Second annual biodiesel conference offers special workshops, biodiesel celebrities and fun

By | March 01, 2005
The 2nd annual National Biodiesel Conference and Expo welcomed more than 1,000 guests to seminars and biodiesel networking in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., on Jan. 31-Feb. 2. The conference also featured a full trade show, which had nearly doubled in size from the 2004 conference, to give attendees the opportunity to learn about the latest products, services and advances in the field.

Conference sessions and activities, held at the Broward County Convention Center and Marina Marriott, focused on new, cleaner diesel technology mandated by the U.S. EPA, but the conference also included a variety of technical, marketing, regulatory and user topics to the likes of distributors, marketers, consumers, technology providers and feedstock managers. Feasibility and investment, oil company acceptance, cold flow, and state and federal legislation were just a small sampling of conference topics.

Special conference events included:
-Representatives from the IRS presented the most updated information on the new tax credit, explained how the program will work and answered questions.
-An appearance by Pete Bethune, former oil exploration engineer, who will lead the EarthRace expedition. The
biodiesel-powered wave-piercing vessel intends to set a new record circumnavigating the globe.
-A ride-and-drive of the much anticipated diesel-powered DaimlerChrysler Jeep Liberty CRD. Every new CRD off the production line will have a B5 factory fill.
-The University of Idaho hosted a workshop for school districts interested in using biodiesel in school buses to reduce kids' exposure to fumes.
-NBB hosted a free workshop for local boaters with the support of the South Florida Regional Planning Council, Coastal Fuels Marketing and the Gold Coast Clean Cities Coalition. This demonstrated increased availability of biodiesel in South Florida, as well as the marine benefits of the fuel.
-An appearance by Daryl Hannah, last year's winner of the Eye on Biodiesel "Influencer" Award. She presented the2005 award to Neil Young, who thanked the general session group by videotaped speech.
-Emily Richards, an up-and-coming singer/songwriter and biodiesel activist, entertained the night owls at a networking opportunity.

Golf enthusiasts supported a biodiesel fundraiser by taking part in the golf tournament, the winners of which included the first place team of Andy Sprague, Eric Tom and Roger Hopcroft. They had a score of 62. Special hole prizes were awarded to Tom Bryan, closest to the pin on No. 4; Andy Sprague, closest to the pin on No. 6; John Long, closest to the pin on No. 12; Rudi Fisher, closest to the pin on No. 16; and Bob Gray, longest drive on No. 17.

Generous sponsorships made the conference larger and more inviting to attendees. Sponsors included: U.S. DOE, NREL, West Central and Renewable Energy Group, World Energy Alternatives, GATX Rail, IFQC Biofuels, John Deere, USDA Agricultural Research Service, USDA Biodiesel Fuel Education Program, Ag Energy Work Group, Ag Environmental,, Dallas Group, Fitzsimmons, M&W Contractors Inc., MARC-IV Consulting Inc., and Schaeffer Manufacturing Co.
For more conference review, see page 22.

Expo nearly doubles
The 2005 National Biodiesel Expo grew almost two-fold, from 39 exhibitors in 2004 to 70 this year. Exhibitors includedtechnology providers, consultants, producers, to the scientific and original equipment manufacturers.

"This was the best trade show, in terms of getting more customer leads, than any other trade show Schaeffer has exhibited at in my eight years of working for them," said Hoon Ge of Schaeffer Manufacturing Corp.
Exhibitors made the following comments on how the expo compared with other exhibitions in which they had participated: "Greater interaction with end-users," "More new faces," "Excellent networking," and "Good attendance, especially and key personnel." Attendees said they liked the "wide range of exhibitors and wide diversity of attendees."

Biodiesel awards recognize Neil Young, industry leaders
An automobile manufacturer, school bus fleet manager, soybean organization, federal energy program and musician took home awards from the 2nd annual "Eye on Biodiesel" awards ceremony. NBB also presented a National Energy Leadership Award to Ohio Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur.

NBB designed the Eye on Biodiesel awards program to recognize individuals and groups who have significantly advanced the board's mission of public education and industry growth. The award categories and winners are:

DaimlerChrysler has taken the important initiative of fueling its new diesel Jeep Liberty CRD with B5 at the Jeep factory. Not only is DaimlerChrysler providing more vehicles that run on biodiesel, but it has also taken the strong step of filling them up with the blended fuel at the factory. DaimlerChrysler is the first automaker to show this level of support to biodiesel blends and promoting it to customers.

-Impact-American Soybean Association (ASA)
The ASA is a membership-driven, grassroots policy organization that represents U.S. soybean farmers. ASA implements activities designed to increase demand for U.S. soybeans, and to educate and train producers to represent U.S. agriculture in Washington, D.C., and around the world, with biodiesel as a top priority. The ASA was instrumental in leading the campaign to pass the biodiesel tax incentive.

-Inspiration-Joe Biluck Jr.
The director of Operations and Technology at New Jersey's Medford School District recognized the benefits of biodiesel seven years ago, when he led Medford to become the first school district to use biodiesel. Since then, Biluck has used B20 in his fleet of 65 buses and trucks. He often notes that drivers driving handicapped students found a noticeable difference in biodiesel fumes, as students are exposed for longer periods of time while loading and unloading near the tailpipe. Biluck spends his personal time educating other fleet managers
about biodiesel and champions the fuel to all.

-Industry Partnership-National Clean Cities Program
The U.S. DOE's National Clean Cities Program has taken the word of biodiesel to energy decision-makers and promoted it in its network of more than 80 volunteer coalitions. It is unlike any other government program in its ability to disseminate biodiesel information in local communities, increasing biodiesel use and generating publicity for the fuel. The highly driven and dedicated Clean Cities' staff and coordinators develop public/private partnerships to promote alternative fuels and vehicles, fuel blends, fuel economy, hybrid vehicles
and idle reduction. Its overriding goal is to reduce petroleum consumption in the United States, and the group sees biodiesel as a critical component of success. The Clean Cities Program is within DOE's Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy department. Shelley Launey, who has provided strong leadership for the organization for nearly five years, accepted the award.

-Influencer-Neil Young
The legendary singer/songwriter has shown outspoken sup-port for biodiesel and the family farm, articulately sharing his knowledge of the benefits of biodiesel with millions of Americans. Young used biodiesel during his Greenville tour and was instrumental in Farm Aid using the fuel in 2004, where he and Willie Nelson told thousands in attendance, It's clean. It's American grown fuel. It doesn't damage anything. This is so obvious." Young accepted the award by video.Last year's Influencer award winner, actress Daryl Hannah, announced this year's winner and introduced the video in person at the conference. "I'd like to thank the National Biodiesel Board for this great honor," Young said. "It's a way of life. It's a better way of moving around the planet."

NBB presented Kaptur with the National Energy Leadership Award for her commitment to renewable energy and domestic energy security. She played a key role in opening doors that have led to the increased use of biodiesel, including her support of DaimlerChrysler's decision to fill every new 2005 Jeep Liberty CRD leaving the factory with B5. "I would like to thank Joe Jobe and the members of the National Biodiesel Board for this award," Kaptur said. "Biodiesel and other alternative fuels should be a national commitment. They provide an economic opportunity for our farmers, as well as a new product for our auto industry."
NBB Executive Director Joe Jobe said, "I congratulate all of this year's winners and hope they are as honored by these awards as we are by their heartfelt commitment to biodiesel."

Plan now for San Diego in 2006
Mark your calendar now for our 3rd annual Biodiesel Conference & Expo, on Feb. 5-8, 2006, in San Diego, Calif. The San Diego Convention Center and new Omni San Diego Hotel will host the event.

Judging from the 2005 meeting, the 2006 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo is sure to attract a record number of biodiesel marketers, consumers, feedstock growers, fuel distributors, government leaders and biodiesel users. NBB is already planning a rich educational program featuring presentations and discussions from the industry's most influential and knowledgeable leaders.
The conference will include an array of networking and social events, including a golf tournament, Super Bowl party and several informal gatherings, along with a popular expo featuring more than 70 exhibitors.

San Diego has 70 miles of beaches and a Mediterranean climate. Bordered by Mexico, the Pacific Ocean, the Anza-Borrego Desert and the Laguna Mountains, San Diego County's 4,200 square miles offer many options for those wanting to enjoy their conference getaway. The San Diego Convention Center and Omni San Diego Hotel are both within walking distance of the Gaslamp Quarter, which offers more than 100 restaurants, extensive shopping opportunities, attractions and cultural activities.

See you at the industry's premier annual event!
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