At the fifth annual National Biodiesel Conference and Expo in Orlando, FL, this past February, industry experts predicted that biodiesel use will grow to one billion gallons a year in the next few years. This estimation shifted attention toward the sustainability and development of biodiesel. The focus of the development was on cost-effective, high-yielding and a diverse supply of biodiesel sources to counter the unpredictability of biodiesel prices. The National Biodiesel Board (NBB) has launched an initiative that will research new sources for biodiesel including algae.

Joe Jobe, CEO of NBB said, “We’re entering a new and challenging era for the biodiesel industry. It is critical that we take opportunities to broaden the way we look at the industry. We must make sure our feedstock supply can meet the growing demand for high quality biodiesel in environmentally sustainable ways. The conference was so successful because we did our best to include all voices on critical issues including a focus on regulatory priorities.”

Additional information that strengthened the future of biodiesel came from the Steel Tank Institute during the recent announcement at the National Tanks Conference and Expo in Atlanta, GA that biodiesel can be safely stored in underground steel storage tanks. As a result of testing, it was found that the biodiesel and biodiesel blends had such little impact on the carbon steel tanks that it could not be measured.

“In nearly a decade of experience covering hundreds of millions of gallons of biodiesel being used, we have not experienced any problems with the compatibility of biodiesel blends in underground storage tanks,” said Don Scott, a technical engineer with the National Biodiesel Board. “Biodiesel is non-toxic and biodegradable, and we are committed to promoting and encouraging environmentally safe storage and handling procedures,” he added.

Ron Shaffer of Containment Solutions which makes fiberglass parts for over 300,000 storage tanks said, “Our experience indicates no ill-effects of biodiesel on our fiberglass tanks. We have concluded that biodiesel is safe to use in all our tanks.”

Still more good news came for biodiesel late last month when the National Biodiesel Foundation made it easier for truckers to access biodiesel with the launch of the BioTrucker Fuel Card. This card will provide a list of stations that have biodiesel, as well as an easy way to pay for biodiesel, cash advances, tire and repair discounts, and route planning software. The card is accepted at 4900 retail stations and three of these already offer a $.02 discount per gallon on biodiesel when using the card.

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The BioTrucker Fuel Card will make it easier for truckers to pay for biodiesel with discounts offered in some locations. Credit: DOE/NREL

Tom Verry, Executive Director of the National Biodiesel Foundation said, “At the Mid-America Trucking Show, truckers are always asking us where they can find biodiesel. The BioTrucker Fuel Card not only helps them find biodiesel, but helps them save money when they purchase biodiesel.”

For more information on the card, visit:

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