Biodiesel, renewable diesel join forces to unite sector

By The National Biodiesel Board | June 12, 2013

The National Biodiesel Board announced June 11 that it is opening its membership to include qualified renewable diesel producers in a move that will unite the advanced biofuels industry in the diesel sector.

The decision, made unanimously by NBB's governing board, consolidates under one tent the larger biodiesel industry with the younger and smaller renewable diesel industry, creating a stronger and more effective voice for both.

“We are excited to expand our membership to include renewable diesel producers,” said Joe Jobe, CEO of NBB, which traditionally has represented only biodiesel interests. “While produced with different technologies, biodiesel and renewable diesel are close cousins with a lot of shared interests, particularly in policy areas such as the RFS and the blender's tax incentive. Joining forces puts us in a much stronger position as a coalition to make our voice heard and spread the word that these policies are working and that advanced biofuels are here today.”

Jobe noted that with the change, NBB will represent the entire biomass-based diesel category under the renewable fuel standard.

“Bringing the renewable diesel sector under our big tent demonstrates once again that biodiesel is the most diverse fuel available today,” Jobe said. “And it's another representation of the important of diversifying our entire transportation fuels marketplace.”

Representatives of the renewable diesel producers echoed Jobe's statements.

“We have long been impressed with the work NBB does to represent the biodiesel industry and felt that joining forces was the next logical step,” said Randall C. Stuewe, president and chairman of the board of Darling International Inc., which is a 50 percent equity owner in Diamond Green Diesel, a Louisiana-based renewable diesel plant with annual production capability of more than 136 million gallons coming on line shortly.   “Many of the same issues face both biodiesel and renewable diesel producers and we're glad to be speaking with one voice on these issues.”

Biodiesel and renewable diesel are both made with renewable resources such as soybean oil, animal fats and recycled cooking oils. Biodiesel is produced through a natural chemical reaction that takes place when alcohol is introduced to oils or fats in the presence of a catalyst. In the production of renewable diesel, hydrogen is added to the oils or fats under high pressure and temperatures, converting it to a hydrocarbon very similar to diesel fuel refined from petroleum crude.

Both biodiesel and renewable diesel reduce greenhouse gas emissions, displace imported petroleum diesel, create jobs and economic activity, bolster our energy security, and are compatible with existing diesel engines and fuel distribution infrastructure.

According to EPA data, nearly 1.1 billion gallons of biomass-based diesel were produced in 2012. The category represents about 85 percent of the total advanced biofuel volumes produced under the RFS. About 90 percent of the production was biodiesel and about 10 percent was renewable diesel.


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