Biofuels Gathering Unites Industry Leaders

The 2014 Advanced Biofuels Conference came and went with ideas shared about new technologies, biofuels opportunities and challenges the industry faces when it comes to policy and regulations.

Minnesota Soybean CEO Tom Slunecka and Senior Director of Field Services Mike Youngerberg attended the conference, held Oct. 13 and 14 in Minneapolis.

ABC-Youngerberg-web“The purpose of the conference was to have people present innovations in biofuels and biochemicals,” Youngerberg said. Youngerberg, who moderated the panel “Tracing the Continuing Innovation in Biodiesel and Renewable Diesel Approaches and Production,” said the Advanced Biofuels Conference is a unique conference in that industry leaders can learn about more than just biodiesel and ethanol.

The conference also served as a platform for Minnesota leaders to celebrate the successful implementation of 10 percent biodiesel (B10) in the state.

“National Biodiesel Board CEO Joe Jobe highlighted Minnesota and its work on biodiesel in his opening comments,” Youngerberg said. “The recognition was a good moment for our state, and it gave us a chance to toot our horn, so to say.”

Youngerberg said many attendees had questions or gave congratulations on Minnesota’s success with B10.

While Minnesota enjoyed its biodiesel fame at this year’s conference, another topic hung heavily over the attendees — the RFS and regulation in general.

Several speakers at the conference encouraged attendees to speak with their Congressional representatives to move toward a stable RFS program. Others criticized legislators. Mike McAdams, president of the Advanced

Biofuel Association, summed up the struggles the industry has faced throughout the year by crediting a bulk of the problems to “a Congress that only works 13 percent of the time.”
Youngerberg said some of the more interesting topics this year included panels on using feed stock for biofuels, new methods to create biodiesel and converting biomasses to gas to create a biogas.