Sunday, January 4, 2009

2008 Desert Biofuels Initiative Accomplishments

Happy New Year to all! We created the following summary of our accomplishments for 2008. Our heartfelt gratitude to the many, many people who made this possible. We look forward to an exciting 2009!

  • Formed as an Arizona non-profit corporation in April.
  • Submitted application for 501(c)(3) status with the IRS.
  • Established tenancy at ASU SkySong.
  • Hired full-time Acting Executive Director.
  • Established advisory group that includes highly-respected biofuel experts, university professors, public relations and business professionals.
  • Developed and launched professionally-designed website at
  • Developed professionally-designed logo, courtesy of Brands By OVO.
  • Organized and held the first annual Desert Biofuels Workshop. Participant comments:
    • "...a watershed for AZ biodiesel..."
    • " ...never been at a conference with such broad representation, from corporate, to government, education, NGOs and home brewers..."
    • "...showed just how important this topic is..."
    • "...tremendously valuable..."
  • Regularly published blog with news and information relevant to the Arizona biofuels community (called "a must-read for the current happenings in biofuels in Arizona"). Biofuels expert Professor Dave Conz of ASU joined us as a regular blogger. Also maintained an e-mail discussion list with local biofuels community members.
  • Created three white papers researching and analyzing key issues:
    • Analysis of law and regulations applicable to Arizona biodiesel producers
    • Analysis of biofuels feedstocks relevant to Arizona (includes groundbreaking primary research concerning the volume of waste vegetable oil (WVO) feedstock in the Phoenix area and identifies potential linkages between WVO disposal issues and sewer blockages and overflows)
    • Analysis of biofuels incentive programs implemented in other states
  • Developed proposal for Algae Biofuel Demonstration plant:
    • Identified site location for the pilot plant on municipal property. Received an informal (non-binding) commitment from the municipality.
    • Completed detailed cost estimates and briefs for the project. Renderings of the pilot project are in progress.
    • Identified and are pursuing potential funding sources for the project.
    • Key project partners--including several private companies, the municipality and the university--are actively engaged with us in the exploration process.
  • Researched and developed materials demonstrating benefits of a WVO-based biodiesel to municipalities (focused on environmental, safety and water treatment issues). Presented to two local municipalities.
  • Developed proposal for WVO incentive program (goal: all local restaurant grease converted to biodiesel; would, e.g, displace 100,000 tons of CO2 from Valley air). Discussed with key stakeholders. Refining proposal based on input received and on results of feedstock analysis white paper research.
  • Facilitated tours of (a) ASU Algae Lab, (b) XL Renewables pilot algae facility, and (c) the Dynamite Biofuels Co-op for key stakeholders in the Arizona biofuels community.
  • Developed and launched IT infrastructure for algae biofuels wiki. Arranged for ASU intern to lead wiki project in 2009.
  • Presented our sustainable regional biofuels vision at (a) an algae biofuels conference hosted by the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) and (b) the Arizona Entrepreneurship Conference. Participated in the Phoenix chapter of the Arizona Green Chamber of Commerce launch event. Participated in the CTO Forum on Green Technology hosted by Intel Corporation.
  • Met with and discussed our vision with numerous elected officials and other policymakers (U.S. Congress, AZ State Legislature, AZ Dept. of Environmental Quality, City of Phoenix, City of Scottsdale, City of Buckeye).
  • Organizing a homebrew safety “Roundtable” which complements the City of Phoenix in the creation of a homebrew safety taskforce.
  • Organizing an event to create biodiesel from used coffee grounds.
  • Established an affiliation with Professor Mark Edwards of ASU and developed as a sister site to our site. Built infrastructure for new site; launch planned in 2009. Green Independence is the global portion of DBI’s vision in the use of biofuel based on algae. Professor Edwards, author of Green Algae Strategy, leads our Green Independence effort.
  • Established a strong working relationship with the Arizona State University Technology Ventures Services Group. TVSG interns were the lead authors of our white papers on policy issues facing biofuel production.
  • Received private donations sufficient to cover 2008 expenses.
  • Submitted grant applications for 2009 operational funding, including (a) EPA Environmental Education Grant and (b) Echoing Green Fellowship Application.
  • Identified potential funding sources for future projects. This includes funding from private individuals, corporations, foundations, and governments.

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