(Jamie) Welcome back to Farm Factor. Let’s join Duane and Rob as they discuss the many uses for biodiesel.
(Duane) Duane Toews joining you once again here on AGam in Kansas. We continue our discussion about renewables and energy out of agriculture. A chance to catch up with Rob Shaffer with the Illinois Soybean Board. A member, voting delegate with the National Biodiesel Board and Rob talking a little about biodiesel, obviously a product that has expanded soybean grower’s opportunities for profitability. (Rob) Biodiesel, by the EPA has been designated America’s first advanced biofuel. Majority feedstock for biodiesel is soybean oil. They crush the soybean, they get three products. They get soybean meal for feed and livestock, soy oil which people could fry their french fries and different things in, or you can take that oil and make it into biodiesel. And also they get soybean holes out of it. So, it’s a value added product for the Illinois soybean and nation wide soybean farmer. (Duane) We think about the opportunities for growth within that industry and it seems like new markets that we’re expanding into all the time, initially we thought about running it in our tractors, but we’re looking at heating homes in the northeast part of the country as well. (Rob) Yea, we got to go on a trip to Boston and a trip to New York City, where New York City has a two percent mandate, or requirement I should say, for heating oil. They don’t have a lot of access to natural gas or LP out in the east coast; they’re basically all off of oil fired burners to heat their homes. And we’re taking two percent in New York City of that basically putting two percent biodiesel in their heating oil to heat their homes. We’d love to get that up to five, ten, twenty percent biodiesel. But we call that bioheat product. (Duane) We think about some of the attributes with the refining that we have done with diesel fuel, removing some of those components. The lubricity that biodiesel brings back to it in engine life, looks pretty substantial as well. (Rob) Yea, and the biggest thing is that people that are running high levels of biodiesel have to have a very good relationship with their fuel suppliers. Number one to make sure they get good quality product and also to maintain their equipment, that would be fuel tanks, fuel lines, the bulk storage and also the tanks on the equipment, the fuel lines, filters, that kind of stuff. It’s not hard. It just has to be another level of maintenance that needs to be done to be able to run those high levels. (Duane) We think about the research and development that went into before it was brought to the marketplace to make sure that it met all those engine manufacturer’s requirements as well. (Rob) Exactly and we’re also working with the OEM’s or the engine manufacturers to make sure we meet their specs and then also it gets down to even the microns or the filter that you put on the equipment as far as the fuel filters. (Duane) Our thanks to Rob Schaffer with Illinois Soybeans, joining us as a voting delegate of the National Biodiesel Board from Kansas City, Missouri. Jamie back to you.
(Jamie) Thanks, Duane. OK, it’s time to grab a cup of coffee, but don’t go far away – next is this week’s Kansas Soybean Update.