15 Years of Biodiesel Magazine

In his editor's note from the Winter 2018 print edition of Biodiesel Magazine, Ron Kotrba celebrates the 15th year of publication for the magazine and provides a brief overview of what the issue has in store for readers.
By Ron Kotrba | January 05, 2018

I cannot adequately express the pride I feel as we move into 2018, which represents Biodiesel Magazine’s 15th year of publication. Like some of you, I have been around for the vast majority of that journey, beginning as a writer with the magazine in January 2005. When our first issue came out in 2004, the U.S. industry was producing less than 250 MMgy. When domestic production topped 1 billion gallons for the first time in 2011, it was a major accomplishment. In 2016, U.S. production approached 2 billion gallons, with capacity to do much more.

Over the past 15 years, we’ve witnessed and reported on the ups and downs in the market, new technologies taking hold, new feedstocks gaining greater market share, and hundreds of plants being built, with some closing down, changing hands, getting retooled, and being restarted. Uncertainty—for better or worse—has helped define the biodiesel industry. The uncertainty we have faced year in and year out has only strengthened the industry’s resolve and purpose, demonstrating the resiliency of tens of thousands of fine men and women who make this renewable fuel that, as we all know, represents so much more than that.

With today’s political culture and an expired tax credit, our resolve is being tested yet again. But the investment we continue to see in biodiesel, despite the uncertainty, is encouraging. These investors of smart capital have a longer-term view that extends past what EPA will do this year or next, and they see the future of renewable energies like biodiesel as prosperous—and so do we. For more on recent investments in biodiesel, please see “Against the Odds” on page 16.

On page 24 you will find our Spotlight article for this issue, “Biodiesel Agents of Change.” I borrowed this phrase, “agent of change,” from Steve McCracken, CEO of Amerigreen Energy—one of our four spotlighted companies. The phrase fits so well for those working in this business who, on a daily basis, collectively strive in their individual ways to improve this industry and thereby “make Earth great again.”

The relationships we have built and maintained over the past 15 years allow us to secure contribution articles and support from the most respected names in the industry. Our biodiesel-focused content—something you won’t find anywhere else—has helped build trust in what we do. For starters, the National Biodiesel Board has been a tireless advocate for this industry, and its commitment to providing us with solid content every issue over the past 15 years is invaluable. We also feature in this issue on page 7 an editorial column from Blake Hendrix, president and CEO of Desmet Ballestra North America, titled, “Natural Selection of Biodiesel Process Technology,” and, on page 6, a legal column from Adam Hertzke and Joshua Andrews at Faegre Baker Daniels LLP—our first from FBD. Hermann Stockinger and Stefan Divjak with BDI-BioEnergy International provided us a feature-length contribution article on page 30, “Fat and the City.” And Joe Jobe, former CEO of NBB and founder and president of Rock House Advisors, authored a special sidebar on page 20, at the end of my “Against the Odds” project development feature, titled, “Heartbreak Ridge: ‘Improvise, Adapt, Overcome,’” about the World Energy Biox Biofuels plant in Houston.

A special thanks to all of you who have helped make this magazine possible over the years through your valued advertising support and editorial contributions. Happy New Year!

Author: Ron Kotrba
Biodiesel Magazine
[email protected]

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