Biofuels are fuels made from renewable organic matter. This matter usually consists of plants or animal residues. Nebraska has vast plant and animal residue resources which can be converted into biofuels, such as ethanol, biodiesel, and methane.
By exploring the links on this page you can find information about the production and use of biofuels. Please visit the ethanol multimedia page to view even more resources on this subject.
Get an overview of the start-up process by reading,
"So you want to make Biofuels in Nebraska" and the
Biodiesel Producers Licensing Standards. Basic state regulatory and
tax information related to road tax payment is available at
Nebraska Motor Fuels Site.
Discover the biodiesel feasability study calculator at the National Biodiesel Education Program's website.
We have also had discussions with other regulatory agencies
within the state. This information is hot off the
press and concerns all of those producing biodiesel
in Nebraska. These agencies include the Nebraska
Fire Marshal, NDEQ - Air and NDEQ-Water. This
information is presented here to help enable
individuals producing their own fuel to be aware of
the laws surrounding these activities. This
information is presented to the best of our
knowledge for informational purposes only and the
actual agencies in question must be contacted for
the complete information.
Marshals' office is concerned about fire safety. The
use of flammable alcohols in this process is
unavoidable and must be done according to the
appropriate safety standards. The regulations
governing such applications can be found in NFPA 30
of the national fire code. As it applies to small
scale producers, primary considerations are the
following: If processing area is attached to another
structure, a fire proof barrier (2hr) must be
installed. Any permanent tanks used to store
methanol/ethanol must be registered with their
office. Shipping containers (55,275) are excluded.
must be appropriate for the class1/div1 area of
processing so explosion proof standards must be met.
NDEQ-Air division has shown a threshold that can
allow the small scale producer to operate without
filing a construction permit. These are currently
under adjustment, but operations producing less than
318,000 gallons/year 0f biodiesel using methanol or
less than 4,856,000 using ethanol are not required
to file. This clearly shows the distinction between
toxic methanol and ethanol. Even if you are required
to file a construction permit, you may not be
required to have an operating permit if actual
emissions can be maintained below 2.5tons/year.
These thresholds are based only on biodiesel
production and the potential for HAPS/VOC emissions,
they do not include other potential air emissions
from boilers, generators, etc. The division has been
very helpful in supplying this information thus far
and has said they will provide updates as time goes
with NDEQ-Water division indicated no such
thresholds. ONE gallon of biodiesel wash water is
supposed to be dealt with as an industrial waste and
requires a construction permit. The need for ongoing
operating permits is unclear. Disposal of the waste
water generated from biodiesel CANNOT be disposed of
in a septic system without the risk of heavy federal
fines. There are basically two options for
biodieselers, one is to store the waste water
generated from the process and take it to a waste
water treatment facility for processing. The second
is to build a lagoon to hold these wastes on-site.
Obviously the second option is not suitable for many
producers. Both of these activities would require a
construction permit to be allowed. This is a very
serious concern to me as I don't know any small
scale producer that is in-line with these
As I said,
the mission of NeREA is to get the word out. We are
not the end-all of these regulations, but we would
be glad to assist as we can.
To learn about growing crops for better biodiesel, download our pdf.
Ethanol is an alcohol and is commonly blended with gasoline, forming a cleaner-burning fuel with higher octane when compared with regular gasoline. Today, ethanol is blended into approximately 46% of our country's fuel supply. For decades ethanol has been combined with gasoline, translating into billions of miles being driven on this fuel source.
scale ethanol is also an activity that will require
permits similar to the above. However, there is a
much more developed program in place already to help
people get through the process.
Because the final product of this process is an
alcohol, permitting of a fixed storage tank will be
needed for the fire marshal. Placement of processing
equipment outside or in non-enclosed areas will not
cause the area to be Class1/Div1 so explosion proof
requirements would not apply (same for biodiesel).
requirements will be similar to that for biodiesel -
no threshold-no operation is to small to not require
permitting. Lagoons are typical for farm scale
processing, and there is one in Nebraska permitted
requirements must be developed, we have no
information regarding small scale thresholds at this
time, but they have developed a very detailed
application format that will take some time should
the construction permit be needed. The good news is
that if all the details are provided up front, the
process will run through pretty smoothly.
forget about Uncle Sam! This is different from
biodiesel in that federal registration is required
with an ethanol still. A BATF (TTB) form needs to be
submitted to the feds to ensure full legality. This
form can be supplied if needed.
strongly encourage people to obey the laws. With
compliance comes reward! No 'whistleblowers' can
cause regulators to rain down, tax credits become
available at a couple levels and you have the peace
of mind that you are doing the right thing. We have
the ability to change these laws if we don't like
them, but until then we should obey them.
If you have questions,
or are interested in information not addressed in
these links, please contact us.