Tag Archives: Don Scott

2012 Collective Biofuels Conference: Day 1

In the past I have always been excited in the days leading up to the conference, but never more so than today.

Within a few short moments of my arrival at the Temecula Creek Inn, this year’s primary conference venue, I found myself in the midst of a discussion with Gerhard Knothe (USDA ARS) regarding alternative fuels feedstock. A few minutes later Rod Yawn and I are in deep discussion about cationic resins, which is then followed by me meandering over to Leon Griffin of WVO Designs who is intently constructing his Beast Centrifuge which will be on display at the vendor tables.

This years participants number slightly less than a hundred. Many have come long distances, from Europe, to the Eastern United States, Canada, and India.

Many old friends are here, and in some ways it is a time for us to reflect on our past year in the industry. Sometimes our discussions evolve into a type of cathartic commiseration.

Don Scott of the National Biodiesel Board said something to me earlier in the evening that struck me as as especially applicable for the folks here. The essence of what he said to me is that a person’s dedication to a cause tended to increase in a manner proportional to the amount of suffering one has endured in its furtherance.

We are all survivors here. We all have spent the year learning, making mistakes, and recovering from them.

I am proud to be here, amongst others who share a similar devotion to making our fuel an integral part of a solution to our global energy needs.

Make it a better place.

Todd

 

 

Collective Biofuels, Visitors, and Production Intelligence

I find it hard to believe that we are already in the midst of summer. It has already been a tremendously eventful year at Promethean, and it seems that we need to pick up the pace.There have been so many changes in such a brief period of time. Some of the changes were made by choice; there was at least one occasion where the choice was made for us.

At any rate, change is essential for progress and progress is exactly what we are making.

Repetitive and, one can easily argue, often tedious data collection requirements resonate through the core of our fuel-making process; the legacy of instituting a quality management system. But the system is phenomenal. We are working on ensuring that process redundancies are curbed, that the data we are collecting can be easily interpreted and will ultimately yield meaningful and utilitarian production intelligence.

We are preparing for a multitude of visitors at this year’s Collective Biofuels Conference (http://collectivebiofuels.org) in Temecula, CA this year. It is being held August 17th – 19th, 2012. I will have more to say about this stupendous event in an upcoming entry, but the current confirmed speaker list includes Dr. Jon Van Gerpen (amongst other things the author of the Biodiesel Handbook), Dr. Virginia Gordon (Bonanza Labs’ President and Founder), Don Scott (Sustainability Director for the NBB), Graydon Blair (Utah Biodiesel Supply), Jason Burroughs (Diesel Green Fuels), Dr. Jonathan Meuser,… Well, we’re very excited!

We are also in the midst of making some minor adjustments to our process lines based on the changing nature of the feedstock we have available to us for conversion. We are on a very tight schedule to implement these changes, since the fire earlier this year, among other things in the key of life, resulted in a less than average production start for this year.

As a final ramble for this entry, Joe Spatafore of Extreme Biofuels in Corona, CA stopped by to see us today. Joe has had a standing invitation to come by since we broke ground in early 2008. He lives relatively close to the plant, but never had the time to come by. I was glad he did. We spent some time talking about surviving in this industry. If anyone knows about surviving in the biodiesel business it’s Joe. I wish him the best of luck.

Make it a better place!

Todd