NBB’s Howell honored for contributions to biodiesel industry

By NBB | May 01, 2013

The American Oil Chemists’ Society recently selected Steve Howell for the prestigious AOCS Fellow Award.

Howell, who has served as technical director at the National Biodiesel Board since shortly after its inception in 1992, is credited with helping to navigate the nascent biodiesel industry through an obstacle course of technical challenges. Those include completing both Tier I and Tier II health effects testing, establishing ASTM standards, and securing original equipment manufacturer (OEM) approval, to name just a few.

“Thanks to the many technical accomplishments of Steve Howell, the U.S. biodiesel industry is now a meaningful supplement to the nation’s diesel fuel supply,” said Joe Jobe, CEO of NBB. “I can personally attest to his hard work, integrity and very special talents. He deserves this recognition.”

A chemical engineer, Howell emerged from a career with Proctor & Gamble in the early 1990s to pursue the potential of biodiesel as a renewable energy source for the nation. P&G was one of the first producers of biodiesel, and Howell was at the vanguard of production technology. Recognizing his unique skills as a scientist, collaborator and communicator, NBB recruited him to lead its national technical program. Howell is also president of Marc-IV Consulting Inc.  

“In its history, AOCS has named only about 85 people as Fellows, and their names constitute some of the very best in the fats and oils professions from around the globe,” said Mike Haas, a USDA researcher and past president of AOCS. “Steve Howell deserves to be among them.”

The AOCS motto is “Connecting the science of oil chemistry to our daily lives,” and that’s something Jobe says Howell excels at. “As a brilliant scientist, he has an uncommon ability to communicate complex subjects to individuals with the highest levels of knowledge and experience all the way down to beginners,” Jobe said. “He’s truly one of a kind.”

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