Biodiesel summer conference series kicks off June 12

By Ron Kotrba | May 21, 2018

As music venues across the nation gear up for their summer concert series, the biodiesel industry is paving new territory with its summer conference series—“Exploring Biodiesel” (XBX). For the first time, the National Biodiesel Board, with funding from the Nebraska Soybean Board and Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council, is taking biodiesel on a cross-country tour for a series of one-day workshops from coast to coast and points in between.

The XBX regional seminars are one-day programs designed to educate fuel wholesalers, distributors, retailers, marketers, fleets, and municipalities on the current benefits and opportunities surrounding biodiesel. Biodiesel Magazine has been given a sneak peek at the preliminary agenda. The overview is comprehensive, holistic and thorough, with an ability to appeal to biodiesel newcomers and industry veterans alike.

The agendas will be tailored to specific regions and will cover supply chains, the business of biodiesel, gasoline marketing trends, the evolution of diesel and heating oil market development, among other areas of importance. Attendees can expect to walk away with a good understanding of biodiesel’s place in today’s liquid fuels supply chain, and how the fuel can be leveraged as a clean, renewable alternative to petroleum diesel while increasing market share and enhancing the brand image of organizations through biodiesel. End-users will gain an inside look at the latest petroleum industry trends, as well as valuable insight into how to buy and protect their fuels to ensure optimum performance.

“‘Exploring Biodiesel’ takes its attendees deep into the supply chain’s epicenter,” said Paul Nazzaro, president of Nazzaro Group LLC and NBB petroleum liaison.

Nazzaro, a nationally recognized expert on biodiesel and the petroleum supply chain, is driving the agenda for these workshops as conference developer.

“Each day, an incredible volume of liquid fuels are bought and sold based on price,” Nazzaro told Biodiesel Magazine. “The program will prepare buyers and sellers to understand how the supply chain impacts fuels and how they can establish defenses to circumvent downstream challenges before they develop.” 

The buying or selling of quality fuels that meet specifications but are then handled improperly can generate added costs, which, as Nazzaro pointed out, can increase the total cost to the consumer. “These hyper-focused forums will share operational best practices and innovative solutions to common challenges associated with buying and selling fuels,” he said. “No other conference can provide as deep a dive about the subject of biodiesel. We will share with attendees how the national petroleum supply chain functions from production to consumption. The team will contrast how crude, gasoline, diesel, biodiesel and heating oil—although unique to specific markets—have more in common than one might think. In order to demonstrate how biodiesel fits into the complexity of the supply chain, it’s beneficial to elevate awareness of the entire chain, link by link.”

The conference series, which is free of charge and presented in collaboration with the biggest names in the biodiesel industry, runs June through September.

“If you are a diesel fleet interested in implementing the easiest, most cost-effective way to reduce your carbon footprint, this session on biodiesel—put on by some of the industry’s leading experts—will give you all you need to know,” said  ASTM Fellow and AOCS Fellow Steve Howell of M4 Consulting Inc.

Summer schedule

June 12—Quincy, Massachusetts

It all starts June 12 in Quincy, Massachusetts, at the Boston Marriott Quincy. Renewable Energy Group Inc., the largest biodiesel producer in North America, is the industry collaborator for this event.

“Biodiesel feels like it has been around for a while, but in many ways it is still the new kid on the block,” Troy Shoen, REG’s senior marketing manager, told Biodiesel Magazine. “We all have a lot to learn about the many benefits of biodiesel and how to do a better job shipping, storing and selling it—and most importantly, leveraging it to benefit the fuel supply chain, whether you are a fuel marketer, wholesaler, retailer or end user. This event will help us discuss every aspect of biodiesel so that we can come away with a better understanding of how to put it to work in a typical fuel program.”

There is no better liquid fuel than biodiesel for lowering carbon intensity and tailpipe emissions. “This is important, especially on the East and West coasts where low-carbon and low-emissions fuels are incentivized with programs like the Low Carbon Fuel Standard and the Massachusetts program for Alternative Energy Credits,” Shoen said. “These ‘Exploring Biodiesel’ regional seminars will help attendees better understand how to leverage biodiesel as a compliance mechanism while, at the same time, learn how biodiesel can enhance engine performance and improve our environment.”

July 18—Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The next stop for the XBX regional seminars is Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, July 18, in collaboration with renowned biodiesel distributor Amerigreen Energy Services LLC. The event will be held at the Sheraton Valley Forge Hotel.

“Changes in the fuel industry are happening now and it’s impacting your fleet and business,” Steve McCracken, CEO of Amerigreen, told Biodiesel Magazine. “Get this event on your calendar now. You will leave with information and the know-how to quickly implement improvements in your fleet performance to drive down costs. Owners, operators and equipment maintenance staff need to hear this. Register for this event and do great things for your fleet and business.”

Aug. 7—Long Beach, California

On Aug. 7, the biodiesel experts head to Southern California at the Marriott Long Beach. One of the nation’s largest biodiesel producers, World Energy LLC, which recently made headlines after purchasing the AltAir Fuels biojet and renewable diesel production facility in Paramount, California, is collaborator for the Long Beach seminar.

“Renewable diesel and biodiesel are reshaping how diesel fuel markets work in California,” Gene Gebolys, founder and CEO of World Energy, told Biodiesel Magazine. “If diesel supply is important to you, then you should come and learn about how and why these changes are happening, and what it all means for how you do your work.”

Aug. 9—Portland, Oregon

After Long Beach, the conference series heads to the Pacific Northwest at the Billy Frank Jr. Conference Center in Portland, Oregon, Aug. 9. Fittingly, longtime Oregon-based biodiesel producer SeQuential is the collaborating partner for this event.

“With carbon metrics increasingly driving Pacific Northwest and West Coast diesel markets, you won’t want to miss this opportunity to dive deep into the latest information on biodiesel use for the full spectrum of industry stakeholders,” Kevin Kuper, finished products manager for SeQuential, told Biodiesel Magazine.

Sept. 18—Cleveland, Ohio

Finally, the biodiesel summer conference series “Exploring Biodiesel” wraps up Sept. 18 in Cleveland, Ohio, at the Double Tree by Hilton Cleveland Downtown – Lakeside, with industry collaborator Hero BX, the well-known Erie, Pennsylvania-based producer.

“This is the most comprehensive biodiesel educational seminar available anywhere in the nation,” Tim Keaveney, executive vice president of business development for Hero BX, told Biodiesel Magazine. “If you consume, market, trade or distribute diesel fuel, this is a can’t-miss event.”

Register today

“More miles—cleaner miles—are being demanded by policymakers, fuel slates have changed, engine and filter manufacturers have optimized their products to meet the challenges ahead,” Nazzaro said. “The question remains, are we ready to declare the fuel we buy and sell as ready for advanced engine technologies? Join our group as we explore both biodiesel and the supply chain with no commercial interruptions.”

NBB Technical Director Scott Fenwick said, “It’s amazing to think of how quickly advancements happen in technology all around us. These conferences, and the associated conversations, can not only help to communicate the changes in the fuel supply chain today, but also the underlying rationales that will help to explain potential future changes.”

The time for each of the sessions is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. To register free of charge for one or more of these events, visit www.exploringbiodiesel.com.

 
 
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