Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel Fall Webinar


The Fall Webinar took place on October 18. Check back for details about our next webinar.

Are you a student wanting to take your renewable fuels education up a notch? Join the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel Fall Webinar.

You’ll hear the latest on biodiesel research. Two university students selected by the NGSB co-chairs will present their biodiesel research, as well as keynote speaker Dr. Michael Haas of USDA. The research projects covered during the webinar are:

“Federal Laws, Regulations, and Programs: Application to Biofuel Production and the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels (RSB) Principles”

Meredith Dorneker
University of Missouri – Columbia
MA Candidate, Geography

Summary: Several groups around the world are discussing sustainability requirements for biofuel production. In 2008, the Roundtable on Sustainable Biofuels (RSB) workgroup developed the first version of the draft criteria for Sustainable Biofuels, aiming to set an international standard for biofuel production and processing. Dorneker’s study examines federal laws, regulations, and voluntary programs that are already in place to support the sustainable production of biofuels and agricultural feedstocks. It also identifies deficiencies in federal policy, highlighting which sustainability principles are not addressed with legislation and programming and where attention should be focused to optimize the sustainability of biofuels.

“The Glycerol Prewash and Its Effectiveness for Removing Moisture and Free Fatty Acids from Waste Vegetable Oil for Biodiesel Production”

Daniel Mallin
University of Rhode Island
Chemical Engineering Undergraduate

Summary: The production of biodiesel relies on the transesterification reaction. The reaction, however, is greatly hindered by the presence of water and free fatty acids. Acid pretreatment is successful in reducing the FFAs, but the level of water in pretreated oil tends to rise. Water is a significant issue, thus to combat its deleterious effects, the glycerol pre-wash is a promising solution. In Mallin’s research, several small-scale tests were used to evaluate the effectiveness of the pre-wash.

“Basic and Applied R & D in a Federal Lab to Grow the Biodiesel Industry”

Dr. Michael Haas
Research Scientist
USDA Agricultural Research Service, Sustainable Biofuels and Co-Products

Summary: Dr. Haas helps lead the biodiesel research program at Eastern Regional Research Center outside Philadelphia, where a substantial portion of all USDA biodiesel research is conducted. He leads a small team of researchers looking to improve biodiesel and to develop new uses for agricultural fats and oils. In this program he has developed methods for biodiesel production from extremely low value feedstocks, new processes for economical biodiesel production from new and conventional feedstocks, explored strategies to reduce engine emissions during biodiesel combustion, produced economic models to predict capital and process costs for biodiesel production, and developed methods to detect and remove contaminants from this fuel.
Webinar hosted by the National Biodiesel Board, and moderated by NBB technical project manager Kyle Anderson.