NBB celebrates National Biodiesel Day

By Susanne Retka Schill | March 09, 2009
Web exclusive posted March 18, 2009, at 11:51 a.m. CST

The National Biodiesel Board celebrated National Biodiesel Day on March 18 with recognition of Rudolf Diesel's birth on that date, and the announcement that 60 scientists have signed a "Scientists for Biodiesel" declaration.

"Rudolf Diesel understood that fossil resources were not a bottomless barrel," said Joe Jobe, NBB chief executive officer. "He foresaw that sustainable fuels, like modern-day biodiesel, would be a key to energy resources and continued technological advances."

The NBB also noted that within six weeks, more than 60 scientists have signed a declaration highlighting biodiesel's sustainability and its benefits to reduce dependence on petroleum, while helping address climate change and boosting domestic economies. It also voiced support for additional research and development. The "Scientists for Biodiesel" declaration was begun by Donald Danforth Plant Science Center President Roger Beachy and Rob Myers, founder and director of the Thomas Jefferson Agricultural Institute. "Scientists sometimes have differences of opinion, but this declaration is intended to show the broad consensus among scientists about the benefits of biodiesel," Myers said.

Scientists signing the declaration represent a number of universities and research institutions, including the University of California at Berkeley, Texas Tech and Penn State, as well as the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Sandia National Laboratories.

More information, the full text of the declaration and a list of scientists who have signed on so far, are available at www.biodieselsustainability.com.

In recognition of National Biodiesel Day, the NBB highlighted the following attributes and contributions of biodiesel:
  • Last year's 700 million gallons of biodiesel production reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 980,000 vehicles from U.S. roads.

  • Biodiesel biodegrades as fast as sugar.

  • For every unit of energy it takes to make domestic biodiesel, at least 3.5 units are gained.

  • When biodiesel is produced from soybeans, it only uses the bean's oil, leaving 80 percent of the bean for protein-rich soybean meal.

  • In 2008, biodiesel produced from soybeans coproduced enough soybean meal to offer the equivalent of 115 billion rations of protein for the hungry in developing countries.
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