Preview: Winter 2017 print edition of Biodiesel Magazine

A sneak peak at the contents of our 2017 Winter print edition of Biodiesel Magazine
By Ron Kotrba | December 27, 2016

We just sent the Winter 2017 edition of Biodiesel Magazine to print, and I would like to share some of its contents with you. It’s a fine-looking magazine with outstanding stories following one of the best years the U.S. biodiesel sector has ever seen. In addition to the several articles I wrote, we have many pieces written by some of the biggest companies and brightest minds in biodiesel. Here’s what we have in store.

Feature Articles

Biodiesel Renaissance

A resurgence in the U.S. biodiesel industry has occurred in 2016, given favorable conditions resulting from a stabilized RFS policy and the tax credit in play. Despite sustained low petroleum prices, more biodiesel plant expansions, upgrades and acquisitions were announced in 2016 than in any time in recent memory, signaling a sound industry future by strategic investors in the sector. Consumption in the U.S. market may hit upwards of 2.5 billion gallons of biodiesel and renewable diesel in 2016. The picture is not entirely rosy though. The positive, bullish U.S. biodiesel market conditions have brought an influx of imports, perhaps topping the 800-million-gallon mark, which U.S. producers and their industry association hope to curb in 2017 by reforming the blenders tax credit to a domestic producers credit. In addition, the tax credit is lapsing and we have a new, unpredictable Republican president taking the helm with a Republican-controlled Congress, providing a different kind of uncertainty. Will the U.S. biodiesel renaissance continue in 2017? Biodiesel Magazine is placing its bets on it. In this article I write, prominent stakeholders share their thoughts on these topics and more as they provide perspectives on developments over the past year and where the sector is headed.

A Proven Biodiesel Process Technology Track Record

A prolific biodiesel plant builder and process technology provider, Styria, Austria-based BDI-BioEnergy International AG, recently turned 20 years old, a milestone celebrated in Vienna this fall. Biodiesel Magazine was there. With plants built or upgraded by BDI all over Europe—and globally from Australia to California to Hong Kong—BDI’s process controls and plant designs are as ubiquitous as they come in this field. This article, written by me, provides an overview of the company’s beginnings, its technology developments and market penetration, and what the future holds for this well-rooted mainstay in the international biodiesel culture.

World Energy and its acquisitions spell out opportunity in the domestic biodiesel industry after several tough market years. What’s providing the impetus for the World Energy’s, and the wider industry’s, growth? The company’s strategic acquisitions and pipeline access provide a glimpse of biodiesel’s future. Founder Gene Gebolys writes a compelling piece about the company’s origins, transformation and lessons learned.

Renewable Energy Group celebrated its 10-year anniversary as an independent company in 2016, spinning out of West Central Co-op in 2006. This article, written by Anthony Hulen, REG’s executive director of corporate affairs, gives a look back at the beginnings of what has grown to be the largest U.S. biodiesel maker and one of the world’s largest industry pure-players, its evolution, expansion and progress, plus an outlook for what’s to come from this biodiesel giant.

Springhouse Consulting owner Will Smith, the former engineering manager at Pacific Biodiesel, provides an in-depth overview of alternative feedstock processing. This article explores technologies—including distillation, and its advantages and disadvantages—and best practices used by biodiesel producers processing yellow grease, distillers corn oil and even brown grease, the industry’s most enigmatic feedstock.


Banner & Witcoff attorney Benjamin Spehlmann provides a Legal Perspectives column on maintaining effective patent portfolios in the biodiesel industry. Breakthrough biodiesel technologies with promising commercial potential must be patent protected using a comprehensive and robust approach. This column focuses on how a portfolio of patents should be managed over time, to be sure it is aligned with changes in the technology as it is developed, as well as changes in business objectives of licensors and other interested parties.

EcoEngineers COO Karyn Jones delivers an informative Talking Point column on the U.S. EPA’s proposed Renewables Enhancement and Growth Support, or REGS, rule and what this could mean for biodiesel producers.

Behind the Scenes. Pumps, electrical motors, heat exchangers, process controls and automation are integral to biodiesel production, from the largest commercial facilities to small community-scale endeavors. This piece I write covers the basics on these essentials and identifies developments in the field. 

Inside NBB

The four-page section from the U.S. biodiesel trade association, the National Biodiesel Board, will feature the latest updates from inside the organization. Leading off the section is a column by the new NBB CEO, Donnell Rehagen.

Finally, I want to extend my gratitude to those advertisers who supported this industry through supporting our publication, which has served the biodiesel industry since 2004. A big thank you to the following companies and organizations:

2017 National Advanced Biofuels Conference & Expo

AMERIgreen Energy

AOCS American Oil Chemists

BDI-BioEnergy International AG

Desmet Ballestra North America

Dexsil Corporation


Future International Diversiļ¬ed Inc.

Global Refractory Installers and Suppliers


Iowa Central Fuel Testing Lab

Jatrodiesel Inc.

Lanxess Energizing Chemistry

Louis Dreyfus Company

NBB National Biodiesel Board

Renewable Energy Group Inc.

I hope the Holidays are providing you with time to spend with family and friends, and may the New Year bring as much prosperity as 2016 brought, or even more so. Cheers!