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2013 AM Education Course Description: Biofuels & Lubes

December 01, 2012

Annual Meeting
STLE University

Education Course Fact Sheet: BioFuels & Lubes

Course content, instructors and details subject to change. This listing was last updated on March 1, 2013.

Date/Time: Sunday, May 5, 2013, starting at 8:00 a.m. For details, see course agenda

Course Chair: Dr. Girma Biresaw, USDA/ARS/NCAUR

Vice Chair: Dr. Neil Canter, Chemical Solutions

Course Description: This course will be an overview of current progress on the use of biofuels and biolubricants. The course elements will include an introduction to energy and alternative sources, some basic chemistry of vegetable oils, general performance requirements, overviews of market progress, niche markets and governmental and regulatory drivers.  Information on European, U.S. and OEM views will be included. The course will primarily focus on lubricants but will include a general overview of alternative transportation fuels.  Biodiesel feedstocks, production and quality issues will be covered. An outstanding list of speakers with first-hand knowledge of the above areas will teach the course.

You may also like: Automotive Lubrication 201 - Gasoline, taking place on Wednesday, May 8.



Overview: This module will provide a short synopsis of the materials to be covered in the course.

Instructor: Girma Biresaw, USDA's Agricultural Research Service (ARS)

Biography: Girma Biresaw received a Ph.D. in Physical-Organic Chemistry from the University of California, Davis, and spent 4 years as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He then joined the Aluminum Company of America and conducted research in tribology, surface/colloid science, and adhesion for 12 years.  Girma joined the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of the US Department of Agriculture in Peoria, IL, in 1998 as a Research Chemist, and became a Lead Scientist in 2002.  At ARS, Girma conducts research in tribology, adhesion, and surface/colloid science in support of programs aimed at increasing the utilization of farm products. To date, he has authored/co-authored more than 225 scientific publications, including:  62 peer-reviewed manuscripts, 6 patents, 9 book chapters, 28 proceedings and 3 edited books. Girma is a member of ACS, AOCS, STLE, and Editorial Board Member for the Journal of Biobased Materials and Bioenergy.

Chemistry 101 - Petroleum and Biofuels and BioLubricants

Overview: This lecture will contain basic nomenclature of vegetable oils. It will discuss the differences in chemical and physical properties of petroleum and vegetable oils and some analytical analysis methods of interest.

Instructor: Joseph Perez, Penn State

Biography: Dr. Perez has been involved in fuels, lubricants and environmental research for 60 years and is an STLE Fellow. His undergraduate degree in Chemistry was obtained from Kings College, Wilkes-Barre, PA. His graduate studies were at the Petroleum Refining Laboratory and Chemical Engineering Department  at Penn State under the tutelage of Dr. Elmer Klaus and Dr. Merrell Fenske. His career has involved research at Penn State, Kendall Refining Co., Caterpillar Tractor Co., NIST and USDOE. He returned to Penn State in 1995 as head of the Tribology Group after the death of Dr. Klaus. Since then, he has had the privilege of advising over 24 MS, PhD and Post Docs in the field of Tribology. In addition, he has been the advisor for an Undergraduate Biodiesel Team of 10-12 students each year who obtain hands-on experience while conducting research on vegetable oils and biodiesel fuels.  He has over 200 publications and presentations. He has conducted research on Environmentally Friendly Lubricants in collaboration with the USDA Oil Products Group, Peoria, IL for the past 12 years.  This has led to the use of biodiesel and biobased lubricants at Penn State in farm equipment, vehicles and elevators on campus. Dr. Perez is a member of STLE, AOCS, SAE, ACS and ASTM.  He received several awards from SAE, STLE, USDOE, and Kings College.  He served in the Navy as an Aerographer from 1951 – 1955, received a commission in 1960 and served in the Naval Reserve, retiring as a Captain in 1990.  He is a professional musician in his spare time and currently leads two bands at the State College Senior Center, The Second Winds Jazz Band and The Senior Dance Band.  He retired at Penn State after 25 years of service and is currently still involved in the undergraduate biodiesel research team as an Adjunct Professor.

Biodegradation, Regulations and Standards

Overview: This module discusses the current test methods used and definitions for biodegradability. The concepts of “green and “sustainability: are also covered. Government programs in the US (BioPreferred Program) and the European Union (Eco-Label) are reviewed and details provided for how a lubricant manufacturer can qualify its products for both programs.

Instructor: Neil Canter, Chemical Solutions

Biography: Neil Canter received his PhD in Chemistry from the University of Michigan in 1983 and his BS in Chemistry from Brown University in 1978. He has been working in the lubricant industry for over 25 years. Neil previously worked for Stepan Company and Mayco. Presently, Neil runs his own consulting company called Chemical Solutions. He specializes in commercial development, marketing, product development and regulatory support for the lubricant industry. Neil is a member of American Chemical Society, Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE). Neil is currently a Contributing Editor responsible for writing the monthly Tech Beat column in STLE’s TLT magazine. He is also a member of the STLE Education Committee and the Chairman of STLE’s Metalworking Fluid Steering Committee. Neil has written articles covering new developments in biodegradable lubricants and a feature article entitled “What is Green?” that was in the December, 2010 issue of TLT. He has made presentations on biodegradable lubricants at past STLE local section meetings and was vice chair of the 2011 Biofuels and Biolubricants Education Course.

General Performance Requirements of Lubricants

Overview: Bio-lubricants must have equivalent performance to replace petroleum products.  This lecture will discuss the basic requirements for hydraulic fluids, gear oils and engine oils and the pros and cons of vegetable base oils meeting these requirements.

Instructor: Joseph Perez, Penn State

Biography: See above.

Growth of Niche Markets in the U.S.

Overview: This presentation is a technical approach to environmentally safe lubricants. It will help the attendees chose the right environmentally safe fluid for their applications. It will review the definitions of environmentally preferable products and strengths and limitations of each type. It will also review the various definitions of “biodegradable” and the maintenance practices required to prolong the life of the fluid and the equipment. Included will be environmental fluid compatibility with hydraulic systems, thrusters, pumps, sealing materials, hoses, and other important components. Water infiltration, high pressure, wide temperature range usage as well as ways to manage these challenges will also be discussed. Finally, data that was gathered and observations that were made during several multiple year field demonstrations will be reviewed. Data that will be used covers oil analysis, equipment inspections, operating conditions, and overall cost savings. 

Instructor: Mark Miller, Terresolve Technologies

Biography: Mark Miller is the CEO of Terresolve Technologies, a Cleveland-based company that provides non-toxic, biodegradable lubricating products. Mr. Miller has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Tufts University and an M.B.A. from Manhattan College. He has engineered, sold and marketed lubricants and lubricant additives for over 30 years. Terresolve’s biobased fluids have been extensively proven in the lab and in the field and are renewable, support the agrarian community, and meet federal guidelines for environmentally preferable purchasing.

Biolubricant Developments and Markets in EU

Overview: Up to now there is no uniform legislation in Europe concerning biofuels or biolubricants. Each country has its own laws. Biofuels are fuels made out of renewable resources. But there is no exact definition of biolubricants, are they made of renewable resources, too, or should biolubricants be biodegradable and non toxic according to ISO 15380? This fact complicates the market data of biolubricants. Some European countries support the application of biolubricants by tax reduction or subventions. In Germany the market launch of biolubes started in the 1990s with a big advertising campaign for lubricants based on native vegetable oils. But soon problems occurred especially in the hydraulic sector. Other biodegradable base oils were developed and tested, but nowadays there are still users who reject ester based biolubes because of technical problems. Up to now the addition of biofuels into diesel and gasoline is not realized in every European country. In Germany since January 2011 regular gasoline is called E10 – gasoline containing 10% ethanol. But although E10 is cheaper than premium gasoline, many Germans don’t use it because they are concerned about their cars. In addition environmentalists and even Germany’s minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Dirk Niebel demand the stop of selling E10 in Germany. The minister’s reason is the rise of food prices, which affects poor people abroad, the environmentalists are concerned about exploitation of nature.

Instructor: Ben Müller-Zermini, Hermann Bantleon GmbH

Biography: Ben Müller-Zermini received a Ph.D. in Analytical Chemistry from the University of Ulm, Germany. In his thesis he worked on the improvement of UV-detection in capillary electrophoresis and HPLC using glass fibre optic. In 2006 he joined the Hermann Bantleon GmbH in Ulm, Germany. The Hermann Bantleon GmbH is a middle sized company developing and distributing lubricants and anti-corrosive products. Ben conducts product development and analytics. He is secretary in the CEC working group CEC-SDG-L-103, which developed the new CEC-L-103-12 for measuring biodegradability of lubricants.

USDA Biolubricant Programs

Overview: This lecture summarizes the various programs at USDA aimed at helping the development and commercialization of biobased lubricants. USDA’s programs cover all aspects of biolubricant development from basic research to commercialization. The main elements of these programs include: basic and applied research to improve the properties of current farm-based biolubricant ingredients such as vegetable oils; synthesis of new biobased ingredients with improved properties; characterization and investigation of the tribological properties of biobased lubricant feedstocks; testing and commercialization of biobased lubricant formulations in collaboration with stakeholders, through CRADA and other arrangements; increasing the purchase and use of biolubricants through the The BioPreferredSM Program.

Instructor: Girma Biresaw, USDA/ARS/NCAUR

Biography: See above.

Biofuels and Other Alternative Transportation Fuels

Overview: This lecture will discuss the status of biodiesel production and briefly cover the use of some alternative fuels.  The ASTM and EU specifications will be reviewed.  The process and safety issues of preparing biodiesel will be covered. 

Instructor: Joseph Perez, Penn State

Biography: See above.

Automotive Markets and OEM Concerns

Overview: As the EPA considers higher ethanol blending volumes for gasoline and bio-ester volumes for biodiesel blending, it is critical to have stringent quality control in both industries.  Both industries are expanding the types of feed stocks used to make our future alternative fuels and they are continuously changing/improving the processing techniques.  New biofuel regulation guidelines continue to focus on meeting the goals of the Renewable Fuel Standard of 2012 (RFS2) and EISA 2007 (Energy Independence and Security Act 2007) to reduce our carbon footprint and dependence on foreign oil.  The rate of volume production for each type of biofuel and the affects they will have on automobile performance and emissions are discussed along with comparative data to traditional petroleum derived fuels.  Also discussed is the critical role of the chemical engineer in the ever expanding biofuels industry which will be focused on feed stock sustainability, cost optimized processing operations, cogeneration, and downstream compatibility. The biofuel and automotive industries can both learn from the unique biofuel chemistries to minimize any risks related to vehicle component material interactions in order to provide optimal customer performance satisfaction and a reduced vehicle emissions lifecycle model.

Instructor: Girma Biresaw, see bio above.

Presentation provided by: Jill ("Jay") Cummings, General Motors

Biography: Jay Cummings is the Lead Chemical Process Engineer for renewable fuels at the GM Powertrain Biofuels Analytical Lab.  Jay performs analytical chemical analysis on gasoline, diesel, ethanol blended fuels, biodiesel, raw ethanol, butanol, and gasoline and diesel additives. She works with commercial and pilot scale biorefineries on process optimization studies and quality audits and relates those to the development of material compatibility testing and warranty investigations for the engine, drivetrain, and fuel system components of the vehicles.  Jay has extensive experience with DOE and FMEA studies for both manufacturing and research applications, and obtained Red X Journeyman status under the Shainin-Six Sigma program at GM.  Previously she was employed with the Dow Chemical Company in Midland, MI and holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Metallurgical Engineering from Michigan Technological University.  Jay is a member of the American Chemical Society, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Society of Tribologist and Lubrication Engineers, American Petroleum Institute, and the American Society for Testing and Materials.  Jay is a co-author of 3 patents with Dow Chemical and 2 patents with GM; the primary author of 6 patents with GM; the primary author of 1 Tool Method with GM; and a co-author of 2 Defensive Publications with GM.

Biolubricants Review Session

Overview: This module is a review of the materials discussed concerning biolubricants.

Instructor: Girma Biresaw, USDA/ARS/NCAUR

Biography: See above.

Biofuels Review Session

Overview: This module is a review of the materials discussed concerning biofuels.

Instructor: Joseph Perez, Penn State

Biography: See above.

Course Agenda

8:00 AM    Course Introduction
8:15 AM    Chemistry 101 - Petroleum and Biofuels and BioLubricants
9:00 AM    Biodegradation, Regulations and Standards
10:00 AM   Break
10:15 AM   General Performance Requirements of Lubricants
10:45 AM   Growth of Niche Markets in the U.S.
12:00 PM   Lunch
1:15 PM    Biolubricant Developments and Markets in EU
2:00 PM    USDA Biolubricant Programs
2:45 PM    Break
3:00 PM    Biofuels and other Alternative transportation fuels
4:00 PM    Automotive Markets and OEM Concerns  
4:45 PM    Biolubricants Review Session
5:00 PM    Biofuels Review Session
5:15 PM    Course Ends


"STLE's Education Courses have been very beneficial in providing the training required for those people seeking to become CLS certified. The introduction of the Biofuels and Lubricants Course was a great example of the collective knowledge base that is utilized by STLE in order to keep pace with changing technologies. From the basic reasons why the industry is looking at new energy sources to the more practical technology of these fluids, this couse provided a good understanding of bioenergy's place in our industry. I recommend this program to anyone looking at getting involved with biofuels and lubes, as they gain momentum in our industry, which is focusing on renewable resources meeting more stringent environmental regulations."  -Keith Tully, Technical Sales Manager, Petroleum Operations, UFA Co-operative Ltd., Calgary, AB, Canada

"This was an enjoyable class and I was able to greatly expand my knowledge of biolubes, which was limited before the class. The format and topics seemed to be well thought-out and relevant to the course."  -Bill Potter, Technical Services Manager/Training, Inlet Petroleum Company

"I think the course included topics of interest for all, and the speakers were focused and had a good command of the course material."  -Guadalupe Sanchez, Chemtura Corporation

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