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Biodiesel Bulletin
The Biodiesel Bulletin is published monthly by the National Biodiesel Board (NBB).




November 1, 2018  

Small Refinery Exemptions Destroy Demand for Biodiesel

Baseball Teams Knock It Out of the Park with Biodiesel

The Biodiesel Industry Can Do More

Demand for Diesel at All Time High

Student Scientists Can Earn Scholarship to National Biodiesel Conference

Dunkin Donuts’ Biodiesel Powered Tiny Home

 
Small Refinery Exemptions Destroy Demand for Biodiesel

Small refinery exemptions are quickly becoming one of the largest issues in the biodiesel industry. The National Biodiesel Board recently delivered a letter to Environmental Protection Agency Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler asking that the agency fully account for small refinery exemptions in the annual Renewable Fuel Standard rules and “end the demand destruction for biodiesel.” The letter also asked the EPA to set RFS biomass-based diesel volumes for 2020 at 2.8 billion gallons, consistent with the industry’s demonstrated ability to produce fuel.

In the letter, NBB Vice President of Federal Affairs Kurt Kovarik wrote, “EPA must end the demand destruction for biodiesel – not as part of a deal to change the RFS rules; rather, as an integral part of the agency’s duty to ensure that the RFS volumes it sets are met.”

The letter thanked Acting Administrator Wheeler for increasing transparency around the agency’s granting of small refinery exemptions. However, the agency’s data dashboard now makes it easy to calculate the biodiesel demand lost to these exemptions, the letter points out.

“Between 2015 and 2017, the demand destruction for biomass-based diesel is more than 300 million gallons,” Kovarik writes in the letter. “Independent analysis further substantiates the demand destruction for biodiesel and renewable diesel,” he adds.

Last week, the EPA filed a reply brief with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, addressing NBB’s challenges. NBB’s lawsuit on the SREs is the first that the court will consider and is EPA’s first response on the issue. EPA claims that it does not have to account for small refinery exemptions granted after the RFS rule is set. NBB will have an opportunity to respond to EPA’s brief in December.
 

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Baseball Teams Knock It Out of the Park with Biodiesel

Sports fans nationwide celebrated sustainable practices last month for Green Sports Day. The annual event recognized the efforts that athletes, supporters, and organizations make to reduce their environmental footprint. Baseball fans are already seeing a difference with cleaner air thanks to biodiesel.

Ballparks throughout the country are recycling used cooking oil into clean burning biodiesel. This advanced biofuel reduces carbon emissions by 80 percent, helping the crowds breathe easier.

“When I order food at a ballpark I can see all the grease in the concession stand,” said National Biodiesel Board Sustainability Director Don Scott. “It’s awesome to know that this nasty garbage is being made into a clean fuel.”

The Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers, and the San Diego Padres are only a handful of the stadiums participating in this green endeavor. During the Royal’s recent championship season, the stadium totaled more than 61 tons of food waste, recycling more than 4,500 gallons of oil. The Brewers home stadium, Miller Park, recycled 6,347 gallons of cooking oil last year alone.

Embracing sustainable practices, these stadiums are focusing on the fans by creating a clean fuel that helps their vehicles as well as their health. Choosing biodiesel really is a home run for baseball teams.
 

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The Biodiesel Industry Can Do More

Secretary Sonny Perdue and
the NBB Governing Board

The National Biodiesel Board is working tirelessly to promote a stronger RFS program and increase annual volumes to fully support the industry’s proven growth. 

This summer, NBB expressed appreciation that the U.S. EPA proposed increases in the 2020 biomass-based diesel and 2019 advanced biofuel categories under the RFS. While the proposed increases sent a positive signal to the industry, EPA’s granting of dozens of retroactive small refinery exemptions undercut prior year volumes and could still have a negative impact on future year standards.

“We welcome the administration’s proposal to grow the biodiesel volumes, following two flatlined years,” said Kurt Kovarik, vice president of federal affairs at NBB. “However, we’ve consistently demonstrated that we can do much more. While this is just a proposal, we hope the administration is serious about growing biodiesel volumes and will fulfill the president’s promise to support and grow the RFS.”

NBB also supported the 39 U.S. senators who sent a letter to EPA Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler urging him to increase biomass-based diesel and advanced volumes and accurately account for small refinery hardship exemptions in the annual RFS volumes.

The letter stated, “It is critical that EPA appropriately account for any small refiner economic hardship exemptions that it reasonably expects to grant during the 2019 compliance year in the final rule, or EPA will not be able to fulfill its duty to ensure RVOs are met.”

NBB and its members continue working to move the needle for higher volumes, meeting with the administration, working with biodiesel champions on the Hill, and collaborating with key industry stakeholders. The EPA is set to finalize volumes before Nov. 30.
 

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Demand for Diesel at All Time High


America is experiencing huge growth in the diesel marketplace thanks to a current trucking boom. According to sales data, the country just had its biggest month for big rig trucks this past summer. More diesel engines in the marketplace means more opportunity for biodiesel.

June 2018 sales are 140 percent higher than June 2017 with 41,800 Class 8 trucks sold. During the previous 12-month period, almost 411,000 Class 8 trucks were sold nationwide. This growth in the industry has retailers looking toward the fuel. Many are turning to biodiesel due to the desire to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve engine performance, and to take advantage of the financial benefits. In fact, a new Fleet Purchasing Outlook study by NTEA, the Association for the Work Truck Industry found that biodiesel was the most popular alternative fuel among fleets in 2018 and the top pick for future interest.

The increased diesel market is not surprising, as diesel engines dominate the movement of goods throughout the nation, powering semi-trucks, barges, locomotives and more. This demand paves the way for even more biodiesel growth, as America continues to emphasize cleaner, renewable alternatives. Additionally, today’s diesel engines are cleaner than ever, helping meet stringent EPA emission standards. Biodiesel helps support these goals by reducing carbon emissions by up to 86 percent.

Biodiesel continues to be the best choice for diesel engines throughout the country. As America’s reliance on diesel power increases, the biodiesel market will only grow alongside.
 

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Student Scientists Can Earn Scholarship to National Biodiesel Conference

NGSB attendees at the 2018 Conference

Science majors interested in learning about all aspects of the biodiesel industry can apply for a travel scholarship to attend the 2019 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo, Jan. 21 - 24 in San Diego. The application process is open until Nov. 19, 2018 to members of the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel. This scholarship includes: 

  • A complimentary conference registration (a $1,200 value)
  • A travel scholarship of $600
  • A preconference biodiesel educational overview
  • A private mentoring mixer with prominent biodiesel scientists

To apply, you must be a college/university student in a scientific field of study, and have joined NGSB. (Joining is free and easy!) Students can also apply to present a poster on biodiesel-related research or outreach during a poster session.

“As an environmental science student, the sustainability aspects and greenhouse gas reductions of biodiesel were most significant to me,” said Tami Alexander, who received a travel scholarship while pursuing her master’s degree at Wichita State University. “I previously saw biofuels as merely a stepping point on the path to a greener, more sustainable society. Now, after learning more about the production and use of biodiesel, I am convinced that it is a long-term solution.”

Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel is a National Biodiesel Board program intended to foster professional relationships between budding and established scientists, share accurate information and increase collaboration with academia and the biodiesel industry. The National Biodiesel Board, the United Soybean Board and the National Biodiesel Foundation sponsor the scholarships.

To learn more, see last year’s highlights, and apply by Nov. 19, visit biodiesel.org/ngsb/.
 

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Dunkin Donuts’ Biodiesel Powered Tiny Home

Dunkin Donuts, the popular coffee, donut, and bagel chain recently unveiled a 275-square-foot “Home That Runs on Dunkin,” a tiny house powered completely by biodiesel made from recycled coffee grounds.

The project is designed to demonstrate how to reuse waste and create sustainable energy for home use. The home is powered by a standard generator running on clean burning biodiesel. The homes first extract excess oils from coffee grounds, then, through a process called transesterification, turn that oil into a renewable fuel. 170 pounds of recycled coffee grounds produce about one gallon of fuel.

The house itself is part of a collaboration between Dunkin Donuts and New Frontier Tiny Home. It was constructed on a trailer for easy transport, and uses Dunkin’s signature pink and orange colors, as well as evoking the color of coffee with black stained cedar.

While recycling coffee grounds allows Dunkin Donuts to take excess waste and create a clean burning fuel from it, biodiesel’s diversity allows this to happen every day. The majority of biodiesel comes from vegetable oils like soybean oil, but many places use waste products like recycled cooking oil and animal fats. By recycling, America’s Advanced Biofuel is providing a clean, green fuel while promoting a sustainable, green process.

America may run on Dunkin, but Dunkin runs on biodiesel.
 

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