Biobased Diesel Winter 2022

Page 1

Winter 2022

Making Her Mark


Fleet Manager Sarah Mark Moves Moline to Greater Biodiesel, Biobased Products Usage

BDI Turns 25

A Look Back & Ahead


Code Red

A Biodiesel Producer’s Takeaway from COP26


Biobased DieselTM Winter 2022


PRSRT-STD US Postage PAID Post Falls, ID PERMIT # 32

Process Pumping Solutions

as Green as your Feedstock PROCESS CHEMICAL SERVICES





■ Safety by Design ■ True Secondary Containment ■ Increased Reliability ■ Real-time Condition Monitoring ■ Zero Emissions ■ Low Total Cost of Ownership ■ Space-Saving Design

215-343-6000 [2]

Give your hydrotreater catalyst more life.


Crown delivers maximum contaminant removal to extend hydrotreater catalyst life. Get the cleanest possible feedstock delivered to your hydrotreater and achieve up to double catalyst life with Crown. Our rugged, robust RD Ready ™ Pretreatment System is guaranteed to meet product specs for all common contaminants and drastically improve plant uptime by reducing the need for catalyst changeovers. Backed by the construction of 50+ biodiesel plants, design of 10+ renewable diesel pretreatment plants, and a propriety database of feedstock specs and results, Crown’s RD Ready™ Pretreatment System protects your investment now, and in the future. Protect your hydrotreater and your Renewable Diesel operation with Crown.

Edible Oils | Biodiesel | Renewable Diesel | Oleochemical Contact Crown today 1-651-639-8900 or visit our website at

Biobased DieselTM Winter 2022




ADVERTISERS: For advertising sales please call 218-745-8347, email or visit our website at


Features 36

EDITOR AND PUBLISHER: Ron Kotrba GRAPHIC DESIGN: Doug Conboy Raised Brow Productions MAGAZINE PRINTING: Century Publishing

Biobased DieselTM is published by RonKo Media Productions LLC. Subscriptions are free of charge to those in the United States. To subscribe, visit and fill out the contact form in the website footer. For subscribers outside the United States, a digital version of the magazine will be emailed. For those located outside the United States who wish to have a print version of Biobased DieselTM mailed, please email editor@biobased-diesel. com with the request. A nominal postage fee may be required. For mail correspondence, write to:

Making Her Mark on Moline..............36

As the fleets and facilities manager for the city of Moline, Illinois, Sarah Mark is making inroads in greater biodiesel and biobased products usage in the Quad Cities area. By Ron Kotrba

The Past and Future Meet in the Present........................................42 In a dual Q&A, BDI’s founder and CEO share their thoughts on the company’s roots, development, and future in a dynamically changing biobased diesel market. By Ron Kotrba

RonKo Media Productions PO Box 86 Warren, MN 56762 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be transmitted or reproduced in any form without written permission from the publishers. The information contained within has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable. Neither the publisher nor any other party assumes liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on this material. Appropriate professional advice should be sought before making personal, professional, or financial decisions. Outside of our staff authors, articles written by providers or professionals are invited authors and represent the opinions of that particular individual, business, group or organization.

©Copyright 2022 RonKo Media Productions LLC


Departments Editor’s Note.......................... 6 News..................................... 10 Information......................... 14 Perspective.......................... 16

Advertiser Index Advanced Fuel Solutions Inc...................18 American Lung Association....................41 BDI-BioEnergy International GmbH..........48 Biobased DieselTM Daily...........................6 Biodiesel Coalition of Missouri..................7 Clean Fuels Alliance America........... 17, 25 CoverCress Inc.....................................29 Crown Iron Works....................................3

Evonik Corp............................................4 Frazier, Barnes & Associates...................47 Global Talent Solutions..........................12 HERO BX..............................................13 Imerys.................................................22 Inflectis Digital Marketing.......................34 Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council....7 Ocean Park Advisors................................9

Pacific Biodiesel....................................28 Plasma Blue.........................................23 R.W. Heiden Associates LLC...................35 Teikoku USA Inc......................................2 TF Consultants Ltd................................19 Wolf Material Handling Systems.............31 WWS Trading..........................................8

Biobased DieselTM Winter 2022



THE ADAPTIVE PROBLEM-SOLVER Thirty years ago, the ethanol industry was well on its way to commercial development as a means for corn farmers to boost crop values while contributing solutions to the respective energy and farm crises of the 1970s and 1980s. Although ethanol is an important contribution to the fuel supply, farmers use dieselpowered equipment for their operations, so in that respect ethanol did not come full circle. Many of these farmers whose corn crops were being used for ethanol also grew soybeans, a product that had potential to revolutionize the heavy-duty fuel markets and be used, and embraced, on farm. Soybean crush was on the rise to feed the protein-rich soymeal to livestock in order to satisfy growing meat demand, without the drawbacks of the oil content on animal health and productivity. Although food uses soaked up some of the growing stocks of soybean oil, it wasn’t enough—and farmers were hurting as storage tanks were filling up with product going rancid and prices falling, dragging down profits with it. Thanks to the leadership of Kenlon Johannes at the Missouri Soybean Merchandising Council, who saw opportunities for biodiesel in America like they had been developing in Europe— although based on soybean oil in the U.S. instead of rapeseed and other oils there—farmers from various states banded together and, with funding from the national and state checkoff boards, formed an organization that would spend the next 30 years growing an idea into commercial reality. As the National Biodiesel Board celebrates


its 30th anniversary in 2022, and rebrands as the Clean Fuels Alliance America, it would be hard to imagine the renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) industries blossoming like they are without the dedicated work those soybean farmer-leaders put in upfront on testing, demonstrations and market development. Three decades ago, the country was awash in soybean oil. Now, thanks to that work and the bourgeoning renewable diesel and SAF sectors, bean oil is for the first time in history driving crush demand and values. As we reflect on these accomplishments, it is important not to forget those who made it all possible while also remembering there is still much work ahead on policy, technical, feedstock and many other fronts. Yesterday the talking points were energy security and markets for bean oil. Now, the driving force de jour is carbon reduction. Whatever compels interest in and support for biobased diesel fuels, the important point is that these fuels—biodiesel, renewable diesel, marine biofuel and SAF—continue to be highly relevant as part of the solution to a variety of societal problems.

Ron Kotrba Editor and Publisher


Missouri is the leading soy-based biodiesel producer in the nation. Biodiesel is a renewable, energy-efficient, clean-burning fuel made from Missouri’s top agricultural commodity- soybeans.

Ask for it where you buy fuel.

Coalition of Missouri







The Center for Soy Innovation puts the latest and greatest from soybean farmers into the hands of our community. • Hands-On Educational Exhibits for All Ages • Sustainable & Soy-based Building Materials • Water Quality Management & Biodiesel Heating Technology

Take our virtual tour at


s | (573) 635-3819 734 S. Country Club Drive | Jefferson City, MO 65109 brought to you by Missouri soybean farmers and their checkoff

Gary Wheeler Executive Director

Biobased DieselTM Winter 2022



Biobased DieselTM Winter 2022



Sustainable Aviation Fuel News Briefs SAF investment, project development and supply deals are taking off in America and beyond. Big news came to the sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) sector in September when the U.S. federal government announced the SAF Grand Challenge, an effort to reach the goal of supplying at least 3 billion gallons per year (bgy) of SAF by 2030 and 35 bgy by 2050, which the White House said would be enough to fulfill 100 percent of the U.S.’s projected annual demand for aviation fuel by then. As a result, a number of grants, loan guarantees and other support measures and incentives are being developed to promote widespread domestic SAF production and use. The U.S. DOE has announced $65 million in funding for specific R&D projects in the SAF and marine biofuel sectors. The Federal Aviation Administration also awarded in December more than $1.4 million to five universities to develop SAF supply chains across the country. [BBD] -----------------------------Chevron U.S.A. Inc. and Gevo Inc. signed a letter of intent to jointly invest in building and operating one or more new facilities that would process inedible corn to produce SAF. Through the proposed collaboration, Gevo would operate its proprietary technology to produce SAF and renewable components for gasoline. Chevron would also have the right to offtake approximately 150 million gallons per year (mgy). Gevo also entered into big deals with Archer Daniels Midland Co. and Kolmar Americas Inc. ADM and Gevo signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to support production of SAF. Juan Luciano, ADM chairman and CEO, said, “The potential conversion of 900 million gallons of ethanol—more than half of our production capacity—to serve growing demand for SAF would represent a major step in the continued evolution of our carbohydrate-solutions business to focus increasingly on new, high-growth opportunities.” The two are working to determine full commercialization plans and expect definitive agreements to enable production of SAF by 2025’26. Gevo and Kolmar entered into a fuel-supply agreement for 45 mgy of renewable liquid hydrocarbons, including SAF, expected to be produced from Gevo’s Net-Zero 2 plant being developed in the Midwest. Kolmar owns American GreenFuels, a biodiesel production facility in Connecticut. [BBD] -----------------------------Aemetis Inc. has signed a blended-SAF offtake agreement with American Airlines for 280 million gallons of blended SAF over a seven-year term, a contract worth more than $1 billion including all relevant credits. The contracted blend is 40 percent SAF and 60 percent fossil aviation fuel. The SAF is expected to be produced beginning in 2024 by the Aemetis plant under development in Riverbank, California. The company also announced the signing of MOUs with eight oneworld Alliance members for 350 million gallons of blended SAF. [BBD] -----------------------------United Airlines operated an unprecedented flight Dec. 1, flying a commercial carrier from Chicago to Washington, D.C., full of passengers using 100 percent SAF in one of its engines. The 737 MAX 8 was filled with 500 gallons of SAF for one engine and the same amount of conventional jet fuel for the other to prove no [10]

operational differences between the two, and to set the stage for more scalable uses of SAF by all airlines in the future. Currently, airlines are only permitted to use a maximum of 50 percent SAF on board. United operated the flight in partnership with Boeing; CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between GE and Safran Aircraft Engines; Virent, a subsidiary of Marathon whose technology enables 100 percent drop-in SAF; and SAF producer World Energy. The airline and Honeywell also joined forces to invest in Alder Fuels, a startup pioneering a green crude-to-SAF model. As part of the agreement, United is committing to purchase 1.5 billion gallons of SAF from Alder over 20 years. Alder Fuels was founded by CEO Bryan Sherbacow, formerly with World Energy who remains its senior advisor. [BBD] -----------------------------British Airways and Phillips 66 Ltd. signed a multiyear agreement that will make British Airways the first airline in the world to use U.K.-produced SAF. The fuel will be produced at scale for the first time in the U.K. at the Phillips 66 Humber Refinery near Immingham and will be supplied to British Airways to power a number of its flights from early 2022. The SAF will be produced from waste feedstock at the Humber Refinery, which will deliver the SAF to British Airways via existing pipeline infrastructure that feeds directly into U.K. airports. “The Humber Refinery was the first in the U.K. to coprocess waste oils to produce renewable fuels and now we will be the first to produce SAF at scale,” said Darren Cunningham, general manager of the Humber Refinery. “We’re currently refining almost half a million liters of sustainable waste feedstocks a day, and this is just a start.” Last year Phillips 66 Ltd. invested significantly to expand production of fuels from waste feedstocks. British Airways’ parent company, IAG, is investing $400 million over the next 20 years for development of SAF. [BBD] -----------------------------Royal Dutch Shell plc recently unveiled an ambition to produce approximately 675 mgy of SAF by 2025. It also aims to have at least 10 percent of its global aviation fuel sales as SAF by 2030. The announcement came as Shell published two reports looking at how the aviation sector can accelerate its progress towards decarbonization. [BBD] -----------------------------Lufthansa Group stated in its third-quarter financials that its executive board has decided to spend $250 million on SAF purchases over the next three years. The company stated it is already the largest purchaser of SAF in Europe. The airline is targeting reducing its CO2 emissions by 50 percent by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. [BBD] United loaded 100 percent SAF onto a 737 MAX 8 aircraft Dec. 1, making history by flying passengers from Chicago to Washington, D.C., on unblended SAF in one of its two engines. PHOTO: UNITED AIRLINES

Renewable Diesel News Briefs

REG officially broke ground on its renewable diesel expansion and improvement project in Geismar, Louisiana, this fall. PHOTO: RENEWABLE ENERGY GROUP INC.

Recent project development updates from North America and around the world.

Valero Energy Corp. announced in its third-quarter financials that the expansion project at Diamond Green Diesel, a renewable diesel joint venture between Valero and Darling Ingredients Inc. located at Valero’s St. Charles refinery in Norco, Louisiana, is complete and in the process of starting up. The expansion grew production capacity from 290 million gallons per year (mgy) to 690 mgy. The new Diamond Green Diesel plant at Valero’s Port Arthur refinery in Texas, expected to have a renewable diesel production capacity of 470 mgy, is “progressing well and is still expected to commence operations in the first half of 2023,” Valero reported. This will increase Diamond Green Diesel’s total annual production capacity to approximately 1.2 billion gallons of renewable diesel and 50 million gallons of renewable naphtha. [BBD] -----------------------------Renewable Energy Group Inc. officially broke ground on its renewable diesel expansion and improvement project at REG Geismar in Louisiana. The project will take total site production capacity from 90 mgy to 340 mgy and involves upgrades to the existing site, as well as an expansion that will be adjacent to the current site. Improvements will include enhanced marine logistics that will enable global trading of feedstocks and fuel. The company announced that the estimated project cost is $950 million and is expected to be mechanically complete by 2023, with full operability in 2024. Meanwhile, the company has closed its 35 mgy biodiesel plant in Houston, Texas, due to an unfavorable leasing agreement and lack of REG’s “hallmark multifeedstock processing capability.” REG acquired and commissioned the plant in 2008. [BBD] -----------------------------BP is investing $269 million in three projects at its Cherry Point Refinery in Washington state, one of which will more than double its capacity to coprocess renewable diesel. When complete this year, the $45 million investment is expected to allow the manufacturing of nearly 110 million gallons of coprocessed renewable diesel per year. Other projects include a $169 million hydrocracker-improvement project and a $55 million cooling water infrastructure project, both of which are slated for completion in 2023. [BBD] -----------------------------Applied Research Associates Inc. is licensing its patented Hydrothermal Cleanup feedstock pretreatment technology to Sinclair Wyoming Refining Co. for the development of a feedstock pretreatment unit at Sinclair’s renewable diesel refinery in Sinclair, Wyoming. The unit is being designed to process more than 100 mgy. Producing renewable diesel in Wyoming since 2018, Sinclair will use the HCU Pretreat unit to expand its feedstock slate to include lower-cost, lower carbonintensity feedstocks that can then be processed in its existing renewable diesel facility. The pretreatment system is expected to be commissioned this year. [BBD] -----------------------------Royal Dutch Shell plc plans to build a 275 mgy renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) production facility at the Shell

Energy and Chemicals Park in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, formerly known as the Pernis refinery. Using its own technology, the company will use certified-sustainable vegetable oil feedstocks such as rapeseed to supplement recycled inputs like used cooking oil and animal fats until it can secure enough waste material to produce renewable diesel and SAF solely from recycled and advanced feeds. Shell stated it will not use virgin palm oil. Production is expected to begin in 2024. The oil giant is also evaluating renewable diesel and SAF production at a site in Singapore. [BBD] -----------------------------Houston-based Viking Energy Group Inc. has entered into an agreement to acquire the Ryze Renewables project in Reno, Nevada. The estimated production capacity of the renewable diesel plant, which is 95 percent complete, is 43 mgy. According to Viking, a pretreatment unit being built on-site is roughly 30 percent complete. [BBD] -----------------------------The Come By Chance petroleum refinery in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador will be converted to produce renewable diesel and SAF, changing its name to Braya Renewable Fuels. The provincial government reached an agreement with NARL Refining Limited Partnership and NARL Logistics to help facilitate Cresta Fund Management’s acquisition of a majority interest in NARL Refining from Silverpeak. Based on the agreement, Silverpeak and Cresta Fund Management have reached their final agreements regarding Cresta’s purchase. According to Cresta, the first phase of the conversion would produce 588,000 gallons of SAF and renewable diesel daily by midyear. A second phase will seek to double capacity. [BBD] -----------------------------CVR Energy Inc. is resuming plans to convert a hydrocracker at its Wynnewood, Oklahoma, petroleum refinery to manufacture renewable diesel after delaying the project last year due to high soybean oil prices. The company will complete the conversion this spring with an anticipated start-up of renewable diesel production in mid-April. The capacity of the Wynnewood renewable diesel unit will be close to 100 mgy. CVR Energy will use soybean and treated corn oils initially until an on-site feedstock pretreatment unit is complete and operational, which is expected late this year. [BBD] -----------------------------SSA Marine, which operates three container terminals at the Port of Long Beach in Southern California, has become the first terminal operator at the port to transition its fossil-fueled cargohandling equipment fleet to renewable diesel. The change involves more than 230 pieces of equipment across the company’s Long Beach terminals. [BBD]

Biobased DieselTM Winter 2022 [11]


Biodiesel News Briefs Important regulatory, trade association and supplier announcements.

The U.S. EPA released in early December its long-overdue proposed 2022 Renewable Fuel Standard volumes for biomassbased diesel, as well as the proposed 2021 and 2022 volumes for total renewable fuel, and advanced and cellulosic biofuels. The agency proposes to increase the 2022 biomass-based diesel requirement from 2.43 billion gallons in 2021, set two years ago, to 2.76 billion gallons—an increase of 330 million gallons, or nearly 14 percent. It also proposes increasing the advanced biofuel volumes for 2021 and 2022 to 5.2 billion and 5.77 billion ethanol-equivalent gallons, respectively. The agency proposes to retroactively decrease 2020 volumes set two years ago, compliance deadlines for which had been delayed due to the pandemic. EPA is also proposing to deny more than 60 pending small refinery exemptions filed by obligated parties. Public comment on the proposed RFS volumes is open through Feb. 4. [BBD] -----------------------------USDA recently announced it will make up to $800 million available to support biofuel producers and infrastructure, including $700 million in economic relief to producers and $100 million in infrastructure grants. Direct economic-relief payments will be made to biofuel producers who faced market loss in 2020 due to the pandemic through the new Biofuel Producer Program authorized by the CARES Act. Infrastructure funds will provide grants to refueling or distribution facilities to install, retrofit or upgrade equipment for B20 biodiesel and E15 ethanol or higher blends. [BBD]


The National Biodiesel Board is changing its name to Clean Fuels Alliance America, officially rolling out the rebranding effort at the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada, Jan. 17-20, where the association is celebrating its 30th anniversary. This is not the first time the organization has changed its name. In 1994, the then-two-year-old National SoyDiesel Development Board pivoted and rebranded itself as the National Biodiesel Board, when it became a feedstock-neutral trade association—a risky decision from the group whose funding nearly entirely came from soybean groups at the time. Now representing North American biodiesel, renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel producers and stakeholders, Clean Fuels is recognizing the milestone anniversary with a new book, written by Ron Kotrba, editor and publisher of Biobased Diesel™, called, The Birth of American Biodiesel. Kotrba interviewed more than 50 individuals to chronicle the early, formative years of the organization. [BBD] -----------------------------Evonik Corp. plans to construct a new methylate plant in Southeast Asia to further strengthen its global alkoxides business. Alkoxides are predominantly needed as catalyst for biodiesel production as well as in synthesis applications in the pharmaceutical and agricultural industries. The size of the investment is in the mid double-digit million range. “We already have production facilities in Europe and North and South America,” said Alexander Weber, global head of marketing and sales for Evonik’s functional solutions business line. “Asia is the missing piece in a global-supply network to regionally serve all relevant markets.” [BBD]

Biobased DieselTM Winter 2022 [13]


Soybean Oil Begins to Drive Crush For the first time ever, soybean crush is being driven by bean-oil prices and demand. While the reasons for this are complex, an integral component of this dynamic is current and, to a much larger extent, expected future demand from the rapidly expanding renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel sector.

Component price divergence – indexed to

Component Price Divergence January 2021 Indexed to January 2021

Recent Soybean Oil and Meal Price Movement 250

Diverging Price Movement Since January 200.0

Meal and oil moving together


Index Level (Jan 22, 2021= 100)

Index Level (June 1, 2020 = 100)


200 150 100 50

Meal and oil diverging



160.0 140.0 120.0 100.0 80.0 60.0



6/ 1/ 20 7/ 20 1/ 20 8/ 20 1/ 20 9/ 20 1/ 2 10 02 /1 0 /2 11 020 /1 /2 12 02 /1 0 /2 0 1/ 20 1/ 20 2/ 21 1/ 2 3/ 021 1/ 20 4/ 21 1/ 20 5/ 21 1/ 20 6/ 21 1/ 20 7/ 21 1/ 20 8/ 21 1/ 20 9/ 21 1/ 2 10 02 /1 1 /2 02 1





Feb-21 Ma r-21


Apr-21 Ma y-21 SBO






Source: CBOT, Refinitiv. Prices through morning of October 15th.

Source: Charts provided by USB, USSEC with data from CBOT, Refinitiv. Prices through morning of Oct. 15.

Soy Crush Projects Under Development Soybeans in million bushels per year. Soybean oil in million gallons per year. Costs provided by companies at time of announcement. Epitome Energy Location: Crookston, Minnesota Add’l Soybean Intake: 42 Add’l Oil Output: 60 Cost: $300 million Petroleum JV Partner: None Declared Target Completion: Unknown

ADM Location: Spiritwood, North Dakota Add’l Soybean Intake: 55 Add’l Oil Output: 80 Cost: $350 million Petroleum JV Partner: Marathon Target Completion: 2023

Platinum Crush Location: Alta, Iowa Add’l Soybean Intake: 38.5 Add’l Oil Output: 55 Cost: $350 million Petroleum JV Partner: None Declared Target Completion: 2024

AGP (Expansion) Location: Sergeant Bluff, Iowa Add’l Soybean Intake: Unknown Add’l Oil Output: Unknown Cost: Unknown Petroleum JV Partner: None Declared Target Completion: Unknown Bartlett Location: Montgomery County, Kansas Add’l Soybean Intake: 38.5 Add’l Oil Output: 55 Cost: $325 million Petroleum JV Partner: None Declared Target Completion: 2024

At a Glance

Number of Projects: 10 Total Listed Add’l Soybean Intake: 318.5 million bushels/yr Total Listed Add’l Oil Output: 459 mgy Total Listed Costs: $2.2 billion


CHS (Expansion) Location: Fairmont, Minnesota Add’l Soybean Intake: 17 Add’l Oil Output: 25 Cost: Unknown Petroleum JV Partner: None Declared Target Completion: 2021

Shell Rock Soy Processing Location: Shell Rock, Iowa Add’l Soybean Intake: 38.5 Add’l Oil Output: 55 Cost: $270 million Petroleum JV Partner: Phillips 66 Target Completion: 2024

Continental Refining Co. (Integrated Crush/Biodiesel Project) Location: Somerset, Kentucky Add’l Soybean Intake: 4 Add’l Oil Output: 6 Cost: Unknown Target Completion: 2022

Bunge (2 Plant Expansions) Locations: Destrehan, Louisiana; Cairo, Illinois Add’l Soybean Intake: 85 Add’l Oil Output: 123 Cost: $600 million Petroleum JV Partner: Chevron Target Completion: 2024

Existing and Expected U.S. Renewable Diesel Production Capacity (2010-2024) billion gallons per year

U.S. Biodiesel Production Capacity (2021)

thousand barrels per day

million gallons per year Iowa Texas Missouri Illinois Arkansas Washington Indiana Mississippi Ohio North Dakota Minnesota California Pennsylvania Kansas Kentucky Rest of United States

6 350



proposed or announced


250 200



currently under construction

2 1

100 50

existing capacity

0 2010









Source: Graph by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), based on data from company announcements in trade press

Rocky Mountain


West Coast

East Coast Gulf Coast





Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2021 Biodiesel Plant Production Capacity



‘Book and Claim’ Explained

RSB’s Book-and-Claim Certification

Credible Chain of Custody Solution to Bring SAF to Market Challenge Limited SAF supply in few physical locations Access limited to carriers in a few hubs with limit on offtake levels Cost + emissions of transporting SAF to customers

Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials

SAF physical Fossil Jet SAF B&C sale JET FUEL SUPPLIER



Allows SAF purchase without a physical connection to the supply site Enables the attribution of GHG emission reductions through SAF use to corporates to reduce their scope 3 emissions in a credible, third-party validated way No matter where SAF is purchased, the net environmental effect is the same. RSB provides assurance that transactions are credible, traceable and don’t lead to double counting.



RSB’s Book-and-Claim Certification

SAF + sustainability characteristics claim by airline/corporate


No claim

With interest in sustainable aviation fuel rising at an unprecedented clip, the concept of “book and claim” has made headlines over the past year. The Roundtable on Sustainable Biomaterials, which has its own book-and-claim pilot with BP, provides an easy-to-understand explanation of what this is. “Book and claim” is a solution that enables organizations, whether airlines or their traveler/shipper customers, to purchase SAF lifecycle emissions reductions without being geographically tied to an SAF production site. Essentially it enables airlines to purchase “SAF credits” on top of their conventional fuel, paying the premium for SAF to the SAF producer, who then sells their SAF as conventional fuel. This solves the issue of the often-vast distances between SAF supply (a production facility) and demand (an airline fulfilling its mandated and voluntary sustainability commitments). While the customer is not flying on SAF, the funding of its purchase demonstrates market demand and supports the development of SAF supply globally. In turn, the customer can claim the lifecycle emissions reduction associated with this SAF purchase funding towards their voluntary greenhouse gas emission (GHG) reduction goals. So that this process is managed in a way that reduces the risk of fraud, a book-and-claim registry is used to trace transactions and ensure they are credible, traceable and do not lead to double counting of the GHG benefit by multiple parties. The SAF supplier “books” their SAF into the registry, where it is then “claimed” by a customer. A robust traceability system that guarantees full transparency and zero risk of fraud is essential to ensure the system can be widely supported by the market—which is why the registry is managed independently by a trusted partner. Biobased DieselTM Winter 2022 [15]


Thinking Clean, High-performance Liquid Fuel?

Think Biodiesel

Consider the many environmental, performance, and health benefits of biodiesel before you strike out of the new energy landscape. By Paul Nazzaro The diesel-fuel environment continues to evolve quickly as today’s ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD) fuel has been proven to be cleaner than higher-sulfur products of the past. Despite these findings, federal, state and local policymakers are pushing to eradicate diesel fuel in favor of electrification, hydrogen, and products that are simply not ready for prime time. No surprise, there has been growing interest in biomass-based diesel as an alternative to electrification, as well as a solution for immediate carbon reductions. Biodiesel is leading the way nationally with efforts to move to higher and higher blends. Renewable diesel is also growing in popularity as a preferred option to significantly decrease carbon, but its economics and availability outside low carbon fuel standard regions make it improbable for near-term market penetration. With major political and societal focuses on lowering the carbon intensity of energy and transport, biodiesel and renewable diesel are both rational, available choices to keep liquid fuels feasible for years to come. Diesel engines have become increasingly more sophisticated with high-pressure common-rail (HPCR) fuel-injection platforms and aftertreatment systems leading the way. Those who think coal dust and generic diesel are “good enough” for the future are stuck in a Fred Flintstone state of mind in a George Jetson world. Clean diesel is not “coming soon” to a pump or dealer near you, and it is not an article somewhere in the back of Popular Mechanics. Clean diesel is here today, and adoption of these low-carbon liquids should be a reasonable approach, both economically and reliability-wise, to meeting the government’s established goals of liberation from fossil fuels. You need not look that far to be inundated with communications talking about fuels getting cleaner. Engine manufacturers are adhering to government oversight to ensure the future is centered on “more miles, cleaner miles.” To be certain liquid fuels maintain prominence in transportation and space heating well into the future, they must be low or zero carbon—whether that’s biodiesel, renewable diesel, or a blended combination of the two. The ULSD hydrotreating process has become more severe, which creates operational challenges for the resulting fuel. Further downstream, some discerning liquid-fuel purchasers are considering adopting the ISO 4406 cleanliness code to measure contaminants in their fuel. This protocol, once solely relied upon by hydraulic and lubrication systems managers, is now of interest with diesel fuel operators who want only the highest quality fuel available. [16]

The future is looking bright as more technological advancements are being made from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to fuel-consumption points. What can one do today to meet the emerging clean-fuel standards? The answer, of course, is to power up with biodiesel. Biodiesel integration can be seamless and immediate, as there is no need to make costly new vehicle or infrastructure investments. The vast majority of OEMs support use of B20 biodiesel blends in their diesel vehicles and equipment. OEMs are actively evaluating higher blends of biodiesel and blends of biodiesel and renewable diesel with fleet customers, who have demonstrated a growing interest in low-carbon fuels. The existing biodiesel fueling infrastructure is adequate, as blends are available at more than 2,360 major truck stops, retailers and distributors nationwide, creating a cost structure comparable to or less than that of petroleum diesel fuel. There are substantial public health benefits from using biodiesel in place of petroleum distillate in transportation and space heating. Recognizing that biodiesel blends, with generic diesel in any percentage, are a quantum leap in carbon reduction, a discerning buyer of clean, liquid fuels simply loves the many additional advantages offered by biodiesel including high cetane, exceptional lubricity, virtually zero sulfur, and zero aromatics, which reduces toxicity. It burns cleaner and has a higher flash point, making it safe to store and handle, which begets the question, “Why wouldn’t fleets wish to advance their transition to biodiesel yesterday?” The health benefits of biodiesel are largely driven by the significant reductions in particulate matter (PM), and the use of biodiesel provides an immediate and direct reduction in harmful criteria pollution. Benefits accrue disproportionately in environmental justice (EJ) or overburdened communities, which tend to be surrounded by high diesel use activities (ports, logistics, high-traffic roadways). The particulates created by biodiesel burn off faster and at a lower temperature in a particulate trap, equating to less PM trap regenerations and lower long-term maintenance costs. I wish I had a dollar for every excuse I’ve heard as to why biodiesel blending should be ignored. These include higher costs, challenged winter operability, product-supply disruptions, handling challenges, lack of hedging mechanisms, increased microbial contamination, and simply a fuel that missed its chance for adoption. Actually, these “excuses” are really misconceptions. To gauge the value of biodiesel or renewable

diesel in the generic-diesel mindset of whether they are the lowest-cost option from one day to the next completely misses the point and is totally unrealistic. They are commodities, and they ebb and flow based on global connectivity, which is why sophisticated suppliers have learned how to manage these peaks and valleys with intelligent risk-management programs— and biodiesel is no different, so … next! Cold flow, stability, microbial contamination, all managed by an intelligent blend of legitimate, well-tested performance chemistries and a defined housekeeping program—next! Renewable diesel is the true pathway and will make biodiesel obsolete. Not so fast. Both are great options, but there is room and need for both. Biodiesel has the bragging rights for the most effective, efficient, lowest-cost option to carbon reduction and greenhouse gas reductions. Why wait? Can you say, “time value of carbon?” Take advantage of a well-known fact. Carbon reductions now have significantly more value than carbon reductions in the future. Regardless of who and where you are in the liquid fuels supply chain—buyer, seller, or consumer—you would be best served to adopt biodiesel performance benefits today. Far from a fuel that has “missed its time,” biodiesel is the only liquid fuel substitute that will keep current distillate carnivores well-nourished during these challenging times while everyone is waiting on the “perfect” fuel to be dropped into their laps. There is no perfect fuel. All of them—diesel, renewable diesel, biodiesel, electric, hydrogen, and any you may be considering that I’ve not

mentioned—will have both strengths and weaknesses. You can bank on that. Why not give biodiesel an opportunity to reduce and eliminate your carbon output so that you can continue to be viable while the energy landscape unfolds? Because it will. You just better hope it unfolds before you do. There is nothing static about energy policy and if you plan on staying in the game, then you need to stay in the batter’s box with your eye on the ball. First pitch. Stay carbon? Strike one! Prematurely dismiss low-carbon liquids with all the notable benefits? Strike two! Think change is not warranted today? Strike three! You’re outta here! You have a choice. Make it a knowledgeable one. Make it matter, and be the recipient of new opportunities well into the future.

Author: Paul Nazzaro President, Advanced Fuel Solutions 978-258-8360

The Time Has Come for Clean Fuels We have traveled many miles together, farther than many people thought we could go. We’ve found opportunities when others only saw obstacles and pressed the gas when others thought we’d hit the brakes. And now, the road is opening. The sky is clear. Now, we get to see how far we really can go. In 2022, the National Biodiesel Board becomes Clean Fuels Alliance America. We’re honored to build a brighter future with you. Biobased DieselTM Winter 2022 [17]


Biobased DieselTM Winter 2022 [19]


Cynersorb Designed for the Future

Imerys’ Cynersorb product has a three-in-one functional design that can improve the bottom lines of both feedstock sellers and biobased diesel producers. By David Gittins and Tony Smith As biofuel mandates are increasing across the globe and the market continuously expands, green-diesel producers are requiring more throughput from their adsorbents to meet demand. Biofuel producers are drawn towards lower-quality feedstocks, either due to their more favorable carbon-intensity (CI) values or simply because the higherquality feedstocks are already captured in long-term supply agreements with other producers. These feedstocks

contain more impurities than virgin oils. Consequently, higher adsorbent-dosing rates are leading to choked flows, lower capacity and reduced performance. Imerys adds value to biofuels produced with lower-quality feedstocks at the source, with filtration products that improve the quality of rendered fats, distillers corn oil and used cooking oil. By removing phosphorus, metals and other contaminants, Imerys’ filtration solutions allow “dirtier” fats and oils

Tallow was received and analyzed to have 92 ppm phosphorus (P) then was chemically pretreated down to 14 ppm P. Separate adsorbent treatments were then performed. Bleaching earth (BE) at 0.5 percent, 1 percent and blended 0.4 percent BE and 0.1 percent Cynersorb reduced P to 7, 4, and 4 ppm respectively. The synergistic effect of treating with a blend of BE and Imerys Cynersorb, a total powder dosage of 0.5 percent, was able to reduce P to the same level, within experimental error, of double the total BE powder dosage.


to meet feedstock specifications of biodiesel, renewable diesel and other oleochemical plants. Using its Cynersorb range of filterable adsorbents, Imerys has eliminated the poor-filtration functionality of current adsorbents by starting with a filter aid and then adding proprietary surface engineering. The downside of increasing dosage levels of existing adsorbents is they tend to block the filter bed, leading to shorter filtration cycles. Cynersorb offers superior adsorbency while maintaining high porosity, which leads to lower metals at twice the flux rate in filtration. This is beneficial when using blends with lowerquality feedstock, extending the life of expensive catalysts, doubling throughput in existing systems or reducing the capex for new pretreatment systems.

How It Works Cynersorb’s novelty and value comes from its three-in-one functional design. The substrate, diatomaceous earth, is used for solid-liquid separation, trapping colloidal contaminants within its micropores. This three-dimensional network is also used as a scaffold to hold a reactive silica-gel layer high in surface area, which adsorbs soluble contaminants as the oil passes through the filter cake. Finally, this silica gel is used to carry chelating chemistry that reacts with the remaining contaminants transforming them into filterable or absorbable species. The result is a highly effective and efficient adsorbent that can be transported, stored and dosed using existing adsorbent-handling equipment. Cynersorb offers a family of products with varying filtration characteristics, made to fit unique customer demands while maintaining the benefits of the diatomaceous-earth structure, chelating chemistry and soaps removal depending on specific needs.

Right: Due to the high permeability of Cynersorb, blending a small amount, just 0.1 percent in this figure, with bleaching earth results in much lower pressure rise over time. The filtration benefit is approximately 50 percent less filter area required to process equal volumes of oil feedstock and higher throughput. Below: Producers using typical feedstock can recognize savings of $1.2 million per year or more using a Cynersorb/bleaching earth blend over bleaching earth alone. Calculation based on annual production of 100 mgy, 325 operating days, oil feedstock cost of 68 cents per pound, 30 percent oil absorption in filter cake.

scarcity and tightening effluent regulations. Coupling Cynersorb’s filtration and impurities-reduction performance with the side benefit of significant waste-cake disposal reduction due to greater cycle lengths and lower dosing rates, some larger biodiesel plants could see a six- to seven-figure cost avoidance.

Customer Focus: Imerys’ Greatest Strength

These properties combine to enable Cynersorb to better remove unwanted contaminants, even at fractional dosing rates. This also leads to less waste cake and product losses for customers, since waste-cake generation is directly proportional to dosing rates. More liquid can be filtered through Cynersorb because it has internal voids in addition to the gaps between the particles, therefore it has a higher permeability than bleaching earth, so there is a higher throughput at the same pressure difference (Delta P). These voids also trap particulate contaminants so fast flow is maintained even with very cloudy rendered fats or used cooking oils.

Imerys works closely with plant operators and their engineering-support teams to help identify new solutions to problems that have yet to happen. Imerys’ proven track record and innovation are core to its reputation. If producers are having issues achieving throughput stemming from feedstock blends or elevated dosing rates hindering pretreatment performance, they should consider Cynersorb.

Authors: David Gittins Science & Technology Director, Imerys

Helping Throughput, Reducing Power Needs In collaboration with industry-leading engineering firms and equipment manufacturers, Imerys is working to reduce the total cost of ownership for operating plants, and enabling new plant builds to be constructed with significantly smaller footprints and capital expenditure. Today, Imerys is engaged in detailed studies into specific feedstock blends in order to be of higher value to plants that are now being designed. New plants are planning to utilize lower-cost, lower-quality feedstock blends. The replacement of water-wash systems and dry-wash alternatives is a more recent project on which Imerys has been approached to advise, as a result of increasing water

Tony Smith Sales Director, Imerys

Biobased DieselTM Winter 2022 [21]


The future of biodiesel is HERE.


Plasma Blue is a revolutionary new technology that creates biodiesel at a dramatically lower production cost while integrating easily into existing or new biodiesel plants.


Producing fuel is a game of pennies and the producers with the lowest cost of production will always win. Plasma technology allows your business, new or existing, to remain competitive in a growing and changing market.


Plasma Blue technology has a small physical footprint and modular design. This allows existing plants to increase plant production without expensive shut down times or expansions of plant footprints.

To learn more, stop by booth 13 at the National Biodiesel Conference in Las Vegas or visit Biobased DieselTM Winter 2022 [23]


Clean Fuels Rise to the Challenge Fleets rely on biodiesel and renewable diesel to meet carbon-reduction goals today. By Liz McCune For more than a decade, some of our nation’s largest cities such as New York and Washington, D.C., have counted on biodiesel to help reduce carbon emissions. Since then, a growing number of fleets across the country have joined these and other early adopters in powering their diesel vehicles and equipment with cleaner-burning biodiesel and renewable diesel. They under­stand there is no time to waste, and these fuels are here now, ready to go to work reducing emissions and improving public health. The biodiesel, renewable diesel and sustainable aviation industry is on a rapid rise due to their investment, and the promise of a better, cleaner tomorrow. With this rise comes the need for the evolution of the National Biodiesel Board as a trade association. That’s why our members decided to change the organization’s name to Clean Fuels Alliance America as we expand markets in not only biodiesel, but other products such as renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel. We are proud of our roots, and with a membership that spans North America, we represent some of the most sustainable fuels on the planet. This new name positions us for growth as we strengthen our role in the clean-energy complex. These low-carbon, low-cost fuels are helping to reduce emissions today from trucks, buses and large equipment. Both are derived from waste feedstocks and their use does not require expensive investments in refueling or recharging infrastructure. The market for these fuels has grown as the U.S. consumed about 3 billion gallons of biobased diesel fuel in 2020, and the market is set to double by 2030. “The pressure is on—both in Washington and in statehouses— to shrink our nation’s carbon footprint,” said Floyd Vergara, Clean Fuels’ director of state governmental affairs. “While much of the focus has been on developing new technologies of the future, biodiesel and renewable diesel are ready-to-go solutions. These fuels are significantly less carbon intensive than petroleum diesel—74 percent on average for biodiesel—and have prevented more than 140 million tons of carbon emissions since 2010. They also substantially cut emissions of particulate matter that impact cancer rates, asthma and other respiratory diseases, which can lower associated health care costs.” For dozens of fleet trailblazers across the country, biodiesel and renewable diesel are playing a critical role as a major carbon reducer. Many of these leading fleets have earned the National Association of Fleet Administrator’s Green Fleet Award, been named one of the 100 Best Fleets or earned other prestigious awards. Their leadership is gaining momentum and other fleets are watching as they too begin to recognize the role biodiesel and renewable diesel can play right now. There is no need to wait for the next best thing. Fleets can easily transition diesel vehicles and equipment to biodiesel or renewable diesel immediately and begin to realize carbon reduction and public-health benefits. Below are some highlights from leading fleets that have made the switch. Madison, Wisconsin. “The star of our sustainability show by far, coming in with over 90 percent of our CO2 emissions reductions over the last few years, is biodiesel,” said Mahanth S. Joishy, Madison fleet superintendent. Madison uses a B20 biodiesel blend in its 500 diesel vehicles and will soon fuel 20 vehicles with B100. Since 2018, biodiesel has helped Madison reduce carbon emissions by 8 percent.


New York City. The largest municipal fleet in the country powers more than 10,000 diesel vehicles with biodiesel, heats buildings with Bioheat® fuel and also uses renewable diesel. The city’s first biodiesel trial was in 2005. The NYC Clean Fleet plan will increase the use of alternatives to traditional diesel fuels, including higher biodiesel blends, compressed natural gas and renewable diesel, to displace the use of fossil diesel fuel in city vehicles by 2035. These diesel alternatives are estimated to reduce emissions by 34 percent. Fort Wayne, Indiana. “The city of Fort Wayne has been using a B20 blend to power our fleet for nearly two decades,” said Larry Campbell, fleet director for Fort Wayne. “We are proud to fuel our vehicles with a product that’s produced locally and burns significantly cleaner than petroleum diesel. On top of that, biodiesel is by far the best carbon-reduction tool of any liquid fuel available today. B20 is the easiest thing we can do to reduce emissions. It makes it a no-brainer for me as a fleet director.” Washington, D.C. “DPW touches every district resident and visitor, every day,” said Christine Davis, interim director of the district’s Department of Public Works. “We are a leader in use of biodiesel fuel, particularly for municipal fleets. We were the pilot for biodiesel trials in the city more than 10 years ago.” DPW now uses blends up to B100 and plans to double the number of its B100-fueled sanitation vehicles in the next year. “D.C. Water is the largest wastewater treatment facility in the world, and we’re the most advanced,” said Tim Fitzgerald, director of fleet management for D.C. Water. “My role here as fleet director is to provide the most environmentally friendly, efficient and effective type of vehicles for our fleet. We wanted to make sure our operators returned home safer. So, we went from B10 to B20, and now we’re at B100, and we’re liking what we’re doing and everybody’s in on the party now.” Seattle, Washington. Biodiesel and renewable diesel are a fundamental part of Seattle’s carbon-reduction strategy. The city’s ambitious Green Fleet Action Plan calls for a 50 percent reduction in fleet greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 and to eliminate use of fossil fuels by 2030. Half of Seattle’s emissions reductions will come from replacing petroleum diesel with a blend of biodiesel and renewable diesel. We see a bright future for the clean-fuels industry and look forward to sustained growth in the years ahead as we continue to offer low-carbon fuel solutions that reduce emissions and improve public health.

Author: Liz McCune Communications Director, Clean Fuels Alliance America 573-635-3893


1 7 – 2 0

Remarkable Past, Even Brighter Future At the 2022 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo in Las Vegas, we’re recognizing the remarkable achievements of the first 30 years of biodiesel and preparing for an exciting year ahead as the National Biodiesel Board becomes Clean Fuels Alliance America. Thank you to our conference sponsors for making this event possible and mark your calendars for our 2023 conference January 23–26 in Tampa!

Biobased DieselTM Winter 2022 [25]


COP26 a Code Red Wake-up Call for the Biodiesel Industry

Community-based biodiesel supports the circular economy and climate-change solutions. By Kelly King Just over 26 years ago, my husband and I founded Pacific Biodiesel on Maui as a recycling solution for our island. Today, our global community faces far greater, increasingly dire effects of a climate now in full-blown crisis—while viable climate-change solutions like biodiesel remain (still) largely underutilized. We know that the window for meaningful action to transition away from fossil fuels, reduce emissions and avoid the worst impacts of climate catastrophes is rapidly closing. As UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres put it, climate change has sounded “code red for humanity.” As the newest member of the board of directors for ICLEI USA, I was especially honored to receive an invitation to participate in the 26th annual United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland. I was one of only a handful of delegates to attend the conference, also known as COP26, on behalf of ICLEI USA, one of 24 World Secretariat Offices that is devoted to working with local governments on climate action and sustainability. My combined experience as a pioneering business leader in renewable energy and as a local elected official in an island community uniquely qualified me to help build bridges between representatives from vulnerable communities and national governments. COP26 was slated to be an essential and extremely important meeting of leaders from around the globe—and I embraced this rare opportunity to represent both my island state and my renewable energy industry on a global stage. From my vantage point, in over a dozen speaking engagements throughout the two weeks, I was astonished to Fourth from left, U.S. EPA Administrator Michael Regan, and sixth from left, King, at the Japan Pavillion during COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland.


find that biodiesel and biofuels were virtually absent from this global climate-change conversation. Wind and solar dominated the climate-solution talks at COP26. Yes, we need a mix of renewables. But in addition to ignoring biofuels as an option, the discussions in which I participated offered very little delving into the lifecycle issues that some of these renewables create, such as environmental degradation from mining of cobalt and lithium for batteries and the power struggle among countries that seek to control these critical parts of the supply chain. Rather than engaging residents’ participation through local farming, full-time jobs with wages to support a family and revenue that stays in the community, wind, solar and EV systems are often extractive industries led by multinational corporations—the antithesis of a sustainable, circular-economy approach to solving the climate crisis. Biodiesel is an established advanced biofuel, readily available for immediate greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions utilizing existing infrastructure and advanced engine technologies. Yet countries are increasingly spending exorbitant amounts to build immense new infrastructure for wind, PV and EV technologies—all while GHG emissions continue to rapidly accumulate in the atmosphere and create critical harm to our planet. And what about the untold number of diesel vehicles around the globe? Are we going to tell residents, and especially farmers, in impoverished countries that they must abandon their diesel trucks and tractors for expensive new EV models? The way out of climate change needs to be a just transition. Particular solutions must not leave behind less fortunate, vulnerable populations. Another point to consider: as the climate crisis causes more frequent and significantly more powerful hurricanes and other storms, what happens when the majority of cars are EVs and millions of residents forced to evacuate from an approaching storm must wait for hours to charge their vehicles? Or in the aftermath of a catastrophic storm that damages the electric grid and charging stations knocking out power for weeks or longer, EVs would likely sit idle. Biodiesel, in contrast, is a clean transportation fuel that offers reliable, firm power that’s safe and easy to store and transport—keeping cars, trucks and other diesel vehicles on the road during emergency situations. Biodiesel being largely left out of the COP26 conversation was a significant miss and reveals the misinformation and

misperceptions that persist about this renewable fuel. Diesel engines are not the problem; fossil fuel is the problem. A California Air Resources Board report in 2021 found that GHG reductions from biomass-based diesel were in fact responsible for three times the total GHG reductions as electric vehicles. And biodiesel is an important, firm power backup to other renewables. Yet, it is a climate-change solution that seems to be repeatedly left out of the conversations. To shift gears and gain support, the biodiesel industry must focus on its community-based roots. Clear messaging about the abundant benefits of biodiesel is urgently needed. Biodiesel is a viable, available climate-change solution that immediately helps reduce GHG emissions, supports local economies and strengthens energy security, especially among isolated, vulnerable populations around the globe. And the infrastructure already exists! In my panel discussions at COP26, I repeatedly brought up community-based biodiesel as an example of the circular economy—utilizing local resources to create products, jobs and industries, which, in turn, benefit that local community through positive economic, social and environmental impacts. Biodiesel produced from locally sourced feedstock like used cooking oil and diversified, regenerative agriculture (to grow crops for food and fuel) is a solution that local communities can easily employ. The agriculture component of biodiesel particularly for rural communities created “lightbulb moments” in the audience during my talks. People got it—biodiesel as an existing climate-change solution resonated, especially for folks from countries where diesel vehicles and generators are still rolling out of the factories. What gave me the most hope at COP26 were the abundant examples of multinational, multilevel collaboration. Cities and counties making climate-change impacts at the local level, committed to the circular economy. We can’t wait for world leaders or government regulations to get us out of the approaching climate catastrophe. All sustainability is local, and our actions to fight climate change can and must initiate and grow locally. I sat on several panels centered on collaboration between all levels of governments and their communities. Nobody can do it alone. Governments at all levels need to be working together and engaging their constituents to work seriously on climate issues. National leaders need to understand what corporations already know—consumer pressure is a huge influence. If consumers support you, they’ll buy your products. Public pressure creates the momentum for change. Relying on federal regulations alone is failure. “Boots on the ground” is where it starts, at the local level. Living in Hawaii is a great privilege but it is also a responsibility—what we call “kuleana.” Island communities like ours are home to beautiful cultures, people and ecosystems; however, we face dire challenges and risks being at the frontline of climate-change impacts, such as sea-level rise, extreme weather, supply-chain disruptions, and the degradation of unique habitats and endangered species.

Without serious action, these impacts will be permanent, irreparable and irreversible. We can all learn from Hawaii’s indigenous tradition of “aloha `aina” and “malama `aina” stretching back centuries, and which guide us on the islands today. Aloha `aina is a love of the land, and malama `aina means to care for and nurture the land. These concepts are rooted in a world view that sees the land as an ancestor and relative, with the belief that if we care for and love the Earth, it will nurture us. Hawaiian land management sustainably fed more than a million people with systems that worked with nature and were based in careful observation of natural systems and human impact. Today, we draw on this wisdom to address the unsustainable development that has been the hallmark of history following colonization. The Hawaiian word “kuleana” is often taken to mean simply “responsibility.” But it can also mean “privilege.” This reflects an important component of a sustainable worldview: If we are to enjoy the privileges of such a beautiful place, we also have a responsibility to care for it. My invitation to COP26 was simply breathtaking—both an honor and an immense responsibility. I am deeply committed to continuing to support local climate-change solutions. As a Maui County councilmember and chair of the Climate Action, Resilience and Environment committee, I work with colleagues and staff to support today’s innovators in the private sector, allocate funding for climate action, hold polluters accountable, and move policy and resolutions forward that advance effective solutions to climate change. Furthermore, in my role as Hawaii’s only appointee for the Local Government Advisory Committee to the U.S. EPA, I provide an island perspective at this national table. I take seriously the opportunity to provide guidance on environmental policy, promoting proactive rather than reactive infrastructure, with a focus on circular economies and methods to improve quality of life for communities big and small. I take great pride in the fact that the community-based biodiesel model Bob and I created with Pacific Biodiesel more than two decades ago now is a shining example of the circular economy. We’ve been pushing this boulder uphill for a long time, and now the benefits of locally produced biodiesel are clear. The green economy should be about everyone making a living instead of a few corporations making a killing.

Author: Kelly King Co-founder, Pacific Biodiesel

Biobased DieselTM Winter 2022 [27]




FUEL Biodiesel Meets Winter Oilseed

CoverCress has developed a new winter oilseed with millions of acres of potential. Derived from a native winter annual, this innovative oilseed produces an ultra-low carbon intensity oil feedstock for renewable fuel. Planting is gearing up for 2022.

Follow this exciting new opportunity at

Biobased DieselTM Winter 2022 [29]


Material Handling for Biomassbased Renewable Diesel and SAF

For projects converting solid feedstock into renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel, material handling is one of the most critical front-end considerations. By Steven Nelson What first comes to mind when you think of project development for renewable diesel or sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)? Obviously, market opportunities? How much feedstock is needed, and is it sustainable? What type of technology will you deploy to process the feedstock? Which processes lead to potential environmental impacts, and how they can be mitigated? Finally, who will buy your fuel and coproducts and how will you get them to the marketplace? Everyone progresses through project development differently, which leads to the question we ask here at Wolf Material Handling Systems: “Have you considered your material-handling requirements?” Without sustainable, efficient and reliable material handling, you will not optimize your plant’s performance and profitability. That is where Wolf MHS, as a technology provider, can help. While it is easy to recognize the tremendous opportunities for renewable diesel and SAF, bringing these fuels to the consumers requires private and public investments, policy incentives and market opportunities. One method for producing these fuels is solid bulk material biomassbased gasification. The conversion of feedstocks begins with material handling. While material handling is typically less than 10 percent of the overall capital investment for a biorefinery, it has a major impact on the overall success of a project and the future performance of the investment. Next to feedstock availability, material handling is the most critical front-end consideration for the processing plant; without consistent and properly prepared feedstock, the conversion process is diminished, or even crippled. Material-handling considerations include receiving, separating, sizing, conveying and delivering the feedstock to the gasifier island. Each type of feedstock has unique characteristics such as size, bulk density, moisture content, flowability and more. Biomass-based gasification projects utilize wood waste, agricultural residues and municipal solid waste, and each presents challenges and opportunities in its use as a feedstock. Recognizing and addressing the unique needs of a specific project result in [30]

an optimal process flow with an integrated material-handling system that maximizes the reliability and efficiency of the overall process. Wolf MHS is the premier designer and supplier of fuel-yard systems for biomass power and conversion, pulp and paper, power generation, gasification, resource recovery, mining, chemical, manufacturing and recycling, and other industries that require material handling. Wolf MHS provides complete in-house design, engineering, manufacturing, assembly, and installation for systems using conveyance, stacking, reclaim, truck dumpers, receiving hoppers and ash/biochar receiving, handling, storage and removal. Wolf MHS understands the challenges required to handle biomass and its byproducts, taking full responsibility for every aspect of the process from fuel receiving, sizing, storage, reclaim and boiler feed. With a long history of delivering performance and innovation, Wolf MHS is considered not just a material handling systems provider, but a technology partner in the development of projects by providing complete interdisciplinary systems and support, beginning with the conceptual phase through commissioning. Wolf MHS has successfully supplied the complete material-handling systems for several of the largest biomass power projects in the U.S. For example, a 115-megawatt (MW) wood waste feedstock biomass power plant, which was named the 2012 Biomass Project of the Year by Power Engineering. Also, a 102.5 MW wood waste feedstock biomass power plant, named a finalist for Power Engineering’s 2013

Bioenergy Project of the Year. In addition, several wood waste, agricultural residues and other feedstocks for power generation, ranging from 20 to 65 MW. With more than 40 years of experience, Wolf MHS systems and equipment maximize process and production efficiency with consistent and reliable flow of materials. Each system is designed to reduce labor and maintenance costs and consume less power per mass unit than other alternatives. Wolf MHS is committed to offer each client a custom material-handling solution for their specific site and process requirements. Wolf MHS’s in-house capabilities include consultation for scope definition, system design, equipment engineering, detail drawings, fabrication, assembly, inspection, start-up and commissioning. Wolf MHS systems come with a performance guarantee and have never experienced major system failure. Wolf MHS has recently become the material handling technology provider for a wood waste gasification-to-SAF project in the western U.S. that will produce 10 million gallons per year. Wolf MHS is also currently engaged in several solid biomass-based conversion projects that utilize a variety of feedstocks to create renewable diesel, SAF and coproducts. With more than 40 years of experience, project developers rely on Wolf MHS to design, engineer and manufacture the required material-handling equipment that will maximize their efficiencies and profitability while minimizing operating and maintenance costs.

Author: Steven Nelson General Manager, Wolf Material Handling Systems




Wolf Material Handling Systems is the premier provider of complete in-house engineering and design, manufacturing, assembly, installation, and after-sale services for bulk materials. With over 40 years of experience, Wolf systems and equipment maximize process and production efficiency with consistent and reliable flow of materials. | 763.576.9040 Biobased DieselTM Winter 2022 [31]


ERP Software a Necessity in the UCO Collection Business Although the business of collecting used cooking oil (UCO) has been late to the enterprise resource planning software revolution, which has transformed nearly every industry, one specific to UCO collectors does exist—and those using it are reaping the rewards. By Kristof Reiter Logic would dictate that the best way for a delivery driver to hit the most drop-offs in a day would be to take the shortest route, but UPS drivers don’t do this. They famously avoid left turns, even if it makes their routes longer. That’s because in the 1970s data showed drivers lost more time waiting to turn into oncoming traffic than they did by taking slightly longer routes. But that’s not all the company gained when drivers started favoring rights. UPS claims that since its routing software began minimizing left turns, the company has used 10 million gallons less fuel and delivers 350,000 more packages each year, even with the longer routes. UPS doesn’t plan its delivery routes using a folding map. And it doesn’t use Google Maps or “free” routing websites. It uses an enterprise resource planning (ERP) software called ORION designed specifically to optimize the operations of companies transporting tens of millions of packages daily. ERP software has transformed nearly every industry—it’s even the entire basis of some new industries like rideshare companies—but used cooking oil (UCO) collectors have long been left out of the revolution, forcing them to adapt various programs like Excel and Google Maps that aren’t designed for their business to suit their needs. Luckily, that’s no longer the case. Now, ERP software specific to UCO collectors does exist, and companies using it are gaining a massive advantage over their competitors.

Route Creation, Scheduling, Optimization

There are countless options for route-optimization software. These programs can help plan the fastest route covering the most stops. It’s a good first step, but it’s not enough. Generic route-planning software won’t do the job for UCO collectors. Delivery drivers don’t have to worry about losing time dropping off small packages when they could be dropping off large ones. All packages are valued the same since they all have to be delivered immediately. [32]

That’s not the case with UCO. To truly help a UCO company increase efficiency and profits, route-planning software would have to do more than plot the shortest route between all the points listed. It would have to make predictions about where to get the most oil as well as how long a location can go without requiring service. Routes would change daily, weekly or even seasonally, based on which clients have full tanks and which can wait a little longer so a driver would pick up not just the most oil, but also the oil most in need of being picked up. Optimization of delivery routes doesn’t end with giving the driver a manifest and a GPS system. Management can track every driver, every route and every pickup as they happen. As emergencies arise, an operations manager can dynamically alter a driver’s route, reoptimizing the remaining route around the change. But it’s not just about better routing—it’s also about scalability. Hiring and onboarding drivers is an issue for all UCO collectors. Electronic turn-by-turn routing, standardized and digital data acquisition, and compartmentalization of sensitive data allow managers to onboard new drivers quickly and effectively, saving both time, money and stress.

Customer Relationship Management

A customer relationship management (CRM) system aggregates customer interactions, ranging from sales calls to regular service visits, across all channels. Designed originally as a separate system for use by marketing, sales and customerservice teams, CRMs are now fully integrated components of top ERP systems. From the moment a prospective client’s name is entered into the system, every interaction with that client is recorded and made available to everyone in the organization. Every contact with that client during the sales cycle, every grease pickup, invoice, payment, rebate, grease-trap cleaning and customer complaint is recorded. The net benefit is improved client acquisition, retention and relationships. For the client, it means being able to easily access needed information for audits, the last grease-trap cleaning date, status of invoices, contracts, rebates and payments. Having all that customer data in one place helps streamline processes from sales to collections. Streamlined processes result in big cost savings, better customer service and an improved bottom line.

Compliance and Records

With or without ERP software, the UCO industry is changing. Federal and state governments are incentivizing the use and production of renewable energies, including biodiesel and renewable diesel, as a way to help reduce the human impact on climate change. But for a producer’s fuel to be eligible for a tax credit or subsidy, the company must produce “cradle to grave” tracking to document the sources of all components used to create the biofuel. These requirements first appeared as Low Carbon Fuel Standard rules written by the California Air Resources Board with the intent of reducing carbon intensity in transportation fuels coming into California. Much of the nation’s biodiesel and renewable diesel is shipped to, sold and distributed in California, making these rules applicable to vendors all over the country. And other states are starting to enact similar requirements of their own.

If UCO collectors hope to get the highest price for their refined UCO, they must maintain auditable records of their UCO collections. This means documenting the date, time, address, business name and amount collected for every pickup made. Doing this with an Excel spreadsheet, while on the road, is next to impossible. Not doing it at all leaves a collector open to failed audits, punitive fines and exclusion from the market by major buyers. A well-implemented ERP is fast becoming a differentiator, weeding out companies that fall behind while leading early technology adopters to great success.

ERP/CRM System Benefits

Predicting the amount of oil in each tank, combined with algorithms to minimize miles driven while maximizing oil collected, dramatically increases the overall capacity of a UCO firm. Collecting more oil in less time with fewer drivers and trucks is the most effective way to get into a growth trajectory. Capturing data at the point of pickup begins “cradle to grave” tracking of carbon intensity, which not only protects the collector, but enhances the value of the product to buyers. That same data feeds accounting to produce invoices and rebate checks to the restaurant. Streamlining these internal processes improves productivity and lowers costs. The data is quickly available to phone operators and can also be provided electronically to a customer who wants to check their status with accounting or gather information for an audit. Drivers can provide sales leads as they’re encountered and enter them into CRM. Leads are there for salespeople to follow-up on, and for management to review. Management can track prospects through the sales cycle to predict future volume so as to have the necessary staff and equipment to handle it. Salespeople visiting a customer in person can create and modify a service contract on their tablet and email it to the customer on the spot. Both salespeople and drivers can enter specific customer requirements into the system so all staff has instant access to essential knowledge about the customer and their service. In sum, an ERP/CRM provides increased capacity, lower costs, increased productivity across the entire organization, as well as higher customer satisfaction. The combination of ERP and CRM is an incredibly powerful tool that is transforming entire industries, creating clear winners and losers.

Case Study

An East Coast regional UCO collector was growing rapidly, acquiring new customers every day thanks to a revamped marketing plan, additional investments in advertising, and a tight focus on customer service and delivering on commitments. The company was paper-based, using spreadsheets to load its information during off hours. The founders were beginning to feel the strain, working 14hour days, seven days a week. They were facing the dilemma of hiring new drivers and acquiring new trucks just to keep up with current and projected growth. The capital expense they faced was daunting, and they began spending more time with bankers than with their business. The owners made the decision to implement Reiter Software’s COST system, an ERP/CRM built specifically for UCO collectors. Implementing an ERP/CRM is a significant

Jeff Yasinski, CEO and co-owner of D&W Alternative Energy and a client of Reiter Software and Reiter Trading, enters information into an ERP system on his tablet.

undertaking and management was aware of the size of the task. Stacks of paper full of customer information littered the office and warehouse. This data was loaded into the system over a period of weeks. Drivers were outfitted with tablets to record each pickup with required information. Information about each customer’s operations was loaded to feed the predictive fill-rate module. Routes were developed and dynamically built or altered each day depending on the fill rates predicted by the COST system. Gradually, invoicing and rebates were implemented to drive the writing of checks, rebates and payments. Drivers were trained not only to input current customer information but also to take note of prospects they encountered while collecting grease. Without hiring a single new driver or truck, the company doubled its sales and customer base during the pandemic. The CRM/ERP had unleashed additional operations capacity through the creation of efficiencies in routing and back-office work. Collection volumes doubled and profits tripled. Today the company continues to expand, hiring drivers and onboarding them easily with tablets equipped with routing, client and financial software. Much like their clients, Reiter Software’s COST system— the ERP that helped this company grow beyond its vision—is scalable for collectors large and small and has proven its value in the field.

Author: Kristof Reiter Founder, Reiter Software 888-428-5617

Biobased DieselTM Winter 2022 [33]


Biobased DieselTM Winter 2022 [35]


Making Her Mark on Moline

Sarah Mark, the fleet and facilities manager for the city of Moline, Illinois, implements environmentally responsible changes in the municipality’s buildings, vehicles and fuels. But most importantly, she’s having fun doing it. By Ron Kotrba


As fleet and facilities manager for the northwest Illinois city of Moline, part of the Quad Cities metropolitan area, Sarah Mark has a great deal of responsibility. She is in charge of the acquisition, maintenance and disposal of city assets, both “rolling and fixed.” Essentially, this means all city-owned vehicles and city-occupied buildings. Mark has been in this leadership role for the city of Moline since January 2020, initially as the interim fleet manager when her supervisor retired. This past January, she was offered the position full-time. “I’m super excited,” she says. “It doesn’t feel like it’s already been a year and a-half. I love it. Every day is something different.” She began her career in municipal administration at the utility billing division for the city of Ontario, California. After a year and a-half, Mark transferred to the city clerk’s office where she crafted agendas and other items for the city council. In 2011, she moved to the Quad Cities metro area and took a job with the city of Moline as a fleet administrative assistant. “As I became more comfortable doing the job after five

and a-half years, I asked for more responsibilities and took on more work. I started helping with more of the behindthe-scenes projects and putting together budget information and I received a new title as the fleet and facilities coordinator,” she says. From there, it was a natural step into the interim and then full-time fleet and facilities manager.

Advancing the Fleet With a population of around 42,000, Moline is a small city by most standards. Even so, its rolling fleet consists of more than 300 on- and off-road vehicles and equipment. “It’s a little bit of everything,” Mark says. “From lawn mowers and end loaders to fire apparatus and sanitation trucks—anything you would see in a traditional fleet setting for a municipality, we purchase and maintain.” Every vehicle in the Moline fleet is managed by the Fleet Maintenance Division. “We run our division like a business,” Mark says. “We charge a lease fee to the departments that utilize the equipment and take those lease fees and put them into a vehicle replacement fund. That way, when vehicles reach the end of their reliable, useful life, we have money allocated to purchase replacements without having to ask the city council to locate funding for us.” While every day is different with new situations arising and proverbial fires that must be extinguished, Mark says most mornings are threaded with routine elements that make a daily pattern— albeit patchwork at best. “For instance, every morning when I come in, I check the fuel inventory to make sure we have enough fuel. I then meet with our parts and service specialist in order to be brought up to speed on what is in the shop and what is on the schedule for the day,” she says. Moline not only provides fuel for its city-owned vehicles but also sells fuel to the neighboring community of East Moline and other local institutions. “We sell fuel to the local community college, school district and housing authority,” Mark says. “We also serve as a backup fueling site for the Rock Island Arsenal, an Army installation. They had

an issue with their diesel tanks a while back and, as they were mitigating those issues, they came here to dispense fuel. It’s a really good feeling knowing that we, as well as our customers who purchase fuel from us, are improving air quality regionally.” The city of Moline was an early, progressive adopter of alternative fuels for its—and neighboring—fleets. The city began using B20, a mix of 80 percent petroleum diesel and 20 percent renewable, sustainable, low-carbon biodiesel in 2005. “I cannot take any credit for the implementation of B20,” she says. The former fleet manager, J.D. Schulte, made the decision to switch over in 2005 without telling anyone in order to avoid the issue of ghost symptoms arising and being attributed to the new fuel—a notso-uncommon occurrence resulting from biases against alternative fuels. After a month, with no differences noticed or complaints lodged by staff members, the cat was let out of the bag.

sludge left behind by petroleum diesel fuel. “We were going through a few more filters initially, but we anticipated that,” she says. Although Mark says she cannot take credit for initially incorporating B20 in the city fleet, she adds, “I did, however, make the case to implement the extended and continued use of B20 all year.” For 15 years, the city had used B20 from mid-March to mid-November and then switched to a winterized straight petroleum diesel fuel for the colder months. In 2020, before Mark’s promotion to interim fleet manager, her thensupervisor’s retirement was looming. “I took a proactive lead and began helping with fuel oversight,” she says. “I did my research and spoke a lot with my friend and colleague, Bailey Arnold, and presented my boss with the data to move our B20 use to year-round. I knew it made some people a little nervous since we had never done this before, but I was very comfortable with the decision.”

The city of Moline is a member of the B20 Club, a joint effort between Illinois Soybean Association and American Lung Association.

“That’s how the initial switch was made,” Mark says. “Since B20 is a drop-in solution, no infrastructure changes were needed to get rolling.” Naturally, the department stocked extra fuel filters because biodiesel acts as a solvent and helps clean out years of

She says Pete Probst with Chicagobased Indigenous Energy, which works with the B20 Club of Illinois, provided solid data and documents needed to begin running B20 all year long. “They gave me the confidence I needed to move forward with it,” Mark says. “As W. Biobased DieselTM Winter 2022 [37]

Case, right, who serves as a biobased consultant for USB, introduces Mark to a host of biobased products to consider for the city of Moline.

Edwards Deming says, ‘In God we trust, all others must bring data.’ The data is there, and you can’t argue with it.” Even during the severe cold snap in February 2021, the winterized B20 posed zero problems for the city of Moline. “B20 has been proven to not only work in the vehicles we operate, but it also helps reduce our carbon footprint,” Mark says. “With the education provided by the B20 Club, we found it to be the smartest choice we can make for our community. It’s not only sustainable, but is also good for the environment and cost effective.” Bailey Arnold, a senior manager of Clean Air Initiatives with the American Lung Association and program lead for the B20 Club of Illinois, adds an important point. “Fleets are often hesitant to run biodiesel in equipment such as emergency vehicles and snow plows due to misconceptions around the fuel,” he says. Moline and the outside agencies to which Mark and her team provide fuel, however, power their fire trucks, ambulances and other emergency vehicles on B20 year-round. “Moline’s use of B20 year-round is a testament to the quality and performance of the low-carbon biodiesel available today,” he adds. The relationship between the American Lung Association and the city of Moline was formed years ago, and it has gotten stronger over time. The Illinois Soybean Association and the American Lung Association teamed up in 2015 to launch the B20 Club of Illinois, and since the city of Moline was already using B20 for a decade voluntarily, the city was approached and asked if it would be an inaugural member. [38]

“They were trying to get the club off the ground and since we were already using B20, they thought we could help raise awareness and educate other fleets,” Mark says. According to Arnold, “The American Lung Association recognizes biodiesel as a Clean Air Choice alternative fuel for its ability to significantly lower criteria pollutants and carbon emissions in existing diesel vehicles.” Compared to petroleum diesel fuel, EPA data show that biodiesel reduces carcinogenic particulate emissions by nearly 50 percent while reducing carbon by as much as 86 percent. In 2020 alone, the city of Moline used nearly 60,000 gallons of cleaner-burning B20 biodiesel. The neighboring city of East Moline, to which Mark’s division provides B20 fuel, consumed an additional 22,000 gallons in 2020. The city also dispensed more than 58,000 gasoline-equivalent gallons of compressed natural gas and nearly 53,000 gallons of E85 ethanol. But it’s not just alternative fuels Mark and Moline support. Biobased engine oils and tires are also gaining traction in the Moline fleet. Mark says she became aware of these novel biobased products through the B20 Club and American Lung Association’s work with the United Soybean Board. “Chris Case from the United Soybean Board introduced biobased products to me,” Mark says. “He is a biobased consultant with USB who retired from the National Park Service after 38 years of service. He was kind enough to share his knowledge and broaden our horizons. One thing we discussed was, in this industry, there is a lack of awareness. That’s one

of the shortfalls we see. People don’t know these types of products are available.” Case introduced Moline to soy-based Goodyear tires. “It ended up being a great turn of events,” she says. “By May, we had already purchased 12 sets for police squad cars.” Mark had also initiated the first piloting of a police car utilizing biobased engine oil. She says this pilot was conducted similar to how the city trialed B20 fuel. “We didn’t tell anyone,” Mark says. “The only people who knew were myself, our parts and service specialist, and one mechanic, and both were sworn to secrecy,” she laughs, adding that the city’s bulkfluids distributor says the material is cost-competitive with conventional engine oil the city purchases. Police vehicles provide a great opportunity to test the veracity of new, alternative products such as biobased tires and engine oils. “They’re going to have the most extreme driving conditions out of our fleet because they are hot-seated and drive on all three shifts. They have to quickly respond to emergencies, which often means that they are driven under conditions that would be considered hard on major components, so whenever we try something new, police squad cars are typically my go-to pool of vehicles to test things on,” she says. Mark says she and Case even worked together on promotional videos to raise awareness of biobased chemicals and products. “These products are cost-competitive, available, and better for the end user and the environment,” Mark says. When asked how she wants to take Moline even further on improving air quality and using renewables, Mark says, “On the consumables side, I’d like to see us implement biobased lubricants, grease, and hydraulic fluids. The problem is, a few products are not yet available to buy in bulk from our supplier. As they reach our distributor, we’d like to incorporate them.” The city of Moline also continues to work with the American Lung Association and the B20 Club of Illinois on increasing its use of biodiesel and ethanol. “We’re looking to possibly move to B30 in the future,” Mark says. “As well as that, we’d like to introduce E15 at our on-site fueling facility. We do sell to outside agencies, and some fleets may not be able to switch to that seamlessly. So, there may be a few hoops to jump through, but the American Lung Association and B20 Club are willing to help us navigate through them.”

Buildings for the Future In addition to being responsible for Moline’s city-owned vehicle fleet, virtually every aspect of city-building management and maintenance—from carpeting to windows, roofing and structural integrity—falls under Mark’s purview. Whether the library has drafty windows or City Hall is in need of foundation repairs, she is accountable. The city owns and occupies nine different structures at seven sites for which Mark is responsible. She and her team must triage facility requests and prioritize the most urgent. “Today, for instance, we had a new generator installed at the central fire station, which also houses our finance department,” she says. “That took some time this morning.” The requests could be as routine or uneventful as

low inventories on nonessential items or as extraordinary and pressing as no heat in the dead of winter. A number of building improvements have been made since Mark took on greater responsibility with the city. “When I began working with the facility operations, I reached out to Bailey and the American Lung Association with questions I had about radon,” she says. The basement of Moline’s City Hall hadn’t been occupied in 25 years because radon—an odorless radioactive gas—was detected in the basement. “Because of our work with the American Lung Association through the B20 Club, I know this is something that can cause respiratory issues, which made the entire area unusable, wasted space,” Mark says. “With Bailey’s help, we were able to identify what was needed to move forward with a radon-mitigation system so the basement could be utilized again.” One of the first improvement projects Mark tackled was an LED-lighting project. “We swapped out incandescent lighting in city buildings for LED,” she says. “It was low-hanging fruit that would give us the quickest return on our investment by way of lower utility bills. We did that in 2017.” The city is also in the process of replacing street lights with LED bulbs, which is being phased in over several years.

Facing the Pandemic Head-on Naturally, the coronavirus pandemic has ushered in changes—staffing issues, supply-chain disruptions and new protocols for city staff, a story told and retold the world over for the past year and a-half. Mark says she and her team worked on-site and in-person throughout the duration of the crisis, something for which she has been thankful and about which she feels fortunate. “It’s difficult to be a brand-new manager and be available for employees while working remotely. We are considered ‘essential’ in public works, and if they were going to be on site, so was I,” Mark says, adding that she has been short-staffed since mid-2020 due to a hiring moratorium. “That had an effect on us,” she says. “We also had a freeze on purchases. We already anticipated an increase in costs for the higher-dollar repairs—failures occurring due to the age of some equipment. So, my team did more with less, basically, and they knocked it out of the park. Everyone has embraced this team mentality and the spirit of cooperation. We all banded together with no complaining, even while working a ton of overtime throughout a particularly icy winter while being short-staffed. I am so thankful for them. They’ve been absolutely wonderful.” The freeze on purchases in 2020, which has been lifted, means a lot of effort was spent in 2021 making up for lost time and assembling vehicle specifications for new acquisitions. “We’ve been working feverishly to get specs together, gathering our estimates and submitting city council bills—all the documents needed to get vehicles purchased,” Mark says. “Because of delays from the manufacturers across the board, there could be a substantial amount of time between ordering and receiving equipment and vehicles.” She adds that this was pretty much part of every single day in the first half of 2021. Biobased DieselTM Winter 2022 [39]

“It’s a little of a ‘hurry-up-and-wait’ situation, and now we are the chance to work with in another position or department. seeing repair delays due to parts availability being low,” she said Almost 75 percent of our workforce utilizes a vehicle or piece in May. A lack of parts availability, which is one symptom of the of equipment on a daily basis in order to perform their job. I get broader, ongoing supply-chain disruption nationwide, is also to hear what works and what doesn’t and improve upon what putting a damper on maintaining the city-owned vehicle fleet. “But we purchase in the future. I’m lucky to love what I do. I couldn’t thankfully it is just a season,” Mark adds. “We will get through it ask for anything more.” and do our best to keep things rolling in the meantime.” While she loves her job, Mark says she would eventually Like most everywhere, new cleaning protocols have been like to advance up the ladder and take over as public works put in place in the city of Moline and Mark’s division. “It adds director one day. “I can see that several years down the road,” time to everyone’s day to have she says. “I’m just getting my feet to stop what you’re doing and wet here, and I’m really enjoying “I would tell them to lace sanitize high-touch areas like it. I think I bring creative solutions up their steel-toe boots, put doorknobs, faucet handles, and to old problems, and I would like the coffee pots in the break room to see some of my ideas come a hard hat on, and get out every two hours,” she says. “But to fruition—especially advancing everyone understands that those to higher blends of biodiesel there, because there are glass extra steps make a difference in and increasing our sustainability protecting us all.” efforts.” She also wants to ceilings in need of shattering.” When the hand-sanitizer investigate renewable gasoline. “I shortage took place in spring know they’re doing it successfully —Sarah Mark 2020, The Mississippi River in Seattle, Washington, so I would Distillery across the river in LeClaire, Iowa, became a love to see that here in the Midwest,” Mark says. community supplier to municipalities, hospitals, and the Arnold says Mark is not only promoting biodiesel in Moline police and fire departments. “We got lucky and were able to and Illinois—or even just nationally. Mark went to Medellin, get our orders in early,” Mark says. “They made pure alcohol Colombia, to spread the good word about biodiesel in South for hand-sanitization purposes, and they made it available at America. “She’s making waves far beyond Illinois and the Quad a reasonable cost when there were shortages everywhere. It Cities,” Arnold says. “She is one to watch, for sure.” was a phenomenal display of community spirit during a very Managing vehicles and buildings may still be perceived by uncertain time. They had the ability to help, and they did. We some as a male-dominated occupation, but Mark says she’s bought small spray bottles and filled them with the alcohol, and been fortunate enough to have been influenced by powerful, gave them to our drivers to keep in their vehicles.” knowledgeable women in similar fields over the years—and She says the city’s risk-management personnel and on- they provided her with a great deal of inspiration. site occupational-health nurse championed vaccinations once “They were so vibrant, so smart,” she reminisces. “Seeing they became available. “We make sure literature is available these women taking charge and doing their jobs as well as or and keep them displayed—Q&As, studies, things that we hope better than anyone else could, it gave me the confidence I needed will encourage people to get vaccinated,” Mark says. She adds to realize I could do this job. I was concerned about not having that, while as of May the city wasn’t requiring vaccinations, she the technical background and experience, but if you surround and her counterparts at other municipal departments have yourself with the right people, you don’t need as much technical tried to spread education about them as much as possible. experience. There are brilliant people you can depend on for that, “The city worked with the Rock Island County Health and I do, every day. What I may lack in technical knowhow, I make Department and the National Guard to provide an on-site up for with asset-management, lifecycle-costing and budgeting vaccination clinic to make the vaccine as accessible as possible knowledge. I never thought this would be my career path, but for those who wanted to get it,” she says. “It was great, we had someone had a bigger plan for me—and I’m very fortunate.” excellent turnout. We have been promoting vaccinations as a way When asked what advice she could give young women to combat this virus—to get it out of this state of uneasiness and interested in similar leadership roles in oft-perceived malefear so that we can get back to some semblance of normalcy.” dominated positions, Mark does not mince words. “I would tell them to lace up their steel-toe boots, put a hard hat on, and get out there, because there are glass ceilings in need of Aspirations and Inspiration shattering,” she says. Despite the stresses of her work and the responsibilities at her feet—not to mention the pandemic that took hold shortly after she assumed the full-time position of the fleet Author: and facilities manager—Mark remains entirely optimistic and Ron Kotrba upbeat about her job. Editor, Biobased Diesel™ “I have the best job in the city,” she says. “I get to interact 218-745-8347 with so many co-workers that I wouldn’t normally see or have [40]

Clean Fuels. Clean Future. Biodiesel, Renewable Diesel, and Sustainable Aviation Fuel Providing a Healthier and Cleaner Future, TODAY.

Biobased DieselTM Winter 2022 [41]


The Past and Future Meet in the Present By Ron Kotrba

As biodiesel-technology pioneer BDIBioEnergy International celebrates 25 years, Biobased Diesel™ discusses its historic accomplishments and future plans with founder Wilhelm Hammer and CEO Markus Dielacher. From the outset, Graz, Austria-based BDI-BioEnergy International has been pioneering new process technologies to live up to its motto: “From Waste To Value.” Founded in September 1996 by Wilhelm Hammer and Helmut Gössler, the company’s first contract was in the U.S. with Griffin Industries in Butler, Kentucky, building what was then considered avant-garde: A commercial-scale biodiesel plant utilizing rendered products as feedstock. Since its inception 25 years ago, BDI has built more than 40 largescale biodiesel facilities on four continents. The company continues to push the envelope on what is possible in the biodiesel space—and in other green technologies. Although its 20-year anniversary in 2016 was a gala event in Vienna with customers, partners and friends from all over the world, the coronavirus pandemic has extinguished BDI’s desire for another such gathering on its silver anniversary. Nevertheless, for this company that has in many respects shaped the global biodiesel industry on a path toward greater sophistication and sustainability, Biobased Diesel™ is marking the occasion with a look back on BDI’s founding, growth, evolution, and future through exclusive Q&As with its founder, Wilhelm Hammer, and its current CEO, Markus Dielacher.

Wilhelm Hammer, Founder Q: What inspired you to leave Vogel & Noot to found BDI, together with Helmut Gössler, back in 1996? Can you explain the conditions that led up to this? A: Let me give you a bit of background about myself before I answer this question. My career began at the age of 21 in Paris, where I worked for an international logistics company for a few years. I then moved on to a Swiss-owned business helping them build a marketing agency from the ground up. But after 10 years in France, it was finally time to head back home to Austria where a manufacturer of irrigation systems was looking to hire a sales manager, a person who wouldn’t necessarily have the domain knowledge of the product itself, but experience of working internationally. Back then, biodiesel felt like a rather exotic concept. In fact, it took key discussions with an old classmate of mine to prompt an introduction to Vogel & Noot. They only had a very small biodiesel business unit at that point as the business was mainly focusing on [42]

agricultural equipment. The biodiesel unit was not only very small but also very slow in gaining traction with a concept that should have been a major game-changer. I have always been a very passionate salesperson who would travel far and wide to tell potential clients about the products I believe in. So, the challenge of turning the biodiesel division into something bigger and better was perfect for me. It was at Vogel & Noot where I also met my later business partner Helmut Gössler. Helmut, a very gifted engineer, has an unrivaled talent for finding solutions to problems that hadn’t even existed yet—totally genius. Many years later, but still to my absolute delight, he told me how happy he was when I came on board to take the message of the biofuel concept out into the world. Helmut and I spent many years in quite a symbiotic relationship that turned out to be of great benefit not only to Vogel & Noot, but also to our own professional development.

Q: How was BDI “different” than other process-technology providers in the biodiesel space at this time, and what drove those differences? A: While the idea of biodiesel was relatively new, I soon also realized that we were not the only ones in the market who were converting fresh vegetable oils into fuel. There was one specific project, however, that caught my attention—to fuel an engine with waste cooking oil instead of fresh oil. This idea was the brainchild of Martin Mittelbach from the University of Graz, a first-class tinkerer that I like to call the “Getafix of Biodiesel.” Martin was on board and the idea of distinguishing ourselves from the competition by conducting profound research into the matter of intelligent waste recycling suddenly became very tangible. As with almost every idea, we had to admit very soon that economies of scale play a big part in the success of biodiesel systems. So, we needed to attract the attention of the big players in that business. Q: Can you give me a glimpse of what the journey was like between that initial decision to launch BDI, and the company becoming a forerunner in biodiesel production technology? How did the plans unfold from a concept or idea really into a global, sophisticated company renowned for its robust plant designs? A: There came a point where Vogel & Noot wasn’t supportive of our idea anymore due to cost implications—especially in the light of international expansion. To my own surprise, the board therefore offered me—literally during a meeting—the opportunity to take over the biodiesel business unit, and I have to say that both the price and terms were extremely fair. It felt like Vogel & Noot didn’t want to give up on the idea itself and were in fact hoping that I would continue with it. Which I did, as we all know. I did ask to sleep on it though, as the offer really did come out of the blue. However, I ended up accepting the offer within the first half-hour of leaving the meeting following brief phone calls with Helmut Gössler and Michael Koncar. I asked them whether they would partner with me, and they agreed without hesitation. Not only did I manage to get these two biodiesel whizzes on board, but I also got the scientific back-up from Martin Mittelbach, and there were no doubts for me anymore that we would make it in the world of processing “waste to energy.” Believing in a vision is half the battle and, to this day, I haven’t deviated from my vision of preserving the environment and transforming waste into valuable resources. But to be entirely honest, without the backing of Helmut and Michael, I still wouldn’t have signed the deal. It wasn’t the fresh oils our competition was using that paved the way to success for BDI, it was the waste cooking oils and, at a later stage, also animal fats, even those with a very high free-fattyacid (FFA) content. Waste products always have and always will play the leading role in BDI’s mission and goals. We are outside-the-box thinkers, innovators, and entrepreneurs. Everyone at BDI stands behind our goal of enabling environmentally friendly recycling with a high added value for our customers. The company as a whole can be described as “green and clean”—not just our products. Let’s face it though, the biodiesel industry just doesn’t have friends. In the 1990s, the [petroleum] industry tried to make people believe that using fresh cooking oil for fuel is contributing to the world’s famine. Of course, they have not been mentioning that vegetable-oil producers are happy to finally have customers that would buy their surplus for a fair price. To turn visions into reality, however, we need partners and customers that think alike. And Dennis Griffin is one of those visionaries. Why do I mention Dennis Griffin of Griffin Industries, you ask? When we started out, there was no company in Austria that actually had a sufficient supply of waste cooking oil as there were only very small companies collecting and dealing with it. Sure, in Germany, the

waste-oil industry had already grown into a sizeable market. But they had no desire to refine the collected waste themselves—or maybe they just lacked the belief that it was in fact doable. So, I turned to the U.S., a country of endless opportunities, to find like-minded individuals—like Dennis Griffin. Already at our first gettogether in Cincinnati, Dennis was on board with my idea. And as it happened, Martin Mittelbach managed to join me as well, as he attended a congress nearby. Now, Griffin Industries had large quantities of waste cooking oil—enough to start thinking about the production of biodiesel at scale. Already a week after our first meeting, Helmut’s team and Dennis’ lead engaged into more technical conversations about BDI’s concept. Q: When did you realize BDI had become a success, and what were the circumstances surrounding this epiphany? A: The deal with Dennis convinced me even more that we were on the right journey. It is also a deal that is still very close to my heart, as it was the starting point of a flourishing business. It also demonstrated that true visionaries are hard to find. After all, we had to go all the way to the U.S. to find people that shared our beliefs. Sadly though, we couldn’t get Dennis to invest in a plant that could also process rendered animal fat. He didn’t think we were quite there yet—but we were. We needed to start somewhere though and believed a journey of a thousand miles sometimes needs to begin with a single step. A few months after the successful start-up of Griffin’s plant, we had our first big success in Europe. Biodiesel was a small industry, so everyone knew each other. Norbert Rethmann of Saria Industries in Germany approached Dennis to get a clearer picture of the efficiency and scalability of the BDI technology. We then entered negotiations with Saria, which ended up building the world’s first large industrial biodiesel plant that would turn animal fat with 20 percent FFA into on-spec biodiesel. Today, our most recent plants can handle an average of 70 percent FFA. Q: What were some leaps, or milestones in BDI’s technological developments, that stand out in your mind as remarkable achievements for the company over the years, and why are these important to you, BDI, and biodiesel producers? A: As mentioned previously, we created a new way of managing and using highly problematic waste material to produce prime-quality biodiesel and glycerin. In addition, our patented RepCAT technology does not only allow us to produce significantly more cost-effectively, but it also enables the reuse of the catalyst. Our technology is state-of-art today as it was then, but today our production process is made to deal with an average of 70 percent FFA content. Surely our way of adding value to these waste products must be more efficient than just burning them, right? Q: Why do you think BDI has been able to persevere through all the changes in the market over the past quarter century? A: We have always been reliable partners. Our track record speaks for itself. We typically work with clients to find the right solution, but never trialing these solutions on clients by using them as guinea pigs. Q: How would you characterize BDI’s role in the history of global biodiesel development? And your role, specifically? A: The part I play in BDI has changed over the past few years now that I am not involved with daily operations anymore. I see myself as an “elder statesman,” and I can look at BDI through the eyes of our customers by taking a more external view. I am helping BDI develop new markets by analyzing the macroenvironment. There is still a lot of work ahead for us all.

Biobased DieselTM Winter 2022 [43]

Let’s take the climate conference in Glasgow. To not just agree on common goals but also on a common approach on how to reach those goals seems difficult, if not impossible. Of course, there are many different routes to the same destination. Let’s just hope we will all meet at that destination and don’t find ourselves scattered around different places. One of the most important questions in that respect is, how realistic is it to actually believe that there is only one route to a healthier planet and to alternative energy sources? Do we need to allow for market- and region-specific approaches as long as they all meet the common goal? The current development is strongly influenced by large corporations and by the oil industry. Both have their own agenda. Aren’t we running the risk that they will derail us from reaching our destination? As long as, let’s say 5x20 or 4x25 all equal 100, we shouldn’t insist that only one technology will help us save the world. There is room for a variety of alternative energy sources. And like with all other things in life, there are pros and cons. Take wind energy. There isn’t enough wind everywhere, and equally there isn’t enough sun in every region for meaningful power generation through solar panels. Let’s look at the problem we want to solve—we all want working plugs and light switches in our homes. How the electricity needed to make them work is generated, however, can be manyfold. The same is true for the biofuels industry. I don’t believe that monopolizing one industry or one technology only is to anyone’s benefit—especially not to the taxpayers’ benefit when the already well-established local infrastructure for biofuel production gets destroyed. We need to apply flexibility. At the climate conference in Glasgow, the world’s leaders agreed that by 2040 we won’t have any more traditionally fueled [gasoline] and diesel cars. But let’s look at this a bit more closely. Modern diesel engines already have reduced their emissions to an almost negligible extent, which makes this decision, well, rather pointless and just supports large corporations in destroying the local infrastructure and economy. Q: When you look back at all you and the company you started 25 years ago have accomplished, how does this make you feel? A: I admit to be proud of myself and proud of the success BDI has had so far. 25 years ago, I made a decision that has proven to be challenging at times, but always rewarding. Surely, we faced challenges along the way, but we never faced difficulties we couldn’t overcome in time. I couldn’t have done it alone. So, I am grateful for the support I got from Helmut and Michael and many more likeminded friends and partners from the very start. I am also grateful to our customers for their loyalty and for their belief in our product and vision. Q: What advice would you give those in the biodiesel space today who are unsure about its future? A: We need to continue our journey to more decentralized and local waste recycling and energy provision. We need to go a step further. We need to not just show the way but call on the politicians to take action in the interest of climate change and financial affordability for everyone. We cannot afford to rely on just a few big oil companies. Biodiesel manufacturers need to be seen as resource suppliers. We need to act now to ensure that biodiesel systems meet all the required standards—not just meet them, but exceed them. We need to future-proof existing systems so that they can process all oils, even those that are notoriously difficult to use for biodiesel production. The biodiesel industry also needs to engage in carbon-footprint [44]

lobbying. Only a local production lifecycle—including everything from the collection of waste to its transportation, to the biodiesel-production site itself, including its nearby consumption—can guarantee a minimal carbon footprint. However, when we talk about hydrogen or hydrotreated vegetable oils, we need to look at this from a different angle. This business is controlled by oil companies. To be economic, the production process requires vast amounts of either electrical energy, water, fats, palm- and soy oil—resources that are generally not available in vast amounts locally. To separate the good from the less-good boys, alternative-energy technologies should be measured on their total CO2 footprint, from feedstock to final product. That is the only way to measure how much CO2 the different technologies are really saving compared to one another. And with that mind, we need to proactively seek collaborations within the waste and recycling industry. The world is drowning in plastic. There is a high demand for recycling and we at BDI aim to be the thought leaders in that field. With a new recycling technology, BDI will wage war against plastic waste. So, watch this space and join the team. Q: What do you do for fun and relaxation? A: Maybe it goes back to my time in Paris, but I admit that I am a bit of a foodie. And good food tastes better in the company of friends, family and business partners. Not only do I find such lunch or dinner events relaxing, they can actually lead to generating great, new ideas. Other than that, I also like to stay active. I enjoy swimming, riding my bicycle, fishing and spending time on a yacht. While staying active helps free my mind, I do also like to just relax with my wife Karin. In fact, I call her my personal renewable-energy booster. Q: What’s next for Wilhelm Hammer? You’ve accomplished so much in your life, is there anything you still want to do but haven’t yet? A: That’s a question that I find hard to answer, as things can change so quickly. As mentioned previously, my mind is still buzzing with ideas that I like to bounce off my family and friends. But whatever might come my way, there is one thing that I am consciously looking after—my health. There is nothing more precious than health, as a healthy body and mind are essential for so many things in my life, your life and that of your readers. I hope we all will stay well and active for many years to come. Gössler, left, and Hammer founded BDI in 1996. PHOTO: BDI-BIOENERGY INTERNATIONAL

Markus Dielacher, CEO Q: Could you describe for me the circumstances surrounding your introduction to BDI, and the pathway to becoming CEO? A: More than 25 years ago, I was working together with Wilhelm Hammer and Helmut Gössler at the Austrian company Vogel & Noot. Together we built the first biodiesel plant in the Czech Republic in 1992. Later, after BDI was founded by a management buyout in 1996, I joined BDI and started to work as project and procurement manager. In 2011, after having worked in several other functions with more strategical focus within the company, I was promoted and became a member of the board as chief technical officer within BDI AG. Seven years later, in 2018, the main shareholders decided to delist the company from the stock exchange in Frankfurt. Subsequently, BDI was restructured and I got granted the chance to get in the driver seat and take over as CEO to further develop BDI. Q: The biobased diesel market is changing rapidly with the advancement of renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) projects. How is BDI adapting to these changes? A: The entire market has been going through a time of upheaval and the limiting factor thereby is feedstock. The key question for all fat-based biofuel producers has been, how do I get the best profit out of my feedstock? This actually is the point where the feedstock makes its way either to renewable diesel, SAF or biodiesel. For the worst-quality lipophilic substances like trap grease, brown or black grease, which are not economically usable in a hydrogenation process, BDI has been offering its RepCAT technology to biodiesel producers. On one hand, this process provides the highest yield and, on the other, it produces the lowest CO2 emissions. For slightly better feedstock qualities, BDI is able to offer a wide range of pretreatment technologies to make this kind of feedstock usable for hydrogenation processes. Therefore, no matter where used oils and fats are going, they should somehow [encounter] BDI technology to get the highest yield and the lowest CO2 emissions. BDI has prepared well for these changes. Q: How will technologies that BDI pioneered years ago, such as multifeedstock and retrofit approaches, fit into the future of biodiesel? What sorts of projects can you envision demanding these offerings? A: Taking into account that all available sources like biomass, wind, solar and hydropower will be desperately needed to minimize CO2 emissions, there is no “either/or” dichotomy in play. The question will be, which technology fits best and how will we reach our decarbonization goals? In other words, all technologies have to be used side by side and applied where they contribute most to CO2 reduction. In my opinion, a second factor is that there are already many biodiesel plants out there in the field. Some of them are not fit for the future and retrofitting is urgently needed to get them ready to deal with

the feedstock qualities they have to expect. The future biorefinery will consist of well-equipped feed­ stock pretreatment providing super-clean qualities for [renewable diesel and SAF] production and the remaining qualities will be directed to a RepCAT plant or a retrofitted biodiesel plant. Depending on the customers’ needs, the final product will be sold as a blend or purely into the transport sector. I envision that there is still a lot to do for BDI in the future. If we take the proclaimed goal to reduce CO2 emissions close to zero seriously, biofuels will have to play a significant role in the future as well. Q: Your company has had success commercializing its RepCAT process, allowing biodiesel producers to utilize lower-cost, lower-quality feedstock, in the U.S. with Crimson Renewable Energy and now the ongoing project in Belgium with Cargill. Given the changing market conditions, could you tell me why you think this technology will be increasingly important for biodiesel producers to consider moving forward? A: RepCAT is the most flexible way of biodiesel production worldwide, as it can deal with all kinds of fat-based feedstock. RepCAT units will be installed side by side with hydrogenation units. RepCAT units ensure cost efficiency and enable highest flexibility in feedstock procurement. Q: BDI has expanded beyond its biodiesel roots, a move that started roughly a decade ago when the company changed its name from BDI-BioDiesel International to BDIBioEnergy International. What prompted this change, and where has it taken you in terms of the various sectors BDI is involved in now? A: That is right. In its beginnings, BDI was dedicated exclusively to biodiesel technology and we have been very successful with this strategy. Hence, a single-product strategy is only successful as long as the demand is stable and continuous. This fact has changed in the past due to the food-versus-fuel discussion and the financial crisis. Facing these facts, BDI had to adjust to the new market conditions and started to expand its expertise into other areas like, for example, biogas. This was an obvious step as we could immediately work with existing customers in the waste business. Once more, we could use our plant-engineering knowledge and the output was, again, green energy. So, it was not a big deal for BDI to develop from “BioDiesel” to “BioEnergy.” What we learned at that time was that BDI has enormous potential using its skills in various other chemical and biochemical fields.

Biobased DieselTM Winter 2022 [45]

Let me give you another very good example of BDI’s abilities with regard to developing, designing and building green chemical and biochemical plants. For our sister company, BDI-BioLife Science in Austria, we developed a process for microalgae and realized a production plant. At the beginning of the 2000s, everybody in the biodiesel sector considered algae oil to be the future of biodiesel production. As a research-driven company, we started to build up our own expertise in how to grow algae. It soon turned out that producing biodiesel from algae oil was not going to be feasible in the near future. So, we changed our perspective and looked into more valuable applications for algae, ending up with producing astaxanthin from algae. Astaxanthin is considered to be the strongest natural antioxidant, which can be used as a food supplement and in the cosmetic industry. Frankly speaking, even the name BDI-BioEnergy International seems too narrow for what we are able to do. Q: Tell me about the launch of BDI’s GreenTech Solutions, what niche does this fill and what services does it provide? A: It is definitely BDI’s strength to develop, design and build chemicalprocess plants. This is what we have been doing for the past 25 years. We learned how to develop new green-chemical processes from bench to industrial scale, and we know how to manage the obstacles and risks along this path. In addition, we built up an R&D infrastructure at our headquarters with fully equipped laboratories, including state-ofthe-art analytic devices and explosion-proof testing halls for piloting. Long-lasting, close cooperation with local and international research institutions guarantee that BDI always has the best experts at hand. With our newly founded business unit GTS (GreenTech Solutions), BDI is now offering this outstanding “scale-up knowledge package” to anyone who is in need of the missing link to get from an idea at bench scale to industrial scale—and further manage the step to market. GTS offers services along the entire value chain, from evaluation of the idea to testing, from verification to scale-up and finally construction of a plant—each step individually, or as a package. What makes us unique is that we always have a feasible industrial solution in mind, at every single stage of the upscaling process. Q: I understand BDI is getting into the plastics recycling business. What can you tell me about this new endeavor? A: Yes, that is true. Chemical plastic recycling is our latest endeavor. Mechanical plastic recycling is state of the art and an integral part of the circular economy, but it has its limits. Taking into account that there is a lot of plastic waste out there, which cannot be recycled mechanically, other technical solutions are necessary. Chemical recycling is needed as an alternative to keep the carbon chains in the loop and not lose them by incineration. BDI has teamed up with an Austrian company to create “SynCycle.” Here we are developing a new process for chemical recycling of polyolefins. In parallel, we have already been developing projects based on this new technology with customers in Europe. Q: Why will biodiesel remain an important fuel, and why will innovative biodiesel process technologies continue to be needed, as we move into an age of large renewable diesel and SAF projects, and electrification? A: Firstly, to get past the fossil-fuels era it will be necessary to use all sources of renewable energy like biomass, solar, wind and water. Hereby, biomass will play an important role as a quickly available, renewable source of energy. Secondly, we need to handle our [46]

renewable resources carefully and make sure that we use them in the best possible, most efficient way. Thirdly, low-quality oils and fats will continue to go into biodiesel production because it is the best solution from an economic and ecologic point of view, considering its superior greenhouse-gas savings. Q: What region(s) of the world do you think biodiesel project development holds the most promise, and why is this? A: The U.S. and Europe are currently producing the highest quantities of biodiesel derived from waste oils and fats. In Asia and South America, virgin oils are still dominating the biodiesel scene. Africa has more or less no biodiesel production. Having said that, there is plenty of room for retrofits and new plants in these areas. Q: Are there industrial segments in society still largely untapped that you believe could benefit from waste retrieval and co-located biodiesel production? If so, what are they and what makes them hold potential in your opinion? A: Wastewater has its opportunities as a source for scarce elements like phosphorus. With our GTS team BDI has supported a German operator of wastewater plants to scale up a newly developed technology to recycle phosphorus from sewage sludge incineration plants. Oils and fats from wastewater plants are mainly treated in adjacent biogas units and turned into electricity to make these plants self-sufficient. It is a positive side effect of GTS that we get in touch with companies that are surveying alternative areas and by cooperating with them, BDI helps to bring new ideas to the market. Q: What is next in terms of biobased diesel processtechnology developments for BDI? A: The next move will be towards lignocellulosic biomass like forestry and agricultural waste. BDI has already developed a new biomass-toliquid-process—the so-called “bioCRACK” process—up to pilot scale and we are well prepared to go to demo-scale together with a partner from the petroleum industry. The bioCRACK process has been designed as a refinery-integrated add-on process. Thereby, the core process step of bioCRACK is a liquid-phase flash-pyrolysis, which leads to high-quality diesel with a share of up to 20 percent bio content. Q: Looking ahead to the next 25 years for BDI, what do you see? A: According to its vision, BDI will become a provider of several green-chemical and biochemical technologies in the field of circular economy. Our team of highly experienced engineers strives to deliver proven state-of-the-art technology and supports customers starting from the first idea to the turnkey industrial plant. In other words, BDI will evolve further from a single to a multi-technology provider and, at the same time, will use its engineering skills as a technology enabler. Moreover, the activities and interactions between technology provider and plant owner/operator will further merge due to service tools like continuous optimization, predictive/preventative maintenance and virtual troubleshooting—subsumed under “Smart Operations.”

Author: Ron Kotrba Editor, Biobased Diesel™ 218-745-8347

Biobased DieselTM Winter 2022 [47]

25 years focused on Multi-Feedstock BioDiesel technology Optimization and modernization of existing plants Creation of added value from waste oils, fats and greases BioDiesel RepCAT process for ultimate feedstock flexibility

RetroFit Tailor made solutions for your individual needs

PreTreatment Know-how in all types of feedstock for the Renewable Diesel industry

Smart Operations AI-supported systems for optimized production of fully automated plants [48]