This is a session report from the Virginia Biodiesel Conference, hosted by Virginia Clean Cities on September 29, 2010.

Submitted by Jamison Walker, Convened by Larry Breeding at Table A at 12:30

Attendees: Chelsea Jenkins, Dick Atkinson, Judy Peak, Joe Crosbie, Kent Ware, Alleyn Harned, Kevin Finder, John Beck, Tony Wilt, Mike Schleinkofer, Mark Holland, Mike Carruth, Dana Abbott, Al Weed, HD Price, Ryan Cornett, Patrick Cooley, Carl Pawsle, Chad Freckmann, Jamison Walker

Problems associated with VA production

– Feedstock- VA has the potential to produce 300 million gal/year, but is only producing 25 million. VA uses 1.5 to 2 billion gal/year in diesel.

What do existing farmers and producers have to do to get the Biodiesel incentive back?
– If the incentive was re-enacted, it would get VA Biodiesel producers through the next few years.

What other states are doing incentive-wise.
– Iowa and Illinois are better markets for biodiesel than VA.

Testing – ASTM standards
– Meeting ASTM standards in VA is too difficult due to the high expense of testing. Testing is too expensive for small producers as it costs over $1000 per batch and every batch has to be tested.

Biodiesel for Residential and Commercial heating
– Why is it not a market?
– It is a miniscule market, but people are skeptical about using BD for heating. They blame the producers if their system breaks down.
– As a whole, farmers and producers need to propose new legislation for incentives. More specifically, we need incentives that help out the small producer, unlike the old ones that excluded producers that couldn’t produce over 2 million gal/year.
– VA needs to “catch up” to states like Iowa and Illinois incentive wise.
– Thoughts about a centralized testing agency or program at a university such as Virginia Tech.

Contacts for more information:

Dick Atkinson- 757/564/0153
Virginia Soybean Association

Alleyn Harned – 540/568/8896
Virginia Clean Cities