California Biodiesel Alliance News
California's Biodiesel Industry Trade Association
This month Idemitsu Apollo joins CBA as a Bronze business member, and we are happy to welcome the company here and in the Member section below.
Because key dates for compliance under the new ADF regulation and for applying for pathways under LCFS are coming up in January, we begin with articles on these issues.
EPA has delivered their final proposed rule on RFS volume numbers to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and approval is imminent! We begin with a related article in which former Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) calls biodiesel a good card to play in the context of the high stakes strategy involved in U.S. participation in the UN climate talks in Paris. But first, check out this op-ed in the Modesto Bee by Harry Simpson of Crimson Renewable Energy.
CBA board members Jennifer Case of New Leaf Biofuel and Harry Simpson participated in this month's national industry lobby event to advocate for a biodiesel producer's tax credit.
CBA also participated in a meeting and lively discussion with OMB staff, organized by the National Biodiesel Board,
making a final pitch for
obust RVO numbers.
The team's demonstration of the low cost of biodiesel as a carbon displacement tool was particularly impactful as the Obama Administration prepared for the Paris talks.
See more on what you can do on the federal producer's tax credit and get updates on the Biofuels Initiative, CEC funding efforts, a UST closure workshop, and more in the Policy section below.
Correction: In September's newsletter the following sentence in the article "Air Resources Board votes to Re-adopt LCFS and Adopt ADF " should have read: The regulation includes fleet and retail exemptions for B20 where use is only in light and medium duty vehicles or heavy duty vehicles with NOx neutral technologies such as NTDEs. This correction has been made in the archived version of the newsletter and on the CBA home page. The words "with mitigation" were removed because the exemption is specifically from the In-u
se requirement of mitigation.
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The California Biodiesel Alliance Presents the 2016
CBA's 5th annual conference will focus on the new era of regulatory stability for biodiesel in California created by the re-adoption of the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) and the adoption of the Alternative Diesel Fuel Regulation (ADF).
The conference will also highlight our coalition efforts with other biofuels to secure funding from Cap and Trade proceeds for the low carbon biofuels that are available here and now to help the state reach its climate change solutions goals.
We are excited to bring experts to share how our recent legislative success will boost the market; what strategic alliances - here and in the region - mean for biodiesel's future possibilities; the latest on federal regulations, feedstocks, and much more!
An absolute must
for anyone doing or wanting to do business in California!
Join Us to receive a member discount!
ARB Workshop Clarifies Biodiesel Pathway Issues under New LCFS
The California Air Resources Board (ARB) began accepting requests for new pathways and the recertification of legacy pathways that qualify, via the Alternative Fuels Portal (AFP) on November 10th, shortly following the agency's November 6th workshop. The workshop on how to register and apply for pathways previewed the AFP, which includes the LCFS Reporting Tool and Credit Bank and Transfer System (LRT-CBTS). Under the new LCFS, which goes into effect on January 1, 2016, all pathways under the original LCFS will sunset on December 31st 2016, and new CI scores specific to each fuel must be calculated using the new CA-GREET 2.0 through the AFP. Requests for pathway certifications are required by January 31st, 2016 to assure a new value by the end of 2016.
ARB has published draft guidance and FAQ documents, which are must-study documents for applicants, who need to first determine how their pathway is classified in the new two-tiered system. It's important to know that not all existing pathways are eligible for recertification. ARB's webpage providing
Legacy and New Pathways Guidance Documents and Associated Links is here:
The decision tree in Figure 2. "Navigating Re-certification" in the ARB's
Draft Guidance Document for LCFS Pathway Re-certification
("legacy-11052015.pdf") is a reference for determining pathway schemes going forward based on past classifications. We hope the following information for biodiesel pathways, based on that information and some special factors discussed by ARB staff at the meeting, is helpful:
- Legacy Method 1 UCO to Biodiesel from UCO: Because these biodiesel pathways under CA-GREET 1.8b are not listed in the new Tier 2 Lookup Table (Table 6 in section 95488(c)(4)(F) of the regulation), they are not eligible for re-certification. Applicants must request a new Tier 1 pathway and submit full documentation, including energy use and process parameters for biodiesel production and transport distance for feedstock and fuel.
- Biodiesel from "no cook" UCO: Because biodiesel made from "no cook" UCO was a former legacy Method 1 but is not in the new Tier 1 Calculator of the CA-GREET 2.0, a Tier 2 application is required, and information to demonstrate that the feedstock uses the "no-cook" process must be provided. Applicants are requested to contact Anil Prahbu to discuss specifics of the application process, the use of CA-GREET 2.0-Tier 2, and whether a Tier 2 Method 2B application is appropriate. Anil Prabhu, Manager, Fuels Evaluation Section: Anil.Prabhu@arb.ca.gov (916) 445-9227.
- Biodiesel from corn oil: The default wet corn oil CI of 28 is available for re-certification and for new applicants with a new Tier 1 application. To prove a lower CI, two years of actual data on energy use in drying for each ethanol source plant is now required, and each would be a different pathway. The default previously used to estimate energy use by natural gas-fired DGS dryers of "9,900 Btu/gal per gallon of ethanol produced" is no longer available.
An important change in the
CA-GREET 2.0 model
is that tallow and UCO pathways now account for the transport of feedstocks.
Regarding the difficulty of knowing what UCO transportation distances to use when brokers are involved, ARB staff stated at the November 6th, 2015 public workshop that producers must secure that information and may use their averages if the UCO is collected within
There will be no use of the new GREET 2.0. scores (including iLUC) until all scores have been recalculated. All certifications will be processed and released in batches by fuel type at the same time to ensure fairness in the marketplace.
ARB intends to release new biodiesel pathways during the second quarter
The CIs of legacy pathways will remain in effect until the pathways are recertified or until January 1, 2017.
ARB staff requested comments on issues that came up in discussion during the workshop, including whether the new CI scores should be retroactive to the beginning of the quarter in which they are released. The workshop also discussed the use of third-party fuel pathway monitoring, verification, and voluntary sustainability certification in the program. The agency is requesting comments on these issues but has yet to issue any proposals. They plan to do so in early 2016.
ADF Reporting Requirements to Begin January 1, 2016
The full requirements of the Alternative Diesel Fuel (ADF) regulation are not enacted until January 1st, 2018, but reporting requirements begin January 1st, 2016. CBA is working to provide helpful information and will post updates on our Home page as they become available.
Reporting requirements begin January 1st, 2016 for producers, importers, and blenders. Quarterly reports must be submitted to the Executive Officer by the end of the following reporting period.
Section 2293.8 of the regulation details Reporting and Recordkeeping requirements for biodiesel. Biodiesel enters the regulation as a Stage 3A fuel.
Play All Our Cards on Cimate, Including Biodiesel
By former Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.)
Flexing our global leadership, the U.S. has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26 percent by 2025 under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. This is an ambitious yet achievable goal for protecting future generations from the consequences of climate change, and accomplishing it will require aggressive action.
Like a smart poker player, we have to capitalize on the good cards we have.
One of those is biodiesel, a renewable fuel made from recycled cooking grease, plant oils, and animal fats that packs an unusually powerful punch in cutting pollution. According to the EPA, every gallon of biodiesel we burn instead of petroleum diesel reduces carbon emissions by 57 percent to 86 percent. Biodiesel can be used in any diesel engine, and particularly when used with new advanced diesel technologies, the environmental performance is unparalleled.
It is precisely the kind of tool we need to make a difference in our effort to reduce carbon in a practical, cost-effective way. And the Administration can do much more to fully take advantage of biodiesel's promise.
The EPA recently unveiled a proposal for establishing biodiesel volumes under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the program created under President George W. Bush to require growing volumes of renewable fuel to be blended into the nation's fuel stream.
The RFS doesn't just reduce emissions, it helps consumers by diversifying the fuels market, and it creates jobs and strengthens our energy security by developing new domestic energy sources. But it is particularly critical for our climate fight because the transportation sector accounts for more than one-fourth of the nation's greenhouse gas emissions - second only to electricity.
To truly address climate change, we need much more progress with the cars and trucks we drive, and the RFS is the best policy we have to clean up our fuels. In addition, it is a solution that doesn't need approval from a gridlocked Congress. The RFS was created 10 years ago with overwhelming bipartisan support from Congress, and the administration has broad discretion to maximize its effectiveness now with the stroke of a pen. For biodiesel, the law gives the EPA wide authority to increase standards to require significantly more biodiesel to be blended into our diesel supplies.
Under the pending EPA proposal, biodiesel volumes would grow, but only slightly above the status quo. The EPA has proposed requiring 1.8 billion gallons of biodiesel in 2016 and 1.9 billion gallons in 2017. That's not much more than we're already using, and there is plenty of existing U.S. capacity to produce significantly more.
If we instead increased biodiesel use by about 350 million gallons annually through 2025, biodiesel would account for about 9 percent of diesel consumption. But it would provide enough carbon reduction to achieve 18 percent of the entire transportation sector's share of our U.N. goal.
The recent growth of biodiesel as a low-carbon alternative fuel represents a major success of the RFS and of this Administration's goals for reducing our dependence on oil and cutting emissions. The RFS has spurred investment, expansion and hiring in the industry. While biodiesel was and is often overshadowed by corn ethanol in the renewable fuels debate, its growth from a niche fuel just a decade ago to a commercial-scale industry with a U.S market of nearly 2 billion gallons should be celebrated and supported.
Most importantly, it should be encouraged with smart policy that continues biodiesel's expansion and helps us achieve our shared goals for a healthier environment, a competitive fuel marketplace, and a stronger economy.
Dorgan served in the Senate from 1992 to 2011 and in the House from 1981 to 1992. He is currently senior policy adviser at Arent Fox, whose clients include the National Biodiesel Board.
Standard Helps Soybean Value
Posted November 17, 2015 by Jane Fysken
California's commitment to reducing carbon emissions could mean more value for U.S. soybeans. Biodiesel was recently given the best carbon score among all liquid fuels in California's revised Low Carbon Fuels Standard, boosting the fuel's demand potential in the nation's most populated state.
"California's reaffirmation of biodiesel as a low-carbon fuel is good news for soybean farmers in the U.S.," said Robert Stobaugh, an Arkansas soybean farmer and soybean-checkoff leader. "Biodiesel is great for the environment. This latest analysis shows that it's almost as clean as electric."
According to California's new standard, biodiesel reduces emission between 50 percent and 80 percent relative to conventional fuel.
"Anytime we as farmers can support making our air cleaner with something we're already doing - like producing soybeans sustainably - that's good for all of us," Stobaugh said.
Soybean oil is the primary feedstock for biodiesel, which is why the soybean checkoff supports research to demonstrate biodiesel's sustainability benefits. The checkoff's life-cycle analysis of soybeans, along with other research conducted in cooperation with the National Biodiesel Board, provided data that helped California decision makers determine biodiesel's carbon score.
One of the most interesting changes in the revised standard, said Don Scott, director of sustainability for National Biodiesel Board, is in indirect land-use change estimates. In a life-cycle analysis, researchers estimate the amount of land that is put into production to create a fuel, versus for other uses.
"Soybeans, for example, are 20 percent oil and 80 percent meal, so as demand increases for oil, more meal in the market has positive benefits for animal agriculture and can displace other crops," Scott said.
That displacement was acknowledged in the new standard.
Even though farmers aren't directly producing biodiesel, soybean farmers benefit from increased demand for the fuel.
"They're producing a low-carbon feedstock, and as California and other regions put value on carbon reduction, that commodity has a value that will benefit farmers," Scott said.
As for the decision's impact on the California fuel market, Scott said biodiesel has several advantages in the marketplace. Fuel providers can blend biodiesel in existing infrastructure and drivers can use it in vehicles on the road now. The fuel's low carbon scores will give fuel companies another incentive to provide biodiesel blends.
Free Sample Analysis Program for NBB Producer Members
To: National Biodiesel Board (NBB) Producer Members
From: Steve Howell, MARC-IV, and NBB Senior Technical Advisor
Scott Fenwick, NBB Technical Director
RE: Free Sample Analysis Program: KF water, metals content, particulate contamination, and stability testing from Iowa Central Laboratory and NBB at no cost to NBB Producers
We are happy to announce that NBB, as part of your member benefits, is working with Iowa Central Fuel Testing Laboratory to provide no-cost sample analysis for the biodiesel industry that will provide baseline data on biodiesel parameters that are being considered for addition or change at ASTM. Below is some background on the recent events that are prompting this activity, as well as details of how you-as an NBB producer member-can take advantage of this unique opportunity to obtain valuable technical information on your production at no cost for NBB producer members!
Many of you have used the high quality services of the industry's first BQ-9000 approved laboratory, and NBB is quite proud of our involvement in helping Iowa Central to get their laboratory up and running. This has truly been a win-win situation. Iowa Central is generating self-sustaining revenue by serving over 200 clients across the U. S. and would now like to give something back to the industry. We are extremely grateful Iowa Central has volunteered their time and resources to test samples at no cost for NBB producer members on parameters that are a current hot topic. More data and information is needed as we head into some uncharted territory with potential new diesel parameters and specifications, and possibly more restrictive metals and/or stability specifications. The no-cost analysis of metals, Karl Fischer (KF) water, particulate contamination and stability should be especially helpful for producers that may not analyze these parameters on a routine basis.
As you know, we have major projects on-going with metals content (Ca/Mg, Na/K) impacts on new exhaust after-treatment systems and with impacts of new high pressure common rail fuel injection systems on biodiesel blend stability. These projects are nearing completion and their results-along with other negotiations on B20 support with the B5 OEMs-may result in the need to consider changes to the ASTM specifications for both metals and stability.
In addition to this, the engine community-through leadership of Mr. Roger Gault of the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association (EMA)-will be proposing ballots at ASTM for D975 diesel fuel (and D7467, B6-B20 blends) to remove the current D2709 water and sediment specification and replace it with a Karl Fischer water specification of ~200 ppm and a particulate contamination specification of ~24 mg/kg. These values correspond to those in the European EN590 diesel fuel specification. EMA has also put the fuel community on notice that it intends on pursuing an additional method for particle counting into standards for diesel fuels, as some fuel injection equipment companies have already instituted commercial limits or recommendations for the particle count of diesel fuel for warranty purposes to engine makers.
How many samples can you submit? How will the data be used?
Iowa Central has agreed to analyze two samples from each NBB producer member production plant for the following parameters:
- EN 14538 and D4951 Metals content
- D6304 KF moisture
- D7321 Particulate Contamination
- EN15751 Stability
We are requesting one sample of 'average' production and one sample of what you would consider 'worst case' for your particular production technology and feedstock mix considering the parameters mentioned above. All sample results will be confidential to NBB and the participants.
Iowa Central will provide to each producer a copy of their particular sample results. Iowa Central will then place all results into a spreadsheet, with sample identity and company information removed, and randomize the results. The randomized results spreadsheet for all samples, along with some statistics, will then be forwarded on the condition of confidentiality to all participants, and to Mr. Steve Howell (MARC-IV and NBB Senior Technical Advisor) and Mr. Scott Fenwick (NBB Technical Director). This will be similar to the data received by participants in the ASTM analytical lab cross check program. With sufficient participation this should provide a good idea of the industry baseline on these new parameters as they are discussed in various forums moving forward.
At this point, there are no plans to share the information in public or use the information outside NBB internal discussion and deliberations with supplier members on these new properties. If, based on member discussions, it makes sense to share some or part of the information in a more public forum, you will be contacted with a description of how the data will be used and for your permission to use your data in that way. To repeat, the only entity that will have any specific information about your company's samples will be Iowa Central.
How to get your free analysis?
All you need to do to get your free analysis is contact Iowa Central and say that you are interested in participating in the NBB Free Sample Analysis Program. Iowa Central will then ship a postage paid sample kit containing clean sample bottles, sampling instructions, and proper shipping containers and labels for returning the samples to Iowa Central to the location of your choice. The sample kits and sample analysis are all being provided at no cost by Iowa Central and the National Biodiesel Board. You can contact Iowa Central through email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 515-574-1259.
We have enlisted the support of Mark Tarrien, previously with Green Earth and now working as a part-time associate with MARC-IV Consulting, to contact NBB producer members to share this unique opportunity and answer any questions you may have. You can expect an email or phone call from Mr. Tarrien to make sure you have received the information.
CALIFORNIA INDUSTRY NEWS
San Diego News: New Leaf Biofuel Celebrates Expansion of San Diego Plant
San Diego, California -
Leaf Biofuel, which struggled through a rough time for biofuels last year, celebrated its expansion this month to a 5-million-gallon annual production plant for very low carbon biodiesel with a grant from the California Energy Commission.
The plant produces fuel that is 90 percent less carbon per gallon than standard diesel fuel. By contrast, an electric car like the Nissan Leaf or Tesla uses electricity that is 65 percent less carbon than gasoline. This reduction in carbon dioxide is important since it is a source of greenhouse gases. Transportation accounts for 38 percent of all carbon emissions in California.
New Leaf Biofuel produced as much as 1.5 million gallons of biodiesel in 2012 and was poised to make much more. A change in public policies loomed in 2014 and production fell. Thanks to its President Jennifer Case, the company not only survived, but is ramping back up. The plant converts local waste streams, including used cooking oil from 1,500 restaurants, into biodiesel. The biodiesel can be used with existing diesel engines and blended with diesel fuel that can be used in existing truck fleets.
New Leaf Biofuel is contributing to California's goal of reducing carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050. It is also helping reach Gov. Jerry Brown's goal to reduce petroleum use by 50 percent by 2030. The company also created 25 jobs in Barrio Logan, an economically disadvantaged neighborhood in San Diego. The Energy Commission contributed more than $500,000 to the plant expansion. Jim McKinney, project manager for the Energy Commission's Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program, assisted Case with the ribbon cutting.
State Sen. Ben Hueso (D-San Diego) and Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) also attended the ceremony celebrating the expansion.
States News Service: Public Transportation Organizations Recognized for Sustainability Accomplishments
Posted November 12, 2015 by APTA
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) recognized five organizations today for their outstanding sustainability achievements which have met specific criteria through the APTA Sustainability Commitment program. Public transit agencies and businesses that voluntarily participate in the APTA Sustainability Commitment program commit to implementing processes and actions that create continuous improvements in environmental, social, and economic sustainability. Depending on the level of accomplishments, organizations are presented Platinum, Gold, Silver, and Bronze Level certifications.
The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (San Francisco, CA) and TransLink (Vancouver, BC) received the prestigious Platinum Level recognition, the highest level of certification, and are now two of only four organizations to be recognized at this level. Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (Portland, OR) received Gold Level recognition and SYSTRA (New York, NY) received Silver Level recognition. Rounding out the list of recognized signatories is the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (Atlanta, GA) with Bronze Level recognition.
First started in 2009, the APTA Sustainability Commitment Program now features 132 public transit agencies and businesses that have signed on as signatories. Currently, 32 of these signatories have received recognition, as determined by specific measured achievements.
"Sustainability makes good business sense and good environmental sense," said APTA President and CEO Michael Melaniphy. "Congratulations to these organizations which are models of sustainability excellence. Their leadership in implementing sustainable practices makes their communities better, greener places to live."
Below are some examples of the sustainable accomplishments that this year's recipients have achieved.
PLATINUM Level San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) San Francisco, California
SFMTA advanced to Platinum Level recognition this year, becoming one of only four public transit organizations to attain the highest standard of sustainability achievement. In a period of extreme drought in California, SFMTA cut its water consumption by 25 percent to mitigate its impact on depleted local and state water resources from 2010-2013. The agency also cut its criteria air pollutant emissions by nearly 96 percent and cut fuel costs by 25 percent during the same three year period, thanks to efforts in operating one of the largest biodiesel bus fleets in the country, which runs on recycled cooking oils and grease from San Francisco small restaurants and residential collection centers. SFMTA's biodiesel initiatives are also the agency's primary tool in reducing greenhouse gas emissions by over 36 percent since 1990. SFMTA was a founding signatory of the APTA Sustainability Commitment in 2009 and received Gold Level recognition in 2013.
PLATINUM Level South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority (TransLink) Vancouver, Canada
TransLink advanced to Platinum Level recognition this year, becoming one of four public transit organizations, and the first in Canada, to attain the highest standard of sustainability achievement. The agency had many notable accomplishments, including a nearly 60 percent increase in its recycling rate and 20 percent decrease in water consumption since 2010. TransLink conducted a Climate Change Vulnerability Study to examine the resiliency of its system and now uses the findings to inform the project prioritization criteria in its asset management model. In 2013, the agency moved its head office to a LEED Gold-certified building located in a SkyTrain transit-oriented development, featuring elements such as a green and solar-reflective roof to mitigate urban heat island effect. TransLink was a founding signatory of the APTA Sustainability Commitment in 2009 and received Gold Level recognition in 2011.
GOLD Level Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District of Oregon (TriMet) Portland, Oregon
TriMet received Gold Level recognition in part to incorporating sustainability into the new MAX Orange Line and achievements in targeted indicator reductions. The Orange Line incorporated impressive sustainability elements such as functional habitat along a section of project track bed, regenerative braking at the SE Tacoma St/Johnson Creek station, the incorporation of active transportation elements in station design and access, and solar photovoltaic installations at almost every station platform. TriMet also realized a 13 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per revenue mile since 2009.
Thanks to improvements in TriMet operating and service efficiency, the agency saw a nearly 35 percent increase in savings of greenhouse gas emissions per passenger trip. This helps the region meet its targets for reducing emissions while improving connections to jobs, education and services. TriMet was a founding signatory of the APTA Sustainability Commitment in 2009.
SILVER Level SYSTRA Consulting, LLC New York, New York
SYSTRA received Silver Level recognition this year in part to its efforts in reducing material good consumption and in its electricity consumption. SYSTRA employees and office visitors consumed up to 1,300 gallons of bottled water on an annual basis until the company shifted to in-line filters, which greatly reduced the embodied energy and waste associated with bottled water. By using DocuSign, an online paperless internal approval process system and electronic invoicing, SYSTRA greatly reduced its paper consumption. Additionally, server upgrades helped SYSTRA reduce its electricity consumption by more than 11 percent from 2014 2015.
BRONZE Level Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) Atlanta, Georgia
MARTA received Bronze Level recognition in part to its efforts in demonstrating a spirit of continuous improvement and desire to further commit to agency sustainability. While not required for Bronze Level recognition, MARTA increased its recycling rate by more than 7 percent. The agency implemented a waste management program and conducts audits of its waste stream and generation. MARTA also has a program to replace its old fleet with CNG vehicles. MARTA was a founding signatory of the APTA Sustainability Commitment in 2009.
The American Public Transportation Association (APTA) is a nonprofit international association of 1,500 public and private sector organizations, engaged in the areas of bus, paratransit, light rail, commuter rail, subways, waterborne services, and intercity and high-speed passenger rail. This includes: transit systems; planning, design, construction, and finance firms; product and service providers; academic institutions; transit associations and state departments of transportation. APTA is the only association in North America that represents all modes of public transportation. APTA members serve the public interest by providing safe, efficient and economical transit services and products. More than 90 percent of the people using public transportation in the United States and Canada ride APTA member systems.