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EPA OKs Camelina, Energy Cane

February 24, 2013 in Biodiesel, Biofuels, Ethanol, Regulations by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Groups Applaud Agency Action Helping Displace Foreign Oil

Biofuels advocates are applauding the U.S. EPA’s approval of non-food camelina as a basis for biodiesel production and fibrous energy cane for cellulosic ethanol. The action means that the products are eligible for credits under the RFS, the Renewable Fuel Standard.
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Transport for London Testing B30

January 2, 2012 in Uncategorized by rich  |  No Comments

Trials of B30 biodiesel on a dozen of Transport for London’s older, out-of-warranty Mercedes Sprinter vans could pave the way for use of the renewable full on the agency’s newer vehicles, like this Bluebird-outfitted, Volkswagen T5 transporter-based Dial-a-Ride van.

Trials of B30 biodiesel on a dozen of Transport for London’s older, out-of-warranty Mercedes Sprinter vans could pave the way for use of the renewable full on the agency’s newer vehicles, like this Bluebird-outfitted, Volkswagen T5 transporter-based Dial-a-Ride van.

Transport for London is gearing up for a year-long test of B30 biodiesel in 12 of its older Mercedes Sprinter vehicles in door-to-door Dial-a-Ride service.

If the renewable fuel proves out in the aging Sprinters with their four-cylinder, 2.8-liter engines, TfL will tackle the warranty issues that stymie its use in newer diesel vehicles. Biodiesel could then find regular use in some 370 so-called DAR vehicles, as well as in the agency’s larger buses. TfL might even undertake the installation of its own blending facilities.

It is estimated that the B30-fueled vehicles will produce 25% less carbon emissions than a normal diesel-powered vehicle.

TfL’s biodiesel will be supplied by Scotland’s Argent Energy, which processes used cooking oil from the catering industry and tallow, a residue from meat processing. Argent diverts no feedstocks from food use, development director Dickon Posnett told F&F. “It is the most sustainable of any of the current commercial biofuels,” the company says.

Trials of B30 biodiesel on a dozen of Transport for London’s older, out-of-warranty Mercedes Sprinter vans could pave the way for use of the renewable full on the agency’s newer vehicles, like this Bluebird-outfitted, Volkswagen T5 transporter-based Dial-a-Ride van.

Argent is the first European biodiesel producer registered with the U.S. EPA for sales in America, Posnett says.

Elsewhere in clean vehicles, TfL has 171 hybrid diesel buses in London, which its says is already the largest hybrid fleet in the UK – and has 150 more on order. The agency currently operates five hydrogen fuel cell buses between Covent Garden and Tower Gateway Station. They entered service this past January. “It is hoped that, with the purchase of three more buses, the route will be serviced completely by hydrogen buses, a first for the UK,” states a release.

lots of TfL Dial-a-Ride Sprinter pictures via Google

New U.S. Biodiesel Production Record

January 2, 2012 in Uncategorized by rich  |  No Comments

The U.S. biodiesel industry set a new record for annual production through just the first ten months of 2011, according to U.S. EPA figures, “proving the power that strong domestic energy policy has in creating U.S. jobs and boosting the economy,” says the National Biodiesel Board.

Through October, the U.S. industry produced more than 802 million gallons of biodiesel “in plants from Florida to Iowa to Washington State,” NBB reports.

San Francisco Muni operates its hybrid buses on biodiesel

San Francisco Muni operates its hybrid buses on biodiesel

“We could break the billion-gallon mark,” NBB federal communications director Ben Evans told F&F from Washington last week.

The ten-month tally more than doubles last year’s production of some 315 million gallons and shatters the previous annual record of approximately 690 million gallons set in 2008.

U.S biodiesel got a boost as a key $1 per gallon tax incentive was reinstated for 2011. It will expire at year-end unless Congress acts.

“I can say without question that this tax credit has helped us grow our production and hire new people, and it will play a big role in our growth going forward,” Gabe Neeriemer, president of Patriot Biodiesel in Greensboro, N.C. says in an NBB release. “It will affect how many people we can hire, how much feedstock and equipment we buy, how many truckers we put to work delivering fuel,” Neeriemer said.

Patriot was forced to suspend operations when the tax credit expired at the end of 2010. “With the incentive restored this year, the plant is not only back online but is expanding production to about 5 million gallons per year and hiring a half dozen new employees,” NBB says.

NBB Annual Meeting in Orlando in February

“This incentive is working, and particularly in this kind of economy when politicians say they’re doing everything they can to create jobs, I can’t imagine why Congress would allow it to expire,” Neeriemer said.

NBB, citing a study by Cardno-Entrix, says that this year’s increased biodiesel production will support more than 31,000 jobs – up from fewer than 13,000 last year – while generating at least $3 billion in GDP and $628 million in federal, state and local tax revenues. In addition to creating jobs and economic activity, biodiesel is reducing U.S. reliance on foreign oil, bolstering economic and national security by diversifying our fuel supply, and reducing tailpipe pollution and greenhouse gases emissions, NBB says.

NBB 2012, the National Biodiesel Conference and Expo, will be held February 5-8 at the Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Kissimmee ( Orlando), Fla. The biodiesel annual is again being managed by Denver’s Kinsley Meetings.

Biodiesel's Key Incentive Lapses

January 2, 2012 in Uncategorized by rich  |  No Comments

Used cooking oil collection vehicle in San Francisco

Used cooking oil collection vehicle in San Francisco

The U.S. biodiesel industry set a production record in 2011 but may not repeat this year, as a key, $1-per-gallon tax credit has again been allowed to expire.

According to the National Biodiesel Board, the industry saw “a remarkable turnaround” in 2011 as Congress reinstated the credit following a one-year lapse in 2010. “When the credit lapsed, dozens of plants shut down and thousands of jobs were lost as 2010 production plummeted to about 315 million gallons, the lowest level since 2006,” NBB said.

Looking now at a repeat, “We’re disappointed,” federal affairs Anne Steckel said in a December 21 release. “Jobs and the economy are supposed to be the top priority in Washington, yet Congress has left thousands of workers in limbo heading into the holidays by failing to extend this tax incentive. It’s a missed opportunity,” Steckel said. “We are urging Congress to pass an extension immediately… to limit the economic damage.”

NBB noted the next day that, according to U.S. EPA tallies, nearly 108 million gallons of biomass-based diesel was sold during the month of November, continuing a record year (F&F, Dec. 12). The total through November was 908 million gallons. The previous annual record for biodiesel production was 690 million gallons in 2008.

Biodiesel's Key Incentive Lapses

January 2, 2012 in Biodiesel by rich  |  No Comments

Used cooking oil collection vehicle in San Francisco

Used cooking oil collection vehicle in San Francisco

The U.S. biodiesel industry set a production record in 2011 but may not repeat this year, as a key, $1-per-gallon tax credit has again been allowed to expire.

According to the National Biodiesel Board, the industry saw “a remarkable turnaround” in 2011 as Congress reinstated the credit following a one-year lapse in 2010. “When the credit lapsed, dozens of plants shut down and thousands of jobs were lost as 2010 production plummeted to about 315 million gallons, the lowest level since 2006,” NBB said.

Looking now at a repeat, “We’re disappointed,” federal affairs Anne Steckel said in a December 21 release. “Jobs and the economy are supposed to be the top priority in Washington, yet Congress has left thousands of workers in limbo heading into the holidays by failing to extend this tax incentive. It’s a missed opportunity,” Steckel said. “We are urging Congress to pass an extension immediately… to limit the economic damage.”

NBB noted the next day that, according to U.S. EPA tallies, nearly 108 million gallons of biomass-based diesel was sold during the month of November, continuing a record year (F&F, Dec. 12). The total through November was 908 million gallons. The previous annual record for biodiesel production was 690 million gallons in 2008.



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