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Mississippi State -- Biodiesel will be the subject of an Aug. 24 workshop at the Bost Conference Center at Mississippi State University.

A renewable fuel produced from vegetable oils or animal fats, biodiesel is being blended with traditional petroleum diesel and sold at an increasing number of retail pumps nationwide. Biodiesel production increased from 500,000 gallons a year in 1999 to about 80 million gallons in 2005. The 2006 output is expected to total more than 200 million gallons.

“The objective of the MSU Biodiesel Workshop is to educate current and potential consumers, fuel distributors and potential investors about the characteristics of biodiesel and current successful biodiesel enterprises,” said Rafael Hernandez, MSU assistant professor of chemical engineering. “Experts will cover all aspects of biodiesel production, including refining technologies, biodiesel quality, byproduct handling and biodiesel plant design.”

MSU's Swalm School of Chemical Engineering is hosting the workshop in partnership with the MSU Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, MSU Industrial Outreach Service, Farm Bureau, the Mississippi Technology Alliance and the Mississippi Biomass Council. Industry sponsors are Paul Mueller, Scott Petroleum, Ag BioEnergy and Holcim (US) Inc./Energis LLC.

Registration is available online at or at the workshop beginning at 7:30 a.m. There is a $95 registration fee, which includes lunch.

The workshop program begins at 8:15 a.m. with opening remarks by Marie Thomas, legislative assistant and energy policy specialist for Sen. Thad Cochran.

The closing session of the workshop will be a roundtable discussion by representatives of biodiesel producers and distributors, including Scott Petroleum, Eastman Chemical and Alabama Biodiesel.

For additional information on the workshop, contact Stuart Dean at (662) 325-0513 or by e-mail at


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