Editor's note

Industry-wide acceptance of BQ-9000 is inevitable… if we have anything to say about it
By Tom Bryan | May 01, 2006
The history of BQ-9000 precedes Biodiesel Magazine, but the introduction, post-rollout development and upward industry acceptance of both have occurred on parallel timelines. That's simply coincidental, but the unique and mutually beneficial relationship shared by this publication and the National Biodiesel Accreditation Commission's quality assurance program is not. A growing number of U.S. and Canadian biodiesel producers and marketers feel precisely the same way: That is, they see the future of biodiesel-and BQ-9000, or some incarnation of it-is clearly part of the picture. We share that view, and this month Biodiesel Magazine is doing something it doesn't take lightly. Much like newspapers endorse political candidates, Biodiesel Magazine is forging a strengthened editorial commitment to BQ-9000. As the industry's leading trade publication, it's our obligation to support, report on, and perhaps even help develop and sustain activities that make our industry better, stronger and more mainstream. In other words, BQ-9000 is consistent with Biodiesel Magazine's mission and, subjective or not, we stand firmly behind it.

To be honest, this was an easy decision to arrive at. BQ-9000 is an excellent program with an unambiguous purpose. The National Biodiesel Accreditation Commission's Web site (www.bq-9000.org) describes the goals of the program as:
• To promote the commercial success and public acceptance of biodiesel
• To help assure that biodiesel fuel is produced to and maintained at the industry standard, ASTM D 6751
• To avoid redundant testing throughout the production and distribution system
• To provide a mechanism to track biodiesel in the distribution system, identify biodiesel that meets industry standards, and provide a means to reduce the probability of product that does not meet D 6751 reaching the marketplace.

Those objectives are tough to disagree with and essentially leave just two important questions up for discussion: Is the program affordable and achievable for industrial-scale producers? And does it achieve what it's supposed to?

B-9000 accreditation (for producers) and certification (for marketers, distributors and producers) is open to all companies actively producing, distributing or marketing (or planning to produce, distribute or market) biodiesel, either in its neat form (B100) or for use in blending with petroleum diesel or heating oil. By almost all measures, the program seems to be reasonable from both an economic and implementation viewpoint. From what we are hearing from producers and marketers already onboard with the program-and those in the process of getting onboard with it-BQ-9000 is living up to its design.

We've been reporting on BQ-9000 since our inception, and this month's distribution issue contains a feature that highlights companies that are in the process of attaining BQ-9000 Certified Marketer status (see "BQ-9000: Gaining Momentum," on page 46). In next month's "Proposed Biodiesel Plant List: 2006," we're going to take things a step further. Biodiesel Magazine will include a question about BQ-9000 in its survey of over 150 would-be biodiesel plants across the United States and Canada. We are asking these "future producers" whether or not they plan to seek BQ-9000 accreditation and/or certification. My hunch is that many of our respondents will tell us they plan to "go BQ-9000" ASAP.

We'll keep you posted

Clarification from our March 2006 issue:
On page 26 of the Business Briefs section, the Business story about Consolidated Biofuels finding a financial advisor in January quotes President and CEO Christopher Sharon. Since January, Sharon is no longer president of the company. Jim Blair, formerly of SoyMor LLC in Glenville, Minn., is the new president and CEO.
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