9000 certification from the National Biodiesel Board, making it the first and only biodiesel producer in Nevada to receive this certification. The Las Vegas facility is among a select group of 46 other biodiesel producers in the U.S. To receive accreditation, companies must pass rigorous review and inspection of their quality control process by an independent auditor to ensure the program is fully implemented. Biodiesel of Las Vegas, a subsidiary of NewCom Inc., is a 4 MMgy biodiesel production facility located in the Las Vegas area, near Nellis Air Force Base.
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NEW LOOK: Wilks Enterprise's second installment of the singlewavelength InfraCal biodiesel blend analyzer has a new look with the same performance and repeatability users have come to expect. PHOTO: WILKS ENTERPRISE INC.
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The Quick and the Mobile Portable biodiesel analyzers won’t satisfy ASTM testing requirements―yet―but they are good tools for quick quality control checks and blend levels BY RON KOTRBA
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as convenient tools that can be used by any plant personnel, truck driver or terminal worker to gauge various fuel, or feedstock, parameters in several applications. For instance, if a blender wishes to maximize the allowable biodiesel content in diesel fuel to exploit payout from financial incentives, such as the federal $1 per gallon tax credit, state production incentives, and low carbon or RIN credit revenues, a field test can determine in seconds how much biodiesel is in the incoming fuel, and how much B100 can be added. Inside a biodiesel production facility, workers can monitor samples in-process to gauge reaction kinetics, or finished product as an ongoing quality control measure before spending precious cash on running the expensive suite of ASTM tests.
PHOTO: WILKS ENTERPRISE INC.
Fast, portable biodiesel analyzers were never designed to certify product to ASTM D6751 specifications. They were, however, developed
BREAKING GROUND: Wilks Enterprise has championed an ASTM method to allow its InfraSpec analyzer to certify biodiesel content in blends, the first portable device to do so. Wilks expects complete passage this year.
Wilks Enterprise Inc. has two products available in the portable biodiesel analyzer space: the InfraCal Biodiesel Blend Analyzer and the InfraSpec VFA-IR Spectrometer. The InfraCal analyzer is a fixed-filter infrared analyzer that looks at a single wavelength, the one specific for biodiesel, and determines the biodiesel percentage in a blended diesel. Results take 30 seconds and the accuracy is plus or minus 0.2 percent. The Infraspec is a spectral range analyzer that contains a linear variable filter and a detector array covering a range of wavelengths, which means it performs more than one analysis. It can be used, like the InfraCal analyzer, to determine percentage of biodiesel in a blend, but also ethanol concentration in gasoline and water content in ethanol. Wilks Enterprise President Sandra Rintoul tells Biodiesel Magazine that the InfraSpec analyzer can also measure total glycerin, but it’s not accurate enough at this test for a finished product. “We have some customers who
PHOTO: BONANZA LABS
NOVEL APPROACH: Bonanza Labs' Mini Scan portable analyzer uses enzymes to detect total glycerin content and comes with a heating unit, left, to warm the enzymes to 37 degrees Celsius before using.
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are using it during production to gauge transesterification, but it’s not accurate enough for the finished specs—I don’t recommend it as a finished product tester,” she says. The device also detects water in biodiesel, but again it’s not sensitive enough to detect low enough levels, so if the machine detects water content in biodiesel, then there’s too much. The company has championed development of an alternative to the ASTM D7371 method, used to determine biodiesel content in diesel fuel, which requires FTIR spectrometers. If and when passed, this would be the first portable device approved at ASTM for this, or any biodiesel, application. “The D7371 method calls for an FTIR, so because we have a filterbased spectrum analyzer, it didn’t comply,” Rintoul says, adding that a method had to be written specifically for a filter-based analyzer. “It’s actually gone through three votes—two subcommittees and it just went through a main vote last winter,” she says. “We satisfied all the negatives at this past June’s meeting, so now it’s going up again for a main committee vote Aug. 2. The voting takes 30 days, and if there’s no negatives, which, unless somebody pops out of the woodwork that hadn’t read it before, it should be amended.” Most of Wilks’ portable biodiesel analyzers are used by customers at the terminal where blending takes place, and by state regulators. “A number of states’ weights and measures [regulators] use our equipment,” Rintoul says, including Iowa, Oregon, Washington and Minnesota. “Everyone who has a minimum state mandate pretty much has our equipment,” she says. The units are sold calibrated or uncalibrated, and the price range for the single-wavelength analyzer is between $6,000 and $7,000. “That’s the majority of what we sell, they’re small, they’re rugged, they can go right out to the rack and survive that environment,” Rintoul says. The InfraSpec analyzer cost range is $12,000 to $13,000. Ongoing costs are minimal, and include disposable pipettes used to dispense on the sample plate, wipes and a small amount of solvent to wipe the sample plate when complete.
PHOTO: KOEHLER INSTRUMENT COMPANY INC.
STATIONARY ESSENTIALS: Koehler Instrument Company makes 164 different pieces of laboratory equipment. While Shah says portable devices are nice, they will never be able to do what conventional lab equipment can as far as performing ASTM tests go.
Koehler Instruments Company Inc. has been in business for 85 years manufacturing petroleum instrumentation specifically for labs. It makes 164 different instruments manufactured in New York. “All of our instruments comply with the ASTM standard,” says Raj Shah, director of sales, marketing and technical services at Koehler, referring to the company’s stationary equipment. “To certify fuel as ASTM you have to run 35 to 40 tests,” he says, adding that Koehler does have a few portable biodiesel analyzers. “If I have a portable analyzer that runs flash point, for example, but it doesn’t do ASTM D93, I can say that it measures flash point with my portable analyzer for biodiesel, but I can’t use the data that I get to claim that it runs the D93. People use them to get a rough idea of what it is, and they’re a wonder-
PHOTO: KOEHLER INSTRUMENT COMPANY INC.
OXIDATION STATION: While Shah commends Wilks for championing a new ASTM method for its portable blend analyzer, he notes the limitations of that success, and says critical tests such as oxidation stability will always need stationary lab equipment.
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PHOTO: RON KOTRBA, BIODIESEL MAGAZINE
GROUP TUTORIAL: Virginia Gordon, right, demonstrates the Mini Scan to attendees of the 2012 Collective Biodiesel Conference in Temecula, Calif.
ful tool to get a quick answer, but you can’t really certify these portable devices unless they meet the ASTM method.” One of the portable biodiesel analyzers Koehler offers is model number G83000, called an IS portable biodiesel analyzer. It can determine blend ranges from 2 to 100 percent biodiesel, measure total glycerin, acid number and methanol content. “Accuracy is plus or minus 1 percent and it gives results in less than 3 minutes,” Shah says. “It works on impedance spectroscopy technology. It’s a hand-held device, it’s reliable, affordable, convenient, and it can give you readings in the field, but again, I cannot certify a fuel to ASTM D6751 with it.” Koehler’s hand-held device costs between $12,000 and $13,000, and annual operational costs are $2,000 to $3,000 for chemicals and consumables. Shah adds that Koehler is one of only a few companies in the market that also offers a de-
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vice that can conveniently run D93 (flash point) procedure C. “With biofuels there’s always a little bit of water and the standard methods don’t always work if there’s water present,” he says. “That’s why they had to come up with a new method, called ASTM D93 procedure C.” Shah commends Wilks for breaking ground in championing an ASTM method for its portable device, but he notes the limitations of this success. “It may measure a few properties, but no portable analyzer is going to be able to tell you, for example, exactly what the cloud point or oxidation stability is—portable analyzers just can’t do these kinds of tests. But they can give you a wonderful idea and are helpful tools for the manufacturing process, or quick quality control checks.”
Bonanza Labs Bonanza Labs offers a unique, enzyme-based portable analyzer, the Mini
ANALYSIS Scan, which measures total glycerin, free fatty acid content and acid value. It’s been available for the past two-and-a-half years in the U.S., Brazil and India. “We use an enzyme that recognizes mono-, di- and triglycerides,” says Virginia Gordon, cofounder of Bonanza Labs. “The enzymes are highly specific and very sensitive.” The enzymes detect and digest mono-, di- and triglycerides, and then the byproducts of the enzymatic digestion are amplified to give a quantitative reading. “It’s a very straightforward procedure, it’s only going to measure that specific compound,” she says. “It’s not like other secondary methods that depend on interpreting spectra. It’s a primary quantitative measurement of total glycerin.” The Mini Scan total glycerin test takes 10 minutes to run, and up to 10 samples can be run in that time frame. Gordon says the machine can also be used to test for free glycerol. “You do a water-wash and then look at the difference in toluene,” she says. “It’s quite sensitive and very repeatable. It reads down to 0.02 percent.” The quick FFA check, which can be used on incoming feedstock, takes about 30 seconds, also how long it takes to do a quick-check on the acid number. Most Mini Scan customers are biodiesel production facilities rather than terminals or regulators. “If you have a chemist and he’s gone for three days, you can monitor and make sure everything’s running correctly in the plant,” Gordon says. “It’s a plant tool to monitor quality and processing,” she says, adding that it doesn’t take a trained lab technician to use. Repeatability for Mini Scan total glycerin results is plus or minus 0.01 percent, according to Gordon, and correlation to gas chromatography is plus or minus 0.02 percent. With max limit for total glycerin in the 0.24 percent range, even with plants targeting 0.16 to 0.17 percent, the plus or minus 0.01 percent repeatability, and 0.02 percent correlation to GC, are “extremely good,” Gordon says. The Mini Scan costs less than $5,000,
and initial setup includes a small heating unit for the enzymes, which perform at 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, and some small pipettes. Operational costs for the bulk test kits are about $6 a test. Bonanza Labs has new tests in the pipeline too. “We have a test that’s in validation for glycerin purity,” Gordon says. This will allow producers to gauge the purity of their glycerin byproduct to command better pricing. The company is also working on a test to distinguish mono-, di- and tri-
glycerides from each other. “At this point we don’t have biodiesel blend percentage analysis on the instrument,” she says, “it’s something we’re working on, but we can, however, even in a very low blend, tell you how much total glycerin is present, so you can determine in a B5 blend if the original B100 used met its original specifications.” Author: Ron Kotrba Editor, Biodiesel Magazine 218-745-8347 firstname.lastname@example.org
A GLOBAL UNDERSTANDING Biodiesel is a global industry, and it takes a company with a worldwide reach to understand it.
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Renewable Fuels | Biodiesel Group SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2013
SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2013
Biodiesel’s Quality Evolution How the industry has overcome one of its most daunting challenges BY RON KOTRBA
SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2013
QUALITY Discussing major improvements in biodiesel fuel quality is impossible without delving into the rich history of this young industry. Biodiesel emerged on the U.S. alternative fuels radar in the early 1990s, and for the next decade it slowly gained recognition as a real-world, here-and-now replacement for diesel fuel before its first ASTM specification, D6751, was published in 2001-‘02. Since then, the tale of U.S. biodiesel is a series of highs and lows. Early public policy support primed the pump for years of major industrial expansion, but with fast growth came damaging reports of product quality issues in the field. Meanwhile, skyrocketing feedstock prices, the global financial crisis and intermittent, prolonged lapses in federal tax support, not to mention RIN fraud and other serious issues, stalled industry growth. Fortunately, the industry has proven resilient enough, under resolute organizational leadership, to
Clearly no one, single event caused this vast improvement in fuel quality; a philosopher may contend this is a dialectical necessity when considering the material conditions this industry’s history has brought into existence.
bounce back and experience its greatest year yet. From a fuel quality perspective, kickstarting 2013 with positive results from National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s latest quality survey certainly didn’t hurt matters. As NREL senior fuels chemist Teresa Alleman took the stage at the 2013 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo in Las Vegas to discuss preliminary results from the survey, which showed 97 percent of the 67 samples tested (53 producers and 14 terminals)—representing 94 percent of volume in the market—were on-spec, she acknowledged, “This is a huge improvement over previous years.” Months later, NREL is-
SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2013
sued a press release that stated 95 percent of the samples were on-spec. “The small discrepancy was an error on our part between the meeting and the final report,” she tells Biodiesel Magazine. “I have gone back and checked the information, and 95 percent is correct.” Nevertheless, the results were huge improvements over previous years. In 2004, NREL’s first survey showed 85 percent on-spec fuel, when D6751 was far less stringent than today’s standard. In her final report, Alleman notes that since 2002, D6751 has undergone 17 updates to help prevent or reconcile issues found in the field, or to stay ahead of changing technology and customer demands. The next survey was in 2006, during the height of the industry expansion boom, and results were dire. Only 41 percent of biodiesel samples were on-spec, meaning more than half failed, mostly for total glycerin or flash point. At the behest of the National Biodiesel Board, NREL did things a little differently for the 2008 survey. It was volumeweighted, meaning producers were binned based on actual production volumes. The 2007 biodiesel market was estimated at 394 million gallons at the time of the survey when samples were pulled. Samples were collected from 52 percent of the existing U.S. producers representing nearly 70 percent (287 million gallons) of all U.S. production. Large producers met specs nearly 95 percent of the time. Small- and mediumscale producers had more trouble meeting the specifications, particularly oxidation stability. Even so, the volume-weighted failure for oxidation stability was less than 10 million gallons. Other failures were weighted at less than 2 million gallons. For the most recent survey, the critical properties tested were free and total glycer-
QUALITY in, flash point, cloud point, oxidation stability, cold soak filterability and metals. In her report conclusions, Alleman notes, “The samples collected in this study were Fenwick typically high quality and met the D6751 specification limits, with a few notable exceptions. In particular, one sample failed multiple properties and was clearly an outlier compared to other samples in this survey. The failure rates on [the cold soak filtration test] and oxidation stability were less than 5 percent, with one failure on flash point and no failures on the other critical properties tested.” Alleman tells Biodiesel Magazine that she believes the industry takes quality seriously, a belief evidenced by the latest survey results. “The industry knows it cannot continue to grow and expand without producing a quality product, and it has stepped up to meet that challenge,” she says. “The biodiesel industry makes quality a priority and needs to ensure producing a quality product is a core value—there is no excuse for producing poor-quality biodiesel. This may be especially true as new feedstocks reach the marketplace. The U.S. biodiesel industry is feedstock neutral so, as an industry, we need to be aware of what changes are needed in specifications and test methods to ensure quality now and into the future. That means staying abreast of changes in ASTM specifications and properties, federal and state quality requirements, and continuing to be vocal and active in supporting biodiesel.” Clearly no one, single event caused this vast improvement in fuel quality; a philosopher may contend this is a dialectical necessity when considering the material conditions this industry’s history has brought into existence. A recurring fuel problem in the field, such as filter plugging, gains the attention of industry leaders and fuel purchasers. Investigations begin and action is initiated at ASTM where voting, adjudication and precision take place. Ultimately a
measure such as the CSFT is implemented, thereby helping reduce issues in the field. Diesel technology advances such as aftertreatment equipment to reduce particulate matter and NOx emissions have sensitive precious metal catalysts that can foul in the presence of too much sodium, potassium or magnesium from residual catalyst or drywash filtration media left in the final product. OEMs push for limits in D6751 before approving biodiesel blends. Action ensues at ASTM to put a cap on these metals so engine makers can remain confident that biodiesel blends that customers run in their engines won’t foul catalysts and cost untold millions in warranty payouts. Years after the $1 per gallon blenders tax credit went into effect, the IRS began requiring producers claiming the tax credit to meet ASTM specs. In addition, the renewable fuel standard requires registration with U.S. EPA and, to generate RINs, qualifying fuel must meet ASTM specs. All of these scenarios, and more, have contributed to recent U.S. biodiesel quality improvements, which are directed by every conceivable angle: from the top (industry leadership and government) down, the bottom (users) up and sideways (fuel purchasers, OEMs). The men at the center of ASTM biodiesel activities are Steve Howell, longtime NBB technical director who was recently promoted to a senior technical advisory role with NBB, and Scott Fenwick, the organization’s new technical director. “While the biodiesel of 10 years ago was a good fuel and caused relatively few issues, the biodiesel being produced today is far superior and reported issues from the field are now on par—perhaps even less—than those reported for conventional petroleum-based diesel fuel,” Howell tells Biodiesel Magazine. Howell says the dramatic improvement in fuel quality is mainly attributed to three factors. “First and foremost, the industry has now largely embraced the BQ-9000 fuel quality program of the National Biodiesel Board,” he says. “To qualify for the BQ-9000 quality program, companies must agree to meet the ASTM D6751 specification and have a fully implemented quality
management system, be subjected to independent third-party audits, and agree to physically analyze every lot of biodiesel produced for the most critical parameters in the specification.” He says in 2012, more than 85 percent of the biodiesel produced—approximately 900 million gallons—was done so by BQ-9000 producers. “The second factor has been the efforts of the NBB to encourage regulators to assist the industry by enforcing D6751,” Howell says. “As a trade association, the NBB can encourage the use of the specifications, but it does not have the legal authority to enforce them or shut down a biodiesel operation if it is not producing to ASTM standards. That authority lies within the EPA as part of its legal authority to register and regulate fuels in the U.S., within the IRS, which manages taxing and incentives for biodiesel, and by the individual state regulators who have authority over consumer fuel pumps and fuel quality.” He says NBB members have unanimously voted to direct staff and contractors to actively encourage each of these regulatory agencies to fully adopt and enforce the biodiesel standards. “Over the past several years, NBB has actively worked with EPA, the IRS, and the state [weights and measures] representatives to secure D6751 as a requirement for various EPA and IRS programs, such as RFS2 and the federal biodiesel tax incentive, and as the legal standard for biodiesel in every state except Alaska and New Jersey.” He adds that NBB is currently working on legislation in New Jersey that will adopt D6751, but the organization has no plans to work further in Alaska. “There aren’t very many trade associations that have directed its staff to work with regulators to regulate them more,” Howell says, “but that is how serious the biodiesel producers are about quality and meeting the ASTM standards.” The third factor spurring quality improvements in U.S. biodiesel, according to Howell, is the overall growth of the market and sophistication of the blenders and marketers who are buying B100. “With the advent of more than 1 billion gallons of biodiesel sold in both 2011 and 2012 under
SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2013
QUALITY RFS2, many major petroleum refiners are now buying biodiesel and selling biodiesel blends under their own brand name,” he says. “These large, risk-averse companies are now major buyers of B100. They are putting BQ-9000 as a requirement in their bid specs and monitoring their fuel quality on an ongoing basis to help insure their customers will have a positive experience with the biodiesel blends they sell.” It’s not just BQ-9000 that the oil companies and biodiesel blenders demand. De-
spite the nearly 20 updates to D6751 over the past 12 years, many customers have their own specs biodiesel must meet—specs that go beyond what’s required in ASTM. One source, a biodiesel producer, says ASTM specifications do not go nearly far enough to ensure quality biodiesel, which is why these purchaser specs have become more common in the past few years. “ASTM fuel specifications are designed to be the minimum performance requirements necessary for the fuel to perform
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in their intended application for the consumer,” Fenwick says. “Within the fuel distribution system here in the U.S., there are several potential additional parties that may come in contact with the fuel before the consumer purchases it at the pump. Each change of hands between the fuel buyers, blender and distributor is a potential opportunity for the degradation of that fuel. As each of these parties becomes more educated with biodiesel and its properties, their ability to handle the fuel improves.” Fenwick acknowledges the biodiesel industry has become more sophisticated over the years. “I believe that the biodiesel producers today have a better understanding not only of their own processes, but how the fuels industry operates,” he says. “Most have had a few years of continuous operation to improve upon their technical and business skills.” This is an important point because the biodiesel industry’s roots are in agriculture, not fuels and chemicals, and after all, a biodiesel facility is a chemical plant that requires the knowledge and discipline of chemical manufacturing. “There have been some biodiesel producers that might have been quick to jump into the market due to the influx of capital investments years ago,” Fenwick says. “Some of these producers didn’t understand, or haven’t been able to navigate, the fuels market. The biodiesel industry hasn’t become their ‘Field of Dreams’ that they had hoped when they thought that ‘if you build it, they will come.’ A number of the plants have since become acquired by larger, growing companies that are willing to make the investment in the future of biodiesel.” Fenwick adds, “I also believe that the NBB, along with the customers of these producers, have been better able to communicate and explain the rationales behind the required testing and limits. The limits within the ASTM specification have been carefully vetted to determine the minimum requirements for biodiesel to be properly blended and used within the transportation fuel market. Blenders and fuel distributors have since put into place typically tighter
QUALITY purchase specifications to help ensure that they are able to deliver that fuel to the end consumer.” The ASTM Biodiesel Task Force’s work never ends though, as it continues to work with the biodiesel, petroleum and OEM stakeholders at ASTM on several fronts. As diesel engines—and petroleum fuels—change, the group is constantly monitoring whether changes are also needed for biodiesel. “Ongoing industrysponsored testing programs are in progress to confirm the current specifications for metals are protective of the new exhaust system catalysts and on-board diagnostics sensors now being implemented on diesel engines, and to provide more advice on the long-term storage of biodiesel blends and cold flow properties when blended with ULSD,” Howell says. The task force is also monitoring activities and issues identified with ULSD fuel containing no biodiesel— some internal injector coking and filling station tank corrosion—as well as efforts by the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA) to modify the specifications for finished diesel fuels regarding water and sediment values. “EMA has proposed to change from the current D975 and D7467 specification on combined water and sediment—500 ppm maximum using the D2709 centrifuge method—to three separate measurements: 200 ppm maximum Karl Fischer moisture, 24 mg/ kg maximum filterable particulates, and a 2 maximum visual haze rating,” Howell explains. “Longer term, EMA and the fuel injection equipment manufacturers are interested in moving the diesel fuel particulates to even more stringent values, which measure total number of particles of various micron sizes or bins—more similar to the particulate specs of hydraulic fluids. Some of this activity for diesel fuel in general is being driven by a desire to increase overall diesel fuel quality as new, clean, quiet and powerful diesel passenger cars are being introduced into the U.S. market to meet ever-increasing fuel economy standards. These new diesel passenger cars are getting
mileage comparable to gasoline-electric hybrids, are less expensive and are as clean as, or cleaner than, natural gas vehicles, and are projected to see significant increases in sales. The biodiesel industry is working cooperatively with engine and vehicle manufactures to make sure biodiesel blends will work as well as—if not better than—conventional petrodiesel in these new diesel passenger cars.” As with any product, even with other fuels, consumers expect that the products
they purchase will work for their intended application, Fenwick says. “The industry understands that its future growth and prosperity depends upon the quality and performance of the product they produce today.” Author: Ron Kotrba Editor, Biodiesel Magazine 218-745-8347 email@example.com
Biodiesel business happens here. Join us in San Diego.
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SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2013
PHOTO: CAPTIVATING PHOTOS
ABOVE AND BEYOND: Community Fuels Quality Control and Laboratory Manager Steven Sabillon toils in the lab to ensure every shipment of biodiesel that goes out meets the plant’s own unique fuel specifications, which are much tighter than what’s required in ASTM D6751.
Biodiesel Quality: An Industry Imperative
Community Fuels’ ongoing commitment to quality pays off BY LISA MORTENSON, CHRISTOPHER YOUNG AND STEVEN SABILLON
At the time that Community Fuels was founded in 2005, the nascent U.S. biodiesel industry was working through some considerable growing pains. Production and usage of biodiesel were expanding rapidly, but with that expansion came an increase in the frequency of negative incidents related to poor fuel quality.
When we met with fuel distributors in those early days of our business, many of them told us stories about how they had tried biodiesel and had terrible experiences with it—from technical problems with the fuel itself (filter plugging, fuel gelling, etc.) to concerns about the business ethics of people from whom they were purchasing the fuel. One distributor had a
shelf in his office lined with dozens of biodiesel samples from prospective suppliers who had met with him before we did. At the bottoms of most of the sample jars, there were visible layers of glycerin and other impurities that had settled out of solution. It was evident to us that fuel quality had become an existential issue for the industry. Customers would not purchase
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).
SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2013
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biodiesel unless they could be assured of receiving a consistent, reliable supply of fuel from a trusted source. We realized that in order for Community Fuels to succeed and thrive as a biodiesel producer, we would need to make our brand associated with quality and integrity. When Community Fuels built an advanced biorefinery at Port of Stockton, Calif., we made two fundamental decisions that underscored our commitment to product quality. First, we designed our own proprietary production process instead of going with a turnkey system provided by an outside party. This gave us direct control over operational factors affecting product quality and flexibility to respond to changes in the dynamic biodiesel market. For example, when the cold soak filtration test was added to the ASTM D6751 standard specification for biodiesel, we were able to make adjustments to our product purification steps and verify that our fuel would comfortably pass the test well before the revised standard went into effect. Evaluating and fine-tuning our process would have been a much more difficult and lengthy undertaking without the deep in-house knowledge and familiarity gained through designing, constructing, commissioning and operating the production facility on our own. Second, we made a major investment in establishing a state-of-theart laboratory at our production facility as part of our commitment to product quality. Community Fuels’ on-site laboratory is equipped with instrumentation capable of performing a range of advanced analytical techniques, including a broad suite of test methods specified under the ASTM D6751 specification. This goes far beyond standard industry practices and continues to differentiate us from other biodiesel producers. As a result of these exceptional on-site laboratory resources, Community Fuels has been able to implement critical quality assurance practices that would otherwise not be economically or logistically feasible. During operations, samples are routinely collected from several points throughout the production process and analyzed in near real time. The information obtained from these analyses allows operators to ensure that the system is functioning properly and detect early warning signs of any potential problems. In addition, data from in-process samples provides insight into ways that we can refine our production Lisa Mortenson, co-founder and CEO of American Biodiesel Inc., process to achieve greater efdoing business as Community ficiency and further improve Fuels product quality.
SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER 2013
All production lots of finished biodiesel are tested to verify that they meet our own “Community Fuels Specification” for fuel quality. This specification, which was developed with input from our customers, is much stricter than ASTM D6751 requirements and closely mirrors the standards established by several major oil companies. We designed the specification to insure that our fuel would be suitable for challenging applications in our primary markets in the western U.S., which encompasses an extreme
range of climate conditions (vehicle operators routinely pass from scorching deserts to frozen mountain passes in the space of a few hours). Our in-house testing program has strongly contributed to developing customer confidence and earning Community Fuels a reputation within the marketplace for supplying fuel of impeccable quality. Community Fuels’ business model anticipated that as the biodiesel market grew and matured, fuel-purchasing decisions and blending
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activities would move upstream: from retailers and commercial fleets to refiners, major oil companies, and large terminals. We are currently seeing this happen at a rapid pace. It will therefore be increasingly necessary to meet the requirements of customers within the petroleum industry in order to have our fuel accepted and used in significant volumes. This will place an even stronger focus on fuel quality as petroleum markets have strict quality standards in place and are extremely discerning about sourcing biofuels. Community Fuels successfully completed our first product integrity audit by a major oil company in 2009, and many additional audits and approvals have followed. As our customer base continues to expand, some fuel buyers are starting to require BQ-9000 certification from their suppliers. To ensure that we would not be blocked from key markets, Community Fuels obtained BQ-9000 producer certification in June 2012. We were gratified to achieve this milestone, as it validated our proprietary biodiesel production process and our overall quality management system. But we felt that the producer certification did not capture the full extent of our fuel quality management program—especially the extensive laboratory and analytical capabilities that play such an integral role in our operations. We therefore decided to pursue BQ-9000 laboratory certification as well, which went far beyond the requirements for producer status and focused on the ability to perform valid, accurate testing of biodiesel. After successfully completing the documentation review and on-site audit processes, Community Fuels received BQ9000 laboratory certification this March. We are the first (and to our knowledge, the only) biodiesel producer in the nation to attain both BQ-9000 producer and laboratory certifications. Going through the BQ-9000 laboratory certification process was a valuable exercise for Community Fuels that helped us to strengthen our overall quality management
program. We developed quality control charts for each of our test methods in order to statistically monitor their performance and establish control limits for ongoing assessment. The BQ-9000 test performance index gave us another means to quantitatively evaluate the precision of our quality control data and determine if any improvements to the test method or analytical systems are necessary. We also set up a more structured schedule for calibration and maintenance of laboratory instrumentation, which is critical to increasing the reliability of analytical results and reducing instrument downtime. In addition, we evaluated our procedures in other areas (such as staff training, laboratory documentation, sample storage, data and record management, etc.) and made refinements where appropriate. The BQ-9000 laboratory certification process presented us with an opportunity to closely examine our existing quality management program and obtain an honest assessment of where we stood and how we could improve. Biodiesel is enjoying strong demand in 2013 and has grown far past its beginnings as a boutique fuel. It has been incorporated into commercial fuel markets and is considered one of the most practical means of meeting obligations mandated by the federal renewable fuel standard and California low carbon fuel standard. As an industry, we need to be vigilant on quality issues to ensure that biodiesel grows its position as an advanced biofuel and continues to be blended with petroleum fuels at higher volumes. Even a single negative incident related to out-of-spec fuel can tarnish a producer’s reputation and give a black eye to the biodiesel industry as a whole. As one of our customers with nationwide operations told us, “A biodiesel quality problem in Chicago is a biodiesel quality problem for the whole country.” Word travels fast and any bad experiences are sure to be shared. Quality is easy to talk about but much more challenging to truly achieve. It requires substantial investment, serious commitment and continuous action. Producers and con-
sumers of biodiesel will both benefit by making the pursuit of quality a basic part of their corporate culture and integrating it into their everyday activities. A rigorous quality control program must be proactive and include frequent and comprehensive fuel testing—the scenario to avoid at all costs is discovering a quality issue with fuel released to the market only after it has caused problems for end users. At Community Fuels, we have never regretted the expense, time and effort that we have devoted to our quality
program over the years. Based on our experience, taking extra measures to ensure fuel quality has unequivocally proven to be a good business decision. Authors: Lisa Mortenson, Christopher Young and Steven Sabillon CEO, Director of Operations and QC/Lab Manager; Community Fuels 760-942-9306 firstname.lastname@example.org
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Green Fuels America 775-336-6193 www.greenfuelsamerica.com
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Lender Representatives Filtration Equipment MaxFlo Advanced Filtration Aids 337-421-6375 www.MaxFloFiltration.com
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Biodiesel Industry Directory 2014 GET LISTED TODAY
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Print & Online Biodiesel Magazine is proud to present the 2014 Biodiesel Industry Directory, the most comprehensive list of industry suppliers, producers, researchers and government agencies available in the world. The directory is an invaluable resource to help find the contact information you are looking for and help others find you, both in our print and online editions.
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WHERE BIODIESEL BUSINESS TAKES PLACE Biodiesel Magazine Reaches Thousands Around the Globe
Jump in on a growing market: The U.S. biodiesel industry is poised for its most profitable, successful year yet in 2013 with expected record-breaking production volumes thanks in part to the increased federal biomass-based diesel requirement of 1.28 billion gallons (28 percent higher than 2012), the $1 per gallon tax credit and rebounding D4 RIN prices.
Favorable blend economics indicate that obligated parties under the renewable fuel standard (RFS2) will find it economically advantageous to blend U.S. biodiesel over Brazilian sugarcane to meet their advanced biofuel obligations (2.75 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons), over and above the biomass-based diesel volume requirements, suggesting the possibility of domestic biodiesel production significantly exceeding 1.28 billion gallons. *farmdoc daily.
Sustainable 10-year growth plan: IHS Global Insight conducted a modeling report for the National Biodiesel Board to help guide EPA with its yearly biodiesel RVO under RFS2 and, in the modeling report, the group determined that there will be enough feedstock available to reach 3.3 billion gallons of U.S. biodiesel production by 2022.
Biodiesel Magazine is Truly Global
The National Biodiesel Board unveiled a new industry target in February 2013, named 10x22, an aggressive but achievable goal that calls for biodiesel to make up 10 percent of the U.S. diesel fuel supply by 2022.
Did you know Biodiesel Magazine is recognized as the worldâ€™s largest and longest-running biodiesel magazine? It is the only trade journal exclusively dedicated to important biodiesel industry news, policy and events.
Engine makers support biodiesel, why not you? All major OEMs producing diesel vehicles for the U.S. market support at least B5 and lower blends and 79 percent of U.S. manufacturers now support B20 or higher biodiesel blends in at least some of their equipment. Source: NBB OEM support document, Sept. 2012.
No blend wall here: While the ethanol industry struggles with hitting its blend wall, biodiesel penetration in the 2012 U.S. diesel fuel supply was only 1.9 percent. Given that all major OEMs support B5, achieving a 5 percent biodiesel penetration rate would mean nearly 3 billion gallons of biodiesel production (almost three times greater than 2012 production volumes). Moreover, nearly all the biodiesel used in the U.S. today is consumed by heavy-duty applications, a growing number of which support B20. To reach 20 percent penetration, the U.S. would need to produce 11.5 billion gallons of biodiesel, 10 times more than produced last year.
Global ethanol and biodiesel consumption combined will reach 135 billion gallons by 2018. Source: Global Industry Analysts Inc.
Biodiesel quality continues to improve: The latest NREL quality survey results announced February 2013 at the National Biodiesel Conference show a record 95 percent of the biodiesel on the market today is within ASTM D6751 specifications.
68 percent of U.S. and Canadian biodiesel productive capacity is BQ-9000-certified, meaning strict quality controls are in placeâ€”of the approximately 3 billion gallons of productive capacity in the U.S. and Canada, 1.84 billion gallons is BQ-9000-certified versus 1.24 billion gallons that is not. Source: 2013 Biodiesel Plant Map and the BQ-9000 site of certified producers.
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10 Greenhouse gas emissions will continue to tighten globally, and EPA has determined
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that biodiesel from waste achieves more than 80 percent GHG reduction compared to the fossil diesel baseline, while biodiesel made from soybean oil achieves greater than 50 percent GHG reductions. Source: EPA
11 Assurance in the market: Obligated parties, third-party quality assurance plan (QAP) providers, the biodiesel industry and government have worked together to restructure the RIN program to provide more security against potential fraud. A proposed QAP rule was issued in January and a final rule is expected midyear. The proposal offers obligated parties an affirmative defense against civil liabilities from buying, trading or retiring bad RINs, and includes one option that also relieves obligated parties from paying for the replacement of any invalid RINs. Source: EPA, Congressional hearings, American Petroleum Institute, Biodiesel Magazine, etc.
September/October 2013 Biodiesel Magazine