Expanding Fuel Choices

Bob Van Wingerden of Catoctin Mountain Growers in Keymar, Md., is the first grower to use a new vegetable-based biofuel as heating oil, expanding his fuel choices to four. At any given time, he can decide whether he wants to use No. 2 fuel oil, animal fat, the new biofuel or propane based on pricing and incentives.

The biofuel produced by New Generation Biofuels is a renewable and clean-burning fuel that’s a blend of vegetable oil, water and proprietary ingredients. A surfactant holds it together and the oil looks like milk. Stack tests demonstrate a significant reduction in nitrogen oxide (40 percent less) and sulphur dioxide (virtually zero) emissions compared to low-sulfur fuel oil.

Renewable fuels provider New Generation Biofuels has a production facility in Baltimore. In addition to Catoctin Mountain Growers, customers include a hospital, an asphalt plant and the city of Baltimore. Any business or institution that uses a lot of heat or steam is a prospect. Utility companies are also mandated to generate a percentage of their power from renewable fuels. The mixing plant in Baltimore has the capacity to produce up to 5 million gallons per year with additional capacity on site. Catoctin Mountain Growers will receive up to 370,000 gallons a year. The Baltimore plant serves a region covering New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, D.C.

Van Wingerden says the conversion to this type of fuel cost about $5,000 for new lines and adjustments to the boiler to increase air pressure and open nozzles for more fluid to flow through. He already had an extra tank that was being used for No. 2 oil. “While converting to a biomass heating system would be a huge investment in infrastructure and equipment, it took so little to change equipment to switch fuel oils,” he says. “I need to burn the least expensive fuel to stay competitive. I’m getting a dollar per gallon tax credit on biofuel. It burns nice and clean like propane. Propane was cheaper this year, but the credit made the biofuel more competitive.”

He has three years experience burning waste vegetable oil and animal fat. There are tax incentives with those sources, which are also renewable. Animal fat requires an insulated tank, to keep temperatures at 140 degrees F to prevent the substance from turning solid.

Phil Wallis, chief marketing officer for New Generation Biofuels, says growers could potentially benefit from a proposed carbon cap-and-trade system. “When carbon cap and trade comes in, depending on how it’s done, each business will have a certain number related to its carbon footprint,” Wallis says. “If a business exceeds that number, it can reduce emissions or buy credits. With our fuel, you can potentially achieve credits you can sell or offset your footprint with. There’s no dollar value yet but it’s coming. Incentives are emerging for switching to renewable fuels.”

For more information, visit http://www.newgenerationbiofuels.com/

Leave a Reply

More From Business Management...
Janeen Wright

May 5, 2016

You Can’t Take Small Business Out Of The Big Greenhouse Grower

Big growers who stay true to their small-business roots don’t lose sight of the personal touch in business.

Read More

April 27, 2016

Use Your Data To Make Smarter Marketing Decisions

Learn which marketing metrics are important to your business, measure successes, and learn where changes are needed.

Read More

April 26, 2016

“Bee-Friendly” Labels Matter To Plant Consumers, According To Study

Research at Michigan State University shows ornamental plant buyers understand and respond to bee-friendly production practices.

Read More
Latest Stories
Janeen Wright

May 5, 2016

You Can’t Take Small Business Out Of The Big Greenhouse…

Big growers who stay true to their small-business roots don’t lose sight of the personal touch in business.

Read More

April 27, 2016

Use Your Data To Make Smarter Marketing Decisions

Learn which marketing metrics are important to your business, measure successes, and learn where changes are needed.

Read More

April 26, 2016

“Bee-Friendly” Labels Matter To Plant Consumers, Accord…

Research at Michigan State University shows ornamental plant buyers understand and respond to bee-friendly production practices.

Read More
University of Florida Online Greenhouse Training Courses

April 25, 2016

University of Florida Offering Online Training Courses …

There will be five courses offered, with the first starting on May 30. Courses are available in both English and Spanish and range from beginner level to advanced education.

Read More
HGTV_2015CAST

April 24, 2016

9 Business Predictions Smart Brands Should Pay Attentio…

Andreas von der Heydt, Director of Kindle at Amazon, recently predicted what smart businesses will do in 2016 to strengthen their brands and promote their products.

Read More
Lin Schmale 1996

April 23, 2016

SAF’s Lin Schmale Offers Lessons From An Industry…

Schmale represented the floriculture industry on Capitol Hill for more than 20 years. The advocate has recently retired, and shares some valuable insights from her career.

Read More
Scott Schaefer Aris CEO

April 22, 2016

New Aris CEO Scott Schaefer Looks Forward To Dealing Wi…

Schaefer, who has been with Aris for 15 years, grew up working at his family’s greenhouse operation in Illinois.

Read More
Krause Berry Farms Farm To Table Dinner

April 20, 2016

What The Floriculture Industry Can Learn From Farm Mark…

Although we have a lot in common with the produce industry, there is much we can learn from one another.

Read More
Janeen Wright

April 18, 2016

Three Lessons From A Master Greenhouse Vegetable Grower

Three lessons from greenhouse vegetable grower Casey Houweling that you can apply to your business.

Read More
Costa Farms Container Ideas E-Book

April 12, 2016

Costa Farms Targets Consumers With New Container Garden…

The electronic book offers tips on container selection, design, and plant care for millennials looking to grow in small spaces.

Read More
An Edible Evening At Stephen F Austin

April 11, 2016

How The Greenhouse Industry Can Propagate Gardeners The…

Jared Barnes at Stephen F. Austin University says we are the experts at propagating plants. That’s knowledge we can put to good use to envision how to attract new gardeners and future horticulturists to the industry.

Read More
Sanitation programs are essential to preventing and removing food safety concerns.

April 7, 2016

USDA Launches GroupGAP Program For Fruit And Vegetable …

The new certification program is designed to help small and mid-size growers, including greenhouse vegetable producers, comply with new food safety regulations.

Read More
Tropical Fruit Tree Selection (Hopkins Tropical Fruit Nursery)

April 7, 2016

University Of Florida Research Shows Consumers Value Lo…

Compared to conventional plants, consumers reported a higher purchasing likelihood for certified organic or organically produced fruit plants.

Read More
Congressional Action Days 2016

April 5, 2016

Floral Industry Leaders Make Progress And (In Some Case…

Nearly 90 floral industry members gathered in the nation’s capital in March to meet with lawmakers in the annual event coordinated by the Society of American Florists.

Read More
Casey Houweling, owner of Houweling's Tomatoes

April 4, 2016

Houweling’s Tomatoes Grows Produce With Mastery Under G…

Houweling’s Tomatoes, winner of Greenhouse Grower’s Excellence in Vegetable Production award for 2015, exceeds industry standards for locally grown produce while pioneering innovative technologies that improve sustainability.

Read More
Student Video Horticulture Education

April 2, 2016

Use Videos Featuring Your Millennial Employees To Recru…

Your Millennial employees may be the best spokespeople you have for your business. Why not encourage them to make a 30-second video talking about why they got into horticulture?

Read More
Random Acts Of Flowers

March 31, 2016

The Floriculture Industry Needs A Unified Message To Pr…

Seeing the sneak preview of the new varieties that will be presented at California Spring Trials (CAST) spurs a visceral reaction in me. I’m giddy and excited about these gorgeous plants, having taken in some of their beauty and excellent performance already at Costa Farms’ Season Premier. I’m excited to travel to Spring Trials and that spring is coming, and I’m ready to dig in and get gardening. I’m guessing many of you feel the same way. And it’s likely that consumers do, too. Nearly a year ago, upon returning from California Spring Trials, I lamented the absence of ideas translated from CAST to retail. The beautiful displays, the breathtaking combinations, the clever marketing — somehow, all of that effort and enthusiasm focused on business-to-business promotion is not being funneled effectively to the consumer. As an industry, we are not good at working together to market our products in a clear, […]

Read More
Sakata Seed America President David Armstrong

March 30, 2016

Sakata Signs Agreement With Indonesian Government To Co…

This week, Sakata Seed Corp. announced internationally that it has signed an agreement with the Republic of Indonesia to cooperate in the further development and production of its line of SunPatiens interspecific hybrid impatiens, based on the principles of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Under an agreement based on the CBD, Sakata Seed has worked with the Indonesian government since the early 2000s to identify the origin of the native germplasm collected in Indonesia to develop SunPatiens, and the two parties have agreed on how the indigenous genetic resources will be used for the further development of SunPatiens. There are currently only a few cases in the world of such an agreement, based on the CBD in the category of horticultural plants, made between a resource-rich country and a commercial seed company. Greenhouse Grower contacted Sakata Seed CEO David Armstrong to provide context about this agreement, what it means […]

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]