Editor's Note

By Tom Bryan | March 01, 2004
Few would disagree that the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo 2004, held last month in Palm Springs, Calif., was the most prolific biodiesel event ever held in the United States. The conference delivered everything the National Biodiesel Board (NBB) promised. Hats off to the NBB's dedicated staff and governing board, as well as conference sponsors, exhibitors and presenters, for creating an inclusive international event unlike any other in the world.

The conference-like the industry itself-was a little bit of everything. It was a display of our industry's boundless diversity. We saw entrepreneurs and environmentalists, scientists and social activists (some being both), experts and novices, producers and consumers even a reporter or two.

Clearly, the biodiesel industry is big enough for everybody. Most of us agree that it doesn't matter who is producing, but what is being produced. In the words of Griffin Industries' Rick Geise, "Ultimately, the consumer cares little about feedstocks." They simply want clean, renewable fuel that is comparable to petroleum diesel in performance and reliability.

"Feedstock neutrality" is this year's buzz phrase, and the NBB's all-encompassing position on feedstocks is both politically and socially responsible. The NBB Executive Committee now includes Fred Wellons of Baker Commodities, who will largely represent rendering and other feedstock interests on the board.

Speaking of feedstocks, it appears that politics and production are undeniably entwined. As "feedstock neutrality" enters our vernacular, so does "multi-feedstock production." Design/build firms, such as Crown Iron Works Co., BIOSOURCE Fuels LLC and BioDiesel Technologies GmbH, continue to advance multi-feedstock processes-and their reach is global.

As biodiesel use grows worldwide, so does the array of feedstocks used for production. The NBB's position of neutrality is proactive and highly commendable.

Tom Bryan
Editorial Director
[email protected]
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