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Bright Future for Biodiesel Gains Focus at NAIAS

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Automakers Back Biodiesel, America’s First Commercially Available ‘Advanced Biofuel’

DETROIT, Mich., January 10, 2011 – The North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit has long been known as THE event of the year for the latest vehicle technologies and innovations, setting the pace and direction for the world’s economic future. What more fitting venue, then, to also highlight the fuel that will be used increasingly now and in the future to power these vehicles in a cleaner, greener, more sustainable manner: Biodiesel - America’s first Advanced Biofuel.

The National Biodiesel Board (NBB), along with key industry partners from Ford Motor Company and General Motors, are presenting a Biodiesel Symposium entitled “Biodiesel: Powerful Fuel, Promising Future” at the Detroit auto show on Wednesday, January 12th from 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. in Cobo Center’s Michigan Hall as part of the NAIAS “Smarter Living In Michigan” Exposition.

“We are extremely pleased to have this opportunity to feature biodiesel as America’s first Advanced Biofuel to the global automotive industry,” said Joe Jobe, CEO of the National Biodiesel Board. “The U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS-2) established realistic goals of supplementing the nation’s fuel supply with advanced biofuels which reduce lifecycle carbon by more than 50 percent. Biodiesel is the first advanced biofuel to reach commercial scale production in North America, and it reduces direct lifecycle carbon by more than 80 percent. Biodiesel is thus very well-positioned to help the nation meet its immediate and long-term advanced biofuel goals.”

Biodiesel is a low cost, domestically produced, renewable Advanced Biofuel that provides the RFS-2 required reductions of greenhouse gases while also reducing oil imports, enhancing energy security, and creating U.S. jobs. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued RFS-2 volume requirements for the use of at least 800 million gallons of Biomass-Based Diesel fuel in 2011, for which biodiesel qualifies as an Advanced Biofuel. That requirement then ramps up to more than 1 billion gallons for 2012 and could reach as high as a 5 billion gallon market for biodiesel by 2022, as it also qualifies under the Non-Cellulosic Advanced Biofuel category.

As part of the biodiesel symposium, General Motors and Ford are presenting information on their new 2011 diesel vehicles, which are all fully approved for use with B20 biodiesel blends (20 percent biodiesel blended with 80 percent petroleum diesel). General Motors extends B20 approval to its full diesel line-up, which includes the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pick-ups, as well as the Chevy Express and GMC Savana cargo vans. Ford supports the use of B20 on its full line of 2011 Ford Super Duty diesel trucks.

Jim Michon, Truck Fleet Marketing Manager for Ford Motor Company, said, “Many of our fleet customers are very conscious of the environment, and had been asking us for a truck approved for use with B20 biodiesel. In the process of developing our all-new Ford-designed, Ford-built 2011 Super Duty truck, we thoroughly tested B20 in our new engine under the harshest of conditions. B20 proved itself to provide the same fuel economy, power and performance our customers expect of our high performance diesels – there are no trade-offs for using B20”.

According to the Diesel Technology Forum, today’s clean diesel technology provides 20 to 40 percent better fuel economy than its gasoline counterpart, and emits 10 to 20 percent less carbon dioxide. Coleman Jones, Biofuels Implementation Manager for GM, said, “With B20, our customers can enjoy all the benefits of today’s quiet, clean diesel engines and help to meet the country’s goals to reduce carbon emissions at the same time. It’s a win-win situation.” Both Ford and GM plan to continue supporting B20 use in their future diesel models as well, along with many other vehicle and equipment manufacturers.

Over the last 20 years the biodiesel industry has made the necessary investment in research, testing, and standards development to produce a high quality fuel meeting the stringent specifications of the American Society for Testing and Materials, now known as ASTM International.

“The last 20 years of research and development—and the intense commitment to development of ASTM standards, high fuel quality, and the biodiesel industry’s BQ-9000 fuel quality program—are what led us to this designation as America’s first Advanced Biofuel,” said Steve Howell, Technical Director for the NBB. “We look forward to powering the clean diesel vehicles of today, and tomorrow, with clean, green, sustainable biodiesel, and we are already engaging in the next frontier of research that will continue to optimize the fuel for use for decades to come.”

Based in Jefferson City, Missouri, the National Biodiesel Board is the national trade association of the biodiesel industry and is the coordinating body for biodiesel research and development in the U.S. Its membership is comprised of biodiesel producers, state, national, and international feedstock and feedstock processor organizations, fuel marketers and distributors, and technology providers.