Preview: the Sept/Oct issue of Biodiesel Magazine

What's in store for the next print edition
By Ron Kotrba | September 03, 2014

The September/October issue of Biodiesel Magazine is now complete, and I would like to share some of its contents with you. The theme is Biodiesel Quality, Testing & Standards, and we’ve got several articles on these important topics.

Scott Fenwick joined the National Biodiesel Board last year as its new technical director, taking the place of Steve Howell, who still serves the board in a senior technical advisory role. With a year in his new position under the belt, Biodiesel Magazine sat down with Fenwick in classic Q&A-style fashion to pick his brain on all things biodiesel. In this extensive, six-page Q&A, Fenwick discusses everything from current efforts at ASTM to improvements in biodiesel quality, OEM work, ongoing technical biodiesel investigations, and even how he responds to questions about warranties and higher blends of biodiesel, and what he thinks about the term “drop-in” fuel. Here’s a sampling.  

Q: People often say biodiesel is not a “drop-in” fuel. How do you respond to this?

A: That’s difficult because the term “drop-in” means different things to different people. But at the point of production, whether it’s a petroleum fuel, or biodiesel or another type of renewable fuel, none of them typically meets the specifications without improvement from additives or further blending. Today’s OEMs are coming forth with new concerns about renewable diesel that some might consider to be a “drop-in” fuel. And the ASTM specifications have historically been based upon petroleum refined fuels, so there may be some applications and properties that we’ve taken for granted that we need to go back and review.

Check out “A New Era of Technical Leadership” in the September/October 2014 issue of Biodiesel Magazine to be posted on our website and hitting your mailboxes soon.

We also feature an article on EPA’s new final QAP rule. As I say in my editor’s note of the print edition, it’s not just biodiesel’s physical product that has experienced quality issues in its short history. As you know all too well, biodiesel RINs have come under serious scrutiny over the past few years thanks to a few bad seeds tarnishing this honorable industry’s reputation. We feature input from many of the major QAP providers such as Genscape, EcoEngineers, Weaver, and RINtrust, in addition to perspective from the National Biodiesel Board’s Anne Steckel and Global Renewable Strategies and Consulting LLC’s Ramon Benavides. The consensus is that the new rule simplifies and streamlines the program when compared to the daunting and burdensome proposal issued back at the dawn of 2013. Instead of A and B RIN options, the voluntary program will include only one option, Q-RINs, which closely resembles Option B in the proposal. There are other nuances as well, here’s a comment from Benavides on one aspect of the rule many may have overlooked:

“The EPA has clearly stated it now believes that any export of transportation fuels must have ‘contemporaneous’ proof that the transportation fuels are free of renewable fuels. Otherwise they will be declared as containing renewable fuels. This is a fantastic outcome because, in the event an exporter fails to obtain ‘contemporaneous’ evidence that the exported commodity did not contain a renewable element, then an export RVO is automatically assumed as default at 5 to 20 percent for diesel and a retirement is due in 30 days or less. … The rule created a win for the renewable fuel sector that many have overlooked.”

We also feature a back-of-the-book contribution article from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in which the authors discuss use of biodiesel in the corps’ “floating plants,” and the positive results yielded in terms of fuel consumption, performance, emissions, and operator perceptions. Be sure to check out “US Army Corps of Engineers Powers Floating Plants with Biodiesel” in the latest issue of Biodiesel Magazine for the full story.

This issue’s Talking Point column, “Eurofins QTA to Introduce In-Line Analysis for Biodiesel Production,” is authored by Kangming Ma, president of Eurofins QTA. Ma writes about the need for in-line analysis, its complicated nature, and how Eurofins is working to provide a total, simpler solution for in-line users.  

For our Legal Perspective column, BrownWinick attorney James L. Pray gives us “Legal Liabilities for Sale, Shipment of Off-Spec Biodiesel,” a great, highly relevant article to the theme of fuel quality. Be sure to check his article out, which is already posted online. You can access it by clicking here

As always, we feature our four-page Inside NBB section, kicked off by Anne Steckel in a great column titled, “Fight Continues Through Frustrating RFS Uncertainty,” which you can already access online here. Plus, don't miss our FrontEnd news section that features a few select news pieces from this year’s Collective Biodiesel Conference, in addition to our Business Briefs section and more.

Thanks to all our contributing writers who helped shape this issue’s editorial content.

Finally, I would like to thank our advertisers for their continued support:

2014 National Advanced Biofuels Conference & Expo

2015 International Biomass Conference & Expo

AMERIgreen Energy

Biodiesel Plant Map

Biodiesel Industry Directory

Crown Iron Works Company


GEA Westfalia Separator


ICM Inc.

INTL FCStone Inc.

Iowa Central Fuel Testing Lab

Methes Energies

Mettler Toledo

NBB National Biodiesel Board

Oil-Dri Corporation of America

The Pennsylvania State University

WB Services LLC

Wilks Enterprise Inc.