December 2006

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Business Briefs

Better Biodiesel Inc. acquires DEP



Editor's Note

By Tom Bryan

NBB In Sight

By Joe Jobe

Legal Perspective

By Todd J. Guerrero and Mark J. Hanson

Talking Point

By Jess Hewitt


This past year saw greater diffusion of novel production techniques worldwide, reaffirming the notion that this trade's process model is myriad, and its base is diverse.

From use by fleets to home heating oil, the popularity of biodiesel blends gained ground in the past year as people became more familiar with the renewable fuel's positive characteristics. For many, especially over-the-road truckers, fueling up with biodiesel has become synonymous with displaying the American flag.

Michigan Gov. Granholm signed a seven-bill package in July that granted several incentives to the biodiesel industry.

A Common Thread

By Lindsey Irwin

There was tight-knit support for biodiesel legislation in 2006 at the federal and state government levels, and from both sides of the political spectrum. Scores of new state bills sponsored by both Democrats and Republicans covered issues ranging from tax incentives to quality control. The increased activity leaves no doubt that biodiesel is increasingly becoming an important thread in the fabric of America's fuel supply.

Three biodiesel projects under construction in North Dakota plan on using canola oil as a feedstock.

Feedstock Flashback

By Holly Jessen

In the world of biodiesel feedstocks, soybeans continue to reign supreme. As the industry grows, however, some producers are singing the praises of other feedstocks such as canola, corn oil and grease.

Western Iowa Energy, designed by REG, started production of its 30 MMgy facility in Wall Lake, Iowa, in May.

How Significant Is Scale?

By Nicholas Zeman

Agriculture processing giants Bunge, Cargill Inc., and Archer Daniels Midland Co. entered the biodiesel game with mega-sized projects that could change the identity of methyl-ester manufacturing. As these plants come on line, the industry will continue to evaluate the efficiencies and deficiencies involved when agricultural processing is combined with biodiesel production on a large scale.

The National Biodiesel Board offers two biodiesel quality-control programs, one for producers and one for marketers.

A Defining Year

By Ron Kotrba

If this year taught just one lesson to biodiesel advocates, it was that this industry can't afford to sacrifice quality at such a defining, developmental moment in its history.

With the amount of theoretical production capacity far outweighing the current output of biodiesel operations, 2006 was a year of intense planning, fundraising and strategizing. As the dust settles, investors, bankers and others in the business are left with a lot of questions. Will the immense plans and ambitions of start-ups be brought to fruition, and how can companies secure logistical advantages in a fiercely competitive market?

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