Highest biodiesel awards honor history, lay path forward

By NBB Staff | March 12, 2013

As the National Biodiesel Board and the biodiesel industry celebrate their 20th anniversary, NBB recognizes biodiesel champions at the annual Eye on Biodiesel awards presentation. The 2013 winners are:

Industry Partnership: John Maniscalco, New York Oil Heating Association. New York City has become a shining example of biodiesel support as sustainability efforts continue to move forward. New York City recently passed landmark legislation: starting October 2012, all heating oil sold in the city must contain at least 2 percent biodiesel. Bioheat will now replace up to 20 million gallons of petroleum a year. The efforts of Maniscalco and the support provided by the New York Oil Heating Association made this unprecedented legislation possible.

Innovation: Leon Schumacher, University of Missouri. One of the first researchers to jump into biodiesel with both feet was Leon Schumacher, a professor of agricultural engineering at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Schumacher led the first engine tests of biodiesel in the U.S. including a 1991 Dodge Ram, which can still be seen on the university campus today. Biodiesel has become one of the most tested fuels on the planet. It began with this early research and continues today.

Inspiration: Las Vegas Biodiesel User Group—Gary H. Weinberg, Western Sierra Services; Ron Corbett, City of North Las Vegas; Frank Giordano, Clark County School District; James Morwood, Las Vegas Valley Water District; Dan Hyde, City of Las Vegas (retired). This group of biodiesel pioneers championed the alternative fuel against all odds in the 1990s to help it become the established fuel it is today. The Las Vegas Biodiesel User Group was among the first users of biodiesel in the nation. These fleets worked to overcome resistance, remove technical obstacles, and even successfully challenged large diesel equipment manufacturers to support biodiesel. “In the beginning, biodiesel had its struggles to gain support, like any new fuel,” said Ron Corbett, Clean Cities Coordinator for Las Vegas. “Those of us who were early champions are gratified to see biodiesel finally gaining the momentum it needs to become the fuel of choice.”

Influence: The United Soybean Board. As the National Biodiesel Board and the biodiesel industry celebrate two decades of biodiesel, NBB recognizes that the biodiesel industry would not have been possible without the United Soybean Board’s leadership and financial commitment through the soybean checkoff since 1992. Its continued support is instrumental in the growth of the biodiesel industry.

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