Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance: The Good Guys Fight Back


We've heard about the problems with biodiesel many times before, most notably in Lloyd's post about Malaysian palm oil production endangering Orang Utans. We are relieved to hear then, via a post on Lyle Estill's blog over at Piedmont Biofuels (remember our 3 part interview with Lyle here, here and here?), that the grassroots end of the biofuels industry is reacting, and reacting strongly, to differentiate sustainable fuels from their unsustainable counterparts. As part of this process, the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance has been born (website in progress), and Lyle is certainly impressed:

"Wow. They have a working feedstock group, a production practices group, and an eye on marketing—the works. This is a group that is doing some work, even before it has a website in the world. Normally it's the other way around: nice website, no action in the world. And they are planning a Hard Rock Café kickoff fundraiser in New York City in the fall. Remarkable."

Lyle's post goes on to describe, and comment on, an initial proposal from Bob King of Pacific Biodiesel, on what sustainable biodiesel may look like. Read on after the jump for the suggested points that would need to be focused on:
• Efficient transportation from feedstock source
• Efficient transportation to end user
• Control of fugitive emissions of methanol from process
• Control of methanol emissions in waste products
• Emissions from boiler exhaust
• Correct transportation and use of glycerin byproduct
• Waste water disposal
• Absorbent disposal
• Renewable fuel source for heat
• Renewable source for electricity
• Overall energy efficiency of process and office

Lyle also points out that those on waste feedstocks should score higher than those on virgin, and suggests that construction of manufacturing facilities should also be taken into account — those reusing buildings and tanks should get credit over those building new facilities (Piedmont Biofuels operate out of an old aircraft manufacturing facility). As with any such list, there will be omissions, and much discussion and clarification to come, but any help in differentiating responsible, local biodiesel from its less ethical competitors can only be a welcome thing. ::Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance:: via Piedmont Biofuels::