Biodiesel Champions Honored for Their Industry Successes

Each year, the National Biodiesel Board recognizes individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to biodiesel. The 2018 Eye on Biodiesel award winners were announced in conjunction with the industry's 25th anniversary.
By The National Biodiesel Board | May 24, 2018

Each year, the National Biodiesel Board recognizes individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to biodiesel. The 2018 “Eye on Biodiesel” award winners, below, were announced in conjunction with the industry’s 25th anniversary.

City of Seattle—Climate Leader Award
The city of Seattle is one of the leading biodiesel fleet users in America. City fleet directors turned to biodiesel for its carbon reduction benefits and ease of use. In 2014, the city enacted the Green Action Fleet Plan with a goal of reducing its carbon emissions by more than 40 percent by 2020. This began the city’s use of B20. Seattle now uses nearly 200,000 gallons of biodiesel per year, significantly lowering carbon emissions. The city also educates other fleets that are interested in transitioning to biodiesel, and it even partnered with NBB as a featured fleet in the 2015 national biodiesel advertising campaign.

Samuel P. “Pat” Black III—Initiative Award. Founder and CEO, Hero BX
With a vision to help revitalize Erie, Pennsylvania, with a return to a booming manufacturing sector, Samuel P. “Pat” Black III founded Lake Erie Biofuels, doing business as Hero BX, in 2005. Hero BX bears witness to Black’s commitment to investing, creating and managing companies with innovative products to capitalize on economic opportunities in the Lake Erie region and beyond. He envisioned a company that would create meaningful jobs, spur technological innovation and produce ecofriendly products. Hero BX is the largest biodiesel plant in the northeastern U.S. It also operates a production facility in Moundville, Alabama, a blending and distribution terminal in North Hampton, New Hampshire, and a recently added expansion to Iowa. This year, Black commissioned a book, The Biodiesel Solution, to help bring the biodiesel story to a larger audience.

Mike Youngerberg—Impact Award. Director of Product Development and Commercialization, Minnesota Soybean
Since 1986, Mike Youngerberg has worked to advance soybean industry priorities as a member of the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council and the Minnesota Soybean Growers Association staff. As executive director of the Minnesota Biodiesel Council, Youngerberg plays a critical role in one of the most proactive biodiesel states in the country. In 2002, Minnesota passed legislation requiring that diesel fuel contain at least 2 percent biodiesel. On Sept. 29, 2005, Minnesota became the first state to require biodiesel blends. The program increased to B5 in 2009, to B10 for the summer months in 2014, and moved to B20 this May. This tremendous growth wouldn’t have been possible without Youngerberg’s leadership.

Stephen Censky—Pioneer Award. Deputy Secretary, USDA
As the long-time CEO of the American Soybean Association, Stephen Censky was instrumental in the growth and advancement of biodiesel. ASA’s primary focus is policy development and implementation of soybean farmer issues, including biodiesel. Under Censky’s guidance as CEO from 1996 to 2017, ASA played a critical role in passing the biodiesel tax incentive in 2005, and the inclusion of biodiesel in the revised Renewable Fuel Standard through its national network of farmer-leaders and extensive grassroots advocacy power. At USDA, Deputy Secretary Censky continues to provide critical leadership on agricultural policies. He also served at USDA in the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

Earl Christensen—Innovation Award. Senior Chemist, National Renewable Energy Lab
Confidence in biodiesel blends in the marketplace relies on sound scientific data. Earl Christensen has been instrumental in conducting work related to biodiesel stability that has bolstered confidence in B20 by both original equipment manufacturers and end-users. At NREL, Christensen led critical efforts to analyze the positive benefits of stability-enhancing additives in pure biodiesel, as well as the positive impacts of readditizing B100 whose oxidative reserve has gone down over time. His recent work showed all samples of current market B20 biodiesel blends meeting today’s ASTM specifications had a minimum simulated shelf life of at least one year, with many samples having simulated shelf life of more than three years. This work shows that it is possible for B20 to be stored as long as or longer than petroleum diesel.

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