Competitive Edge: Advanced Biofuels USA

August 19, 2021 |

Q: What was the reason for founding your organization – what was the open niche you saw that could be addressed with a new product or service? What was the problem, or gap, or opportunity?

In 2007, Bob Kozak and Joanne Ivancic visited offices on Capitol Hill on behalf of Atlantic Biomass Conversions, Kozak’s enzyme development start-up, to explain the need for funds for advanced biofuels research in the Farm Bill and Energy Bill which were under consideration. Few Hill staff had heard of advanced biofuels. Most only knew of corn ethanol, with mostly negative impressions. Some knew of biodiesel and that it smelled like French fries; some knew about soybean feedstock.

Many invited us to stay beyond our requested brief time for introductions. We had fascinating conversations about the future of fuels and vehicles, about transportation and agriculture’s role, about trade-offs; serious questions about what came to be called ‘sustainability.’

We decided we needed an organization that could address this need for knowledge; eventually realized that an educational nonprofit without allegiance to any specific feedstock, process or product would be most appropriate.

Q: Tell us about your organization. What do you do?

Advanced Biofuels USA, a nonprofit educational organization advocates for the adoption of renewable fuels as an energy security, military flexibility, economic development and climate change mitigation/pollution control solution. Our key tool is our web site,, including a 37,000-item online library which is a bioeconomy resource for everyone from opinion-leaders, decision-makers and legislators to industry professionals, investors, feedstock growers and researchers; as well as journalists, teachers and students. In addition, we prepare technology and policy assessments, brief government staff, participate in conferences, lecture, and provide general assistance to those interested in renewable fuels. Technology neutral and feedstock and product agnostic, Advanced Biofuels USA’s work is respected around the world. We take seriously the importance of shaping public discussion, focusing on high-impact solutions.

Q: What stage of development are you?

Other – Mature nonprofit

Q: What do your technologies, products or services do and accomplish – how does it (they) work, who is it (they) aimed for?

Our audience is everyone. Think of our focus as related to the Advanced Biofuels Association and to Biofuels Digest. If Joanne Ivancic, Mike McAdams and Jim Lane stood back-to-back in a circle looking outward at their audiences, Mike would be looking at those interested in advanced biofuels federal policy, tax policy and related federal litigation; Jim would be looking at the investment and business community; Joanne at everyone else, with all those audiences overlapping to some degree. Advanced Biofuels USA serves as the “gateway drug” to the world of biofuels and the bioeconomy and as a conduit to the trade organizations and other resources.

We believe most of our online audience of about 130,000 users per year uses our resources for research as three fourths access us via desktop and older posts are continuously accessed. Those on phones most likely check our daily posts and updates.

We field questions from potential investors and reporters to elementary school students.

Q: Competitively, what gives your technology, product or service set an edge in cost or performance, sustainability, or any other aspect, that makes it stand out from the crowd, In short, what makes it transformative?

Because Advanced Biofuels USA is an educational organization, our website is designed so that people can find an answer even if they don’t know the question. We are user-friendly and open. We are a part of the biofuels, bioeconomy and circular economy communities We take what we learn, interacting with audiences outside of that world, reaching those who know little or nothing about renewable fuels, interacting with those who have heard vaguely about these topics, yet are called on to make policy or business decisions related to them.

We try to put into practice the ideas that board member, Jenna Bloxom wrote in a Biofuels Digest article: To create a unified bioeconomy to re-assert biofuels as a political powerhouse and compelling policy agenda that defies partisan, geographical, and generational divisions; to drastically alter the public’s understanding and attitudes about biofuels in order to regain the political capital necessary for competing in tomorrow’s energy race.

Q: What are the 3 top milestones you have accomplished in the past 3 years?

  1. Enhanced engagement with students as mentor to high school and college students, hosting unpaid internships and providing a wide range of volunteer opportunities to students, professionals, retirees and anyone interested in promoting renewable fuels.
  2. Expanded online educational materials on website: more than 37,000 items in online library; launched the 30/30 Project of 30 minute recorded presentation with supportive materials including slides, text of narration, background/resource links and guided study questions and suggestions and created short-video “Just A Minute” series.
  3. Average between 400-500 viewers/weekday on our website

Q: What are the 3 top milestones you will accomplish in the next 3 years?

  1. Increase engagement with the climate change mitigation movement and connections, interaction with teachers, faculty, potential investors, Congressional staff, agency professionals, general audience media.
  2. Improve and expand online educational materials.
  3. Increase daily viewers via improved social media

Q. Where can I learn more about Advanced Biofuels USA?

Click here to visit Advanced Biofuels USA’s website.

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