Brand names, catalysts and a greener oilheat industry

The feature article lineup for the January 2010 issue of Biodiesel Magazine is one worth noting.
By Ron Kotrba | December 02, 2009
The feature article lineup for the January 2010 issue of Biodiesel Magazine is one worth noting. Associate editor Nick Zeman landed a strong interview with Dev Shrestha, the University of Idaho researcher who helped perform the new energy balance study of soy biodiesel, which found that soy biodiesel returns 4.5 units of energy for every unit of fossil energy required for its production. The result, "A Continuing Effort," is a Q&A article with introduction by Zeman, who also penned, "Biodiesel Brand Names," a featured piece examining the modus operandi behind efforts to associate products with companies and, ultimately, quality and reputations.

"Sweet Catalysis," an article written by assistant editor Susanne Retka Schill, is a story about a new catalyst developed by Wake Forest University professor Abdou Lachgar and graduate students. The cat, which is sugar based, is an esterification substitute for sulfuric acid, and while the yields are good, it's lifetime is not-after a couple of uses it loses its effectiveness. Lachgar is working on improving the life of the cat as well as making a hybrid version that can work as an acid and base cat for one-step processing of low-grade feedstocks.

Finally, the theme of our January issue is Bioheat, and I wrote an article I called, "Reinventing Oilheat," which is a deeper look into the oilheat industry's dual initiative resolution to fight for state mandates requiring low- or ultra-low sulfur heating oil fuel, the sulfur content of which is now largely unregulated, along with incorporating biodiesel blends that increase over time. It's a great story-and I'm not just saying that because I wrote it-so check it out.

The issue will first appear online in a couple of weeks and in your mailboxes shortly afterwards.
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