Faculty and student researchers' biofuels article accepted for publication - Sep 26, 2012 - Natural Sciences Department - UW-Superior News and Events

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Faculty and student researchers' biofuels article accepted for publication

Posted on Sep 26, 2012
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Faculty and students who worked over the summer on using new microwave-assisted methods of processing biofuels include, from left, Dr. Jim Lane, Michael Schultz, Dr. Michael Waxman, Racquel Kaizer, Mitch Knase, and Adam Jersett. Lane, Schultz and Waxman are among the co-authors of a newly accepted research article.

Faculty and students who worked over the summer on using new microwave-assisted methods of processing biofuels include, from left, Dr. Jim Lane, Michael Schultz, Dr. Michael Waxman, Racquel Kaizer, Mitch Knase, and Adam Jersett. Lane, Schultz and Waxman are among the co-authors of a newly accepted research article.

A paper about bio-fuel research written by UW-Superior faculty and students has been accepted for publication by a top academic journal.

The paper, titled "Sulfonic acid functionalized mesoporous SBA-15 catalyst for biodiesel production," has been accepted by Applied Catalysis B:  Environmental, a leading peer-reviewed journal on catalysis.

The paper is a result of an ongoing research effort at UW-Superior to identify plants from northern Wisconsin and Minnesota that are capable of producing biodiesel fuel with good low-temperature properties.

Authors of the paper include Dr. Jim Lane and Dr. Michael Waxman, faculty members in UW-Superior's chemistry program, along with:

  • Michael Schultz, current undergraduate biology and chemistry major
  • Dan Culy, chemistry major, graduated in 2011
  • Allison Pullar, chemistry major, graduated in 2011
  • Donghua Zuo, a former research employee now working for DuPont

The biofuel research project at UW-Superior is aimed at developing manufacturing technologies that can produce biofuel from domestic resources. Scientists from a private sector company and UW-Superior's Department of Natural Sciences and the Lake Superior Research Institute are analyzing plants from northern Wisconsin and northern Minnesota to determine whether the properties that enable plants to survive the region's winter temperatures make them suitable for creating bio-fuels that perform well at low temperatures.

Research on the project continues, with a team of faculty and students working over the past summer on developing new sources of biodiesel and advancing new microwave-assisted methods of processing them. Students involved in that team include Schultz as well as Racquel Kaizer, chemistrymajor from Monrovia, Liberia; Mitch Knase, chemistry major from Brookston, Minn.; and Adam Jersett, chemistry major from Superior.

Last year, Waxman and Lane and a different team of students had a paper about bio-fuel research accepted for publication by the Journal of the American Oil Chemists' Society.

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