AURI Scientist to Help Boost Biodiesel
Doug Root, Senior Scientist of Biomass and Renewable Products Technologies has been selected to serve on the Minnesota Biodiesel Task Force. Root, who holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Arizona, is based at AURI’s Marshall Office.
The Biodiesel Task Force was established in 2003 to advise the Minnesota Department of Agriculture on methods to increase the production and use of biodiesel. It also helps to promote and educate possible biodiesel developers, marketers, manufacturers and consumers throughout the state.
“It will be a pleasure to serve on the Biodiesel Taskforce and use my experience and abilities to support the Minnesota biodiesel industry, which provides secure, reliable, American grown diesel fuel,” Root says. “This appointment reflects the growing reputation of AURI for impartial insight into agricultural innovation and new uses for agricultural commodities and co-products. AURI’s activities encourage rural economic growth in Minnesota and overlap with the interests of the biodiesel industry and biodiesel consumers. I hope to see growth in the biodiesel industry while meeting the needs of diesel fuel users for a consistent, reliable, cost competitive fuel.”
Root also chairs the industrial oilseeds division of the American Oil Chemist’s Society.
AURI recently announced thirteen research initiatives for 2016. The projects in the organization’s core four focus areas-renewable energy, biobased products, coproducts and food- all aim to create new and improved products and processes in order to utilize its commodities, grow the economy and create new jobs.
Minnesota has long been a leader in the development and acceptance of biodiesel. AURI scientists were among the first to research biodiesel’s potential back in the early 1990s. After decades of work, biodiesel became accepted as a viable alternative fuel and was designated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as the nation’s first advanced biofuel. It’s currently blended at a 10 percent level with diesel sold in Minnesota during the summer months and 5 percent year round. While its primary focus in the Midwest has been as a transportation fuel, home heating is potentially an equally exciting biodiesel opportunity.
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