Adapt and Innovate

In his Editor's Note from the Winter 2019 print edition of Biodiesel Magazine, editor Ron Kotrba provides an overview of the issue's contents including several feature articles, columns and more.
By Ron Kotrba | January 03, 2019

The adaptive, innovative heart and soul of this industry is exemplified in the collection of stories we bring you in this edition of the magazine. Moreover, the diversity of those we collectively refer to as “the biodiesel industry” is seen throughout the issue, from small-scale producers such as New Leaf Biofuel to major international players like World Energy, and everything in between—including vendors and service providers that supply these producers with the essentials to navigate the market and make quality product.

Since this year’s National Biodiesel Conference & Expo is back in San Diego, it felt right—and long overdue—to profile San Diego’s own New Leaf Biofuel. Led by CEO Jennifer Case, New Leaf has endured the difficulties of this market, thanks in large part to Case’s inability to give up, her fortitude in making tough judgement calls, and the company’s 2014 partnership with Baker Commodities. After extensive interviews with Case, New Leaf’s VP of operations Lucas Altic and Doug Smith of Baker Commodities, I penned “The Perpetually Expanding Veteran Startup” on page 14. While I think the story title captures the essence of the tale, the details are not to be overlooked—financial pitfalls, troublesome technology, terrible market conditions, a deep-seated willingness to survive and the ability to make tough calls in order to do so, are laid out on pages 14-16.

We also bring you our largest spotlight feature article yet since debuting the section in summer 2017, profiling the products, services and technologies of nine companies dedicated to this sector. A common theme among these companies is their cutting-edge spirit, which is reflected in each of their offerings. Check out “Biodiesel’s Cutting Edge” on page 18.

Next we move to “World Energy’s Big Year” on page 30. In 2018, the company took its growth plan to a new level. It acquired Canadian biodiesel company Biox Corp. and its two plants, along with gaining sole ownership over the 90 MMgy Texas plant it had acquired jointly with Biox. Just days later, World Energy acquired renewable diesel and biojet fuel  producer AltAir and related assets in Paramount, California. It then negotiated a deal to buy the former Ecogy Biofuels plant, an idled 40 MMgy biodiesel production facility in Estill, South Carolina. There’s much more to the story, however, so be sure to read about it within.

In addition, with significant help from our graphic designer Raquel Boushee, we profile notable activity in the industry in a graphical format on pages 34-37 in “A Geospatial View of Biodiesel Activity.” We lay out dozens of North American and international business developments that have taken place over the past year, providing a solid snapshot of the impressive activity seen in this sector in any given year.

Also be sure to check out the National Biodiesel Board’s four-page section, Inside NBB, which is led by Donnell Rehagen’s column, “NBB Fighting to Protect the Biodiesel Industry from Trade Decisions” on page 10. Last, don’t overlook our two columns, one by Marc Kellens of Desmet Ballestra on page 6 in Talking Point, and the other by Jeff Hove of NATSO’s Alternative Fuels Council in a new Downstream column on page 7.

We extend a special thank you to all our advertisers and contributors for helping make this great edition—our first print issue of 2019—possible. Here’s to another prosperous year!

Author: Ron Kotrba
Editor
Biodiesel Magazine
rkotrba@bbiinternational.com

 
 
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