Biodiesel interest in Boston

A brief recap of the biodiesel interest at BBI's Northeast Biomass Conference & Expo Aug. 4-6 in Boston
By Ron Kotrba | August 11, 2010
BBI International's biomass conference in Boston, the Northeast Biomass Conference & Expo, finished up and was a success.

I moderated a biodiesel panel at the show, which featured Robert Cerio who is an engineer with Ocean State Energy Resources and consultant to the NBB. Robert gave a great presentation and provided the audience with a lot of positive news about America's first advanced biofuel-biodiesel. Nat Harris, production manager with Newport Biodiesel, was also featured on the panel. Newport Biodiesel has a great story to tell and Nat did a very nice job telling that story. Two students from the University of New Hampshire were also on the panel, Rebecca Wilson and Gina Chaput. They are part of the UNH Biodiesel Group and were very impressive. Becky spoke about research on a two-stage reaction process she is developing under the guidance of UNH's Dr. Farag. Gina presented on algae research, using wastewater to grow algae for biodiesel feedstock. I strongly believe students are the future of this industry and work going on at the university level is critical to creating a more efficient and robust industry.

What truly impressed me was all of the interest from the audience in this biodiesel panel. There was no shortage of questions, and the crowd was intensely engaged in the panel and what they had to say. The presentations ran short and there was about a half an hour for questions, and we took up every minute of that engaged in discussion. Thanks again to the great panel and the thoughtful questions from those in attendance. The crowd definitely got their money's worth out of the biodiesel panel, that's for sure. And for anyone who thinks the biodiesel industry is on its last leg, you should have seen all the interest in America's first advanced biofuel in Boston. It was very inspiring and gave me newfound hope in this great, and always interesting, field.