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  • Writer's pictureRon Kotrba

The Experts Are In (This Magazine)


After covering the biobased diesel industry for more than 18 years, 14 of which I have spent as an editor, I find myself typically avoiding using this page—the editor’s note—to highlight articles or columnists featured in the ensuing pages of the magazine.


Usually, I find this space as a great opportunity to share my opinion on issues of the day that otherwise wouldn’t be included in the edition, or for late-breaking news that developed after the articles were completed and ready for print.


In many cases, the editor’s note is the last piece to be written before publishing, either because editors have been too busy preparing the magazine for print or because, at least in some instances, they really have nothing to say.


I find editor’s notes that shy away from real opinion or interesting industry developments and instead point out articles the reader would otherwise find on their own by simply thumbing through the pages quite pedestrian, actually.


Having said this, the collection of experts gathered in this 56- page book—the largest yet since I launched Biobased Diesel™ two years ago—is nothing short of impressive and noteworthy, in my humble opinion. In fact, I challenge any editor in this sector to assemble a better group of industry leaders.


Kelly King, co-founder of one of America’s oldest biodiesel-producing companies—Pacific Biodiesel—put pen to paper in an exclusive article for Biobased Diesel™ on page 46, “Community-Based Biodiesel is the Circular Economy,” in a great piece whose name says it all.


John Campbell, another true pioneer in biodiesel, with Ocean Park authors “Signs Flash Positive, but Questions Remain,” on page 18, in which he discusses remarkable developments in these industries but notes lingering policy uncertainties that, when answered, will certainly have profound impacts on producers and markets.


Paul Nazzaro, who developed the Bioheat® fuel concept more than two decades ago, takes a rare break from writing about his Bioheat® brainchild to share a behind-the-scenes look at the company he founded 30 years ago—Advanced Fuel Solutions— in “Is Your Fuel Advanced?” on page 30.


Tom Slunecka, CEO of Minnesota Soybean and the biodiesel technology company Plasma Blue, has worked in biofuels and commodities for as long as I can remember. When he joined Minnesota Soybean in 2012 as CEO after many years in the corn and ethanol space, I knew he would be a good fit for the biobased diesel sector. On page 32, Slunecka gives us “Plasma Blue: Lower Carbon Score, Higher Savings.”


Scott Fenwick, technical director for Clean Fuels Alliance America, takes the opportunity on page 26 to discuss Optimus Technologies’ recent capital raise and what it means for neat biodiesel use in “Optimus Technologies and the Era of B100.”


Milica Folic with Topsoe provides us with quite an interesting piece on where the process-technology company sees the SAF market going in years to come in “SAF Production Needs 3rd-Generation Feedstocks to Take Flight” on page 20. Be sure to read this one.


Chatty Sakhalkar with Teikoku USA astutely tells us about why canned-motor pumps are the environmentally friendly and intelligent choice for biorefineries in “Green—and Smart—By Design” on page 22.


Kristof Reiter with Reiter Companies, who I’ve known for many years, gives his expert opinion on the sharing of confidential business data as EPA finalizes its UCO-reporting requirements in “There’s a New Variable in UCO Trading” on page 24.


Dani Charles, co-founder of Veriflux, explains why technology is the only solution to the issue of “Feedstock Traceability” on page 34.


For our cover story, “Crown’s Next Step in Biofuel Innovation” on page 38, Bill Morphew with Crown talks about the company’s recently completed Liquids Pilot Plant, which is now open and fully operational at its Global Innovation Center in Blaine, Minnesota.


Finally, I author four stories in this issue, including “Feedstock Theft & Fraud” on page 36, “After More Than 15 Years, BDI’s RepCat Technology Comes of Age” on page 52, “Missouri’s Claim to FAME” on page 42, and “Automation Integration: Do It Right the 1st Time,” a profile of Helle Engineering, on page 28.


I sincerely hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as I enjoyed putting it together. I am grateful to all the editorial contributors and advertisers for making this very special edition of Biobased Diesel™ possible. Thank you.


Author: Ron Kotrba

Editor and Publisher

Biobased Diesel™

218-745-8347

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