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Iowa Soybean Association CEO Honored for Biodiesel Leadership

Iowa Soybean Association CEO Kirk Leeds headlined a strong group of award winners for biodiesel leadership at the recent National Biodiesel Conference and Expo. Leeds won the National Biodiesel Board’s (NBB’s) Eye on Biodiesel Award for industry partnership.

Leeds, pictured above, has been a leader among the soybean-farmer organizations that have supported the biodiesel industry since its creation more than 20 years ago. Strong relationships between soy organizations, including the Iowa Soybean Association, and biodiesel producers have been instrumental in building the biodiesel industry into the major soybean-oil market that it is today.

Other winners of NBB’s Eye on Biodiesel Awards included:

  • Impact Award: the California Air Resources Board
  • Innovation Award: General Motors for the B20-approved Chevrolet Cruze
  • Inspiration Award: Len Hering, retired rear admiral, U.S. Navy; executive director of the California Center for Sustainable Energy

Kirk Leads accepting the NBB Eye on Biodiesel Award for industry partnership.

Heating-Oil Users Continue Switch to Bioheat

Michael Ferrante told attendees at the Biodiesel Conference that Bioheat® will be “what saves the heating-oil industry.”

This fuel, a blend of biodiesel with traditional heating oil, compares very favorably with its top competitor, natural gas, in emissions and efficiency. It’s because of these benefits that many heating-oil suppliers in the mid-Atlantic and northeastern regions of the United States continue to adopt the use of this alternative fuel.

It’s also the reason some governments are requiring its use. For instance, New York City will heat all city-owned buildings with 5 percent blends of Bioheat beginning in October 2014. Eventually, the city hopes to ramp up to B20 blends. Many suppliers in the region already sell B20 blends.

“Some say Bioheat is a game-changer for biodiesel; I would look at the mirror image and say that biodiesel is a game-changer for the heating-oil industry,” says Eric DeGesero of the Fuel Merchants Association of New Jersey.

Researcher Studies Way to Make Soybean Oil Better for You, Better for Biodiesel

Through a technique known as mutagenesis, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale student James Anderson hopes to improve the fatty-acid profile of soybean oil and possibly create a high-energy soybean for biodiesel production.

As part of the project, Anderson hopes to increase the amount of oleic, linoleic and stearic acid in the soybean, which would result in soybean oil that is better for people to eat and better for biodiesel production. He says these changes are not possible through traditional breeding.

“If I can create a line that has 12 percent stearic acid instead of 3 percent, then you will have a feedstock that has better gas mileage and more BTUs,” Anderson says.

Biodiesel on the Big Screen

Soybean farmers and biodiesel producers have supporters in Hollywood.

Jeremy Wagener and Scott Roberts screened scenes of the documentary film they co-directed, called “Gas Hole.” The film chronicles the history of fuel prices in the United States and praises biodiesel as a viable alternative that can help reduce America’s dependence on petroleum.

“What you guys are doing is the right thing – good for the American people, good for farmers,” Wagener told conference attendees after the screening. “This issue affects us all equally and we’re all at the mercy of the same addiction. We have to stand up to it.”

Watch “Gas Hole” on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon.

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