Biodiesel maker Hero BX opens research lab at Penn State Behrand

By Hero BX | May 04, 2018

Lake Erie Biofuels, doing business as Hero BX, officially cut the ribbon at its new research and development laboratory at Knowledge Park on the Erie campus of Penn State Behrend May 1.

“This marks the culmination of an idea that began years ago,” said Hero BX founder and CEO Samuel P. “Pat” Black III. “The work inside these four walls will serve as a catalyst for change.”

Located at Knowledge Park in the Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Center, the Hero BX laboratory advances the company’s efforts to diversify and develop biodiesel products for new markets while utilizing the skills of Penn State Behrend students in industry-driven research. One of the first initiatives is to realize a way to reduce the sulfur content of feedstocks used in biodiesel production. Subsequent studies will focus on increasing the efficiency of biodiesel in cold temperature applications such as the airline industry.

“Like any other, the biodiesel industry has to diversify to survive and I chose to invest in our own research and development to ensure that survival,” Black said. “And I chose Penn State Behrend as I know that the next generation of researchers, innovators and leaders walk their halls.”

The Hero BX partnership is the first open lab initiative in the Penn State Behrend School of Science. AMIC was designed to foster exactly that kind of collaboration.

“The Hero BX lab will create new opportunities for Penn State Behrend students to collaborate with an industrial research partner,” said Penn State Chancellor Ralph Ford. “In this case, developing cleaner, domestically produced, renewable fuel sources. By providing targeted opportunities for students in our school of science, our partnership with Hero BX expands our open lab model of learning, which matches students and faculty members with private-sector partners for experiential student learning, applied research and advanced product development. We’re excited for the future of Hero BX and Knowledge Park.”

Hero BX and Penn State Behrend also welcomed Congressman Mike Kelly of Pennsylvania’s 3rd District to the event. Kelly has quickly become a fierce advocate for the biofuels industry and continues to support job creation efforts across the Commonwealth.

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