U of I Celebrates Three Decades of Biodiesel Research

Published online: May 05, 2010 University of Idaho, Bill Loftus
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MOSCOW, Idaho - University of Idaho scientists and engineers invite the public to celebrate three decades of biodiesel research with an afternoon of educational events and an evening banquet on May 25. The program will include a farm tour and banquet presentation by biodiesel pioneer Charles Peterson, an agricultural engineer who first began biodiesel research at the University of Idaho in 1979. Peterson retired in 2006. The University of Idaho is home to the National Biodiesel Education Program, which Peterson helped launch with Prof. Jon Van Gerpen, biological and agricultural engineering department head. The farm tour will begin at 1 p.m. and feature oilseed research by plant breeder Jack Brown, whose mustard, rapeseed and canola varieties are grown worldwide. The tour will be held at the Palouse Research, Extension and Education Center's Parker Farm two miles east of Moscow along Idaho Highway 8. A biodiesel laboratory tour at 3 p.m. on campus in the J.L. Martin Laboratory at Sixth St. and Perimeter Drive, will include talks about an array of topics including: · Matt Morra, University of Idaho professor of soil chemistry, will review biodiesel production co-products, such as pesticides from mustard and rapeseed meals · Jon Van Gerpen, who directs the U.S. Department of Agriculture-sponsored National Biodiesel Education Program, will talk about current and future biodiesel industry prospects · Jim Duffield of the USDA will highlight the national importance of biodiesel A social hour will begin at 5 p.m. at the University Inn Best Western followed by the banquet and Peterson's program reviewing 30 years of biodiesel research. Registration for the program will cost $30 and the deadline is May 17. Contact Jyotsna Sreenivasan at (208) 885-7626 or jyotsna@uidaho.edu for more information or to register.