This is our third attempt at understanding the energy balance of our product. After all, why bother making biofuel if it is not contributing anything to the sustainability pot?
Our first stab at it came from Scott Hoover, who analyzed our Coop operations. At the time we were collecting used cooking oil, and spinning it into fuel. At its peak the Coop hit 1000 gallons per month. And at the time the academic tools for life cycle measurement of biodiesel were in their infancy.
Our second came from a graduate seminar at NC State University. They took a crack at our big year of biodiesel derived from poultry fat. Those were the days when we turned a full tanker load every other day.
Our third came from a new startup company in Raleigh that is focusing on creating life cycle analysis for a living. They took a long, hard look at 2011 data, when we made less than 150K gallons of fuel. We found their LCA2011fascinating.