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Bringing Advanced Biofuels to Omaha

By Anna Simet | September 06, 2013

Next week, our team here at BBI International and Biomass Magazine will be heading off to the National Advanced Biofuel Conference & Expo in Omaha, Neb.

While the entire agenda is fantastic, I am really looking forward to the Keynote Conversations panel, during which six advanced biofuel industry leaders will discuss industry highlights, market growth, successes and challenges in the ethanol, biodiesel, advanced biofuel and algae biomass industry segments.

Starting our conferences this way has become a trend, because it’s a great way to kick off several days of intense discussion. Not only does it serve as an initial motivator and positive reinforcer, but it also pulls some heads out of the clouds and reminds us of the challenges we must overcome.

Another panel that I’m really looking forward to—and not just because I am moderating it—is “The Critical Nature of the RFS to Today’s and Tomorrow’s Biofuel Producers.”

It’s been an interesting few years for the RFS, to say the least. Despite multiple fervid attempts to dismantle  it, thanks to those who believe in and fight for it, it still remains. We’ve seen targets drastically changed, we’ve seen new advanced biofuel pathways approved, we’ve seen biogas added as a RIN qualifier.  It hasn’t been perfect—it was never expected to be—but as time goes on, we’ll continue to mold it into a very successful tool.

Joining me on this panel will be John Christianson, principal at Christianson & Associates PLLP, who will discuss the Farm Bill, tax policies and credits critical to the future of advanced biofuels; Greg Linde, research associate at the Energy Biosciences Institute at the University of Illinois, who will discuss moving forward with the RFS amidst implementation issues; and Jon Scharingson, executive director of sales and marketing at Renewable Energy Group, who will discuss biodiesel’s role in the RIN Market.

This panel, as well the others, general sessions and entire conference as a whole, are what I think is, ultimately, a great deal of teamwork.

We’re putting our heads together.

We’re sharing ideas and successes.

We’re finding ways, together, to overcome barriers.

Most importantly, we’re continuing the pursuit to produce cleaner, renewable, and homegrown replacements for foreign oil imports and fossil fuels.  

It’s going to be a great event. Hope to see you next week.