April 2008

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Business Briefs

Blackmer ProVane Motor Speed Vane Pump

Blackmer pump offers cost-effectiveness



Nikhil Patel, research scientist at the EERC, works on a bench-scale thermally integrated biomass gasifier.

Is Biomethanol in Biodiesel's Future?

By Anduin Kirkbride McElroy

Biomethanol could offer biodiesel producers the opportunity to be free of fossil fuels. And production cost and timing may be better than previously thought.

Jobe called for the biodiesel industry to set its course by navigating by the light of the stars rather than by the light of passing ships.

Plotting a Safe Landing in CHALLENGING TIMES

By Ron Kotrba, Jerry W. Kram and Susanne Retka Schill

Perseverance, sustainability and alternatives were three broad themes of the 2008 National Biodiesel Conference & Expo in Orlando, Fla., in early February, as the industry adapts to changing market, agricultural and ecological dynamics.

Florida has a bustling biodiesel industry and a number of major companies have made strong commitments to use the renewable fuel. Three of those companies were featured presenters and were recognized for their use and promotion of biodiesel at the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo in Florida. Photos and story by Jerry Kram.

Feedstocks, and better yet, sustainable feedstocks, were hot topics at the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo.

The Fourth Hour

By Ron Kotrba

Select speakers at the National Biodiesel Conference discussed ways to expand market and transport options for U.S. biodiesel while keeping a close eye on quality, all in the attempt to gain acceptance in the mainstream petroleum infrastructure.

University of Arkansas researchers find that using supercritical methanol in the biodiesel production process could alleviate some of the challenges to the cost-competitive production of the fuel.

Tom Davanzo should be angry. In 2007, his burgeoning biodiesel empire slid into an agonizing death spiral, then bankruptcy. Now he's being kicked out of bankruptcy court because he doesn't have any money. He can't even raise exit financing. What happened? To sum it up: feedstock prices gone through the roof, fickle financiers, razor-thin capitalization of projects if you can corral a financing package, brutal construction costs, you name it. Yet Davanzo emerges from the ashes with cautious optimism. "I'm an entrepreneur," he says. "I'll be back."

A new documentary featuring biodiesel recently made waves at the Sundance Film Festival where it received standing ovations after every sold-out screening. Plans are in the works to distribute the film on a national level later this year.

Stabilizing Biodiesel Blends from Multiple Feedstocks

By Emily Schneller and Vincent Gatto

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