Priorities addressed at NBB Board Meeting

By | March 01, 2004
The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) held its quarterly board meeting in Palm Springs, Calif., on Feb. 4, prior to the close of the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo 2004.

The primary focus of the meeting was to set research priorities, but the meeting began with a number of short business items and reports, during which a "clean audit" was reported on the NBB books. It was also noted that the National Biodiesel Education Program, funded under a new USDA grant, requires separate treatment in the next audit.

The NBB's Small Producer Committee was reactivated in response to issues raised in the small producers' session during the conference, and Steve Howell of Marc IV reported that the new ASTM "Fill and Go" standard for biodiesel had not passed an ASTM vote in December 2003 (see article on page 8).

There was considerable discussion on the importance of funding biodiesel tests for 2007 engine technologies; the petroleum industry and diesel engine manufacturers are reportedly setting up extensive tests for new engines and the NBB could commission parallel tests using biodiesel. Howell noted that these tests are similar to the health effects testing the NBB sponsored a few years ago. He added that the tests are expensive, have to be done up front and must be done to make the fuel legitimate. If the tests are not done now, it will reportedly be more expensive to do them later. Funding was also at question.

In past years, a special meeting was held to set research priorities, but this year it was combined with the NBB conference. The priorities serve as a guide to the NBB-and also to outside organizations-when funding decisions are made. A written vote was taken and the results were reported at the meeting. A final version of the priorities will be posted on the NBB Web site. The selection of research priorities does not ensure that the listed funding amounts will be allocated to each activity.

1. National Energy Initiative (low blend), $346,000
2. State Energy Initiative, $300,000
3. OEM Program, $395,000
4. 2007 OEM Technology Development (testing), $700,000
5. Cold Flow Additives, $200,000
6. Consumer Education & Outreach, $320,000 (USDA
grant $770,000)
7. Reducing NOx with Existing Engines, $75,000
8. Heating Oil Development, $125,000
9. Electrical Generation, $35,000
10. Fuel Cells, $50,000
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