I made a journey recently to attend the Collective Biodiesel Conference, held this year in Duncan, British Columbia.
From my perspective, it was nothing short of amazing.
I was there to give a talk on the last day of the conference about growing community-scale biodiesel cooperatives. Â It gave me the opportunity to visit some old friends, make new ones, and share our differing philosophies on how to handle common problems affecting us all.
I was surrounded by a cadre of biodiesel loyalists and industry heroes and often found myself in the midst of conversations that ranged from a gregarious Lyle Estill (Piedmont Biofuels) and Jennifer Radthke (Biofuels Oasis) discussing Josh Tickellâ€™s new film â€œFreedomâ€ to Josh and I discussing his plans to develop an off-grid community, followed by Jason Burroughs and I discussing his trip from Seattle in a fully loaded vehicle with 8 other passengers and a scary tire blow out.
The next day I was spent listening to Lyle Estill as he discussed a brief history of Piedmont Biofuels, a cooperative that hasÂ into an industrial producer Â and research organization over the course of the lst 9 years. Piedmontâ€™s capacity is roughly 1 million gallons per year. They are working on an enzymatic approach to treating high FFA feedstock with Novazymes, and have several patents in the works.
I flitted from presentation to presentation, covering everything from the state of algal research, especially as it pertains to the future of genetically modified algal strains, to Kumar Plocherâ€™s talk on all things Yokayo, until finally on the last day my turn to speak came.
My presentation was focused to assit those interested in the set of considerations that affect whether or not a group interested in forming a cooperative should, how the goal of the industry at large should be to make BQ 9000 obsolete, and the trials and tribulations of facility registrations under RFS2.
In a short three days I was reunited with old friends, made several new ones, and spent my time immersed in the nurturing environment of old friends more used to the daily trials and tribulations of manufacturing, marketing, and evangelizing our advanced biofuels.
I came back rejuvenated, and refocused on our goal: Clean chemicals, clean materials, and clean power from recycled feedstock.
Itâ€™s time to shake the world.
Make it a better place!