NBB Programs Lay Foundation for Industry Growth

From the Winter 2017 print edition of Biodiesel Magazine, this article from the National Biodiesel Board discusses how the organization uses its funding to strengthen biodiesel's position in the U.S. market through a variety of programs.
By National Biodiesel Board | January 12, 2017

Each year the National Biodiesel Board secures more than $8 million dollars of funding outside of dues dollars to support research, testing and promotion of biodiesel to advance the industry. Efforts span technical, sustainability, communications, feedstock development and other areas. This allows member dues dollars to be used for critical regulatory and advocacy efforts at the federal and state levels.

State Biodiesel Markets Driving a Billion Gallons
While federal policies like the renewable fuel standard (RFS) and the biodiesel tax incentive continue to be the biggest drivers of biodiesel industry growth, state and regional markets are becoming increasingly impactful. For the first year ever, state biodiesel markets will exceed 1 billion gallons in total volume through various policies such as statewide requirements, consumption incentives and low carbon fuel standards.

Implementation of California’s low carbon fuel standard (LCFS) is expected to increase the biodiesel and renewable diesel volumes in that state to 800 million gallons by 2022. Oregon has a similar policy in place that should create a 100-million-gallon market by 2023. And Minnesota’s landmark statewide requirement is scheduled to go from B10 to B20 in 2018, resulting in 80 million gallons of total annual demand. These are just a few examples of the exciting things that NBB and its members have accomplished as a collective through state policy efforts.

Biodiesel’s Sustainability Profile Continues to Improve
Carbon emissions from biofuels continue to decline relative to petroleum, and confidence in these results grows with additional study. A consensus report from the Coordinating Research Council is the latest evidence in support of biodiesel as a low carbon fuel and supports the conclusions of noteworthy analysis conducted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Argonne National Laboratory, U.S. EPA, USDA, and the California Air Resources Board. Each of these institutions has affirmed that U.S. biodiesel reduces greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by at least 50 percent, and often as much as 85 percent, compared to petroleum diesel fuel.

This assurance has helped lead biodiesel’s growth at the state, regional and national policy level, and NBB programs have been an integral part in developing the data necessary to quantify biodiesel’s sustainability profile.
Communications Efforts Influence Public Opinion
NBB’s communications efforts help amplify the biodiesel story, supporting market growth and maintaining a shared voice among fuel users, consumers and key targets. NBB’s role as the single voice for a diverse membership base is at the heart of the organization’s mission. Communications is the foundation that allows for favorable outcomes in every facet of America’s advanced biofuel’s growth and effort. It is central to biodiesel opportunity. 

NBB works to tell the industry’s story in a way that would be impossible without a collective effort. A small snapshot of the annual efforts includes managing 1,000-plus requests for information, distribution of 30-plus news releases, monitoring thousands of biodiesel news stories and articles, and maintaining the most comprehensive and reliable biodiesel data source online with flagship websites (www.biodiesel.org and www.nbb.org) generating more than 660,000 unique visitors and 15 million page views annually.

Each of these and many other tasks work to support biodiesel’s strength in the marketplace and hold down negative opinion and misinformation, allowing the industry to do what it does best—produce and sell biodiesel.

Technical Programs Clear Hurdles
The NBB technical program is designed to clear hurdles in the marketplace that would limit biodiesel growth with two key audiences in mind—original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and the EPA.

NBB continues to press remaining OEMs toward B20 approval with a big success last year as PACCAR announced B20 approval in all of its Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks, including legacy vehicles. NBB directed extensive testing that showed current stability levels for biodiesel are adequate for real-world users. And with pipeline projects recently completed, blends of B5 will soon see commercial shipments on multiproduct pipelines carrying jet fuel.

The ASTM biodiesel specifications continue to be touted as the model for new fuels wanting further access into the marketplace. Many OEMs and biodiesel blenders are publicly stating that the quality of biodiesel in the marketplace has never been better. These are just a few key results of recent efforts, building on more than 20 years of technical work to ensure biodiesel’s seamless use once it hits the marketplace.

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