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Biorefineries Symposium 2007

NDSU BioOpportunities and NDSU/MBI Biomaterials Initiative

Biorefineries: Mining biomass for biofuels, biochemicals and biomaterials - held October 12, 2007

MBI International and NDSU reported on progress of the on-going NDSU and MBI International biomaterials initiative, “Developing a biomaterials industry in North Dakota.” Presenters discussed the biorefinery concept and MBI technologies including biomass pretreatment, biofuels and biochemicals production, and the development of biocomposites. Other presentations included economic development implications and how North Dakota can play a leading role in the emerging bio-based economy.

Presentations:

Cellulose Nanofibers from Wheat Straw: Bernie Steele, MBI

MBI International: Biobased Technologies: Darold McCalla, MBI

Sustainable Bio-based Structural Matierals: Opportunities and Challenges:
Lawrence Drzal, Michigan State University

How North Dakota Can Gain the Competitive Edge: Donald Senechal, The Windmill Group

Developing a Biomaterials Industry in North Dakota: Larry Leistritz, NDSU

Economic Development Implications of a Biomaterials Industry in North Dakota: Nancy Hodur/Larry Leistritz, NDSU

MBI International (http://www.mbi.org/) MBI International works with individuals, industry and government to develop technologies and commercialize them. We focus on processes that are biobased - those that are environmentally friendly and safe.

Bernie Steele, Director, Operations, MBI International. Dr. Steele has over 25 years of experience in biotechnology. In the last ten years his research has focused on the production of fuels, chemicals and materials from renewable resources. Programs include development of cellulosic biomass pretreatments for conversion to biofuels and nanocomposite materials, and succinic acid production via fermentation. He is responsible for all R&D operations including Quality Assurance and Laboratory Safety and serves as Biosafety Officer of MBI.

Darold McCalla, Professional executive, operations, marketing and finance. Dr. McCalla has domestic and international experience He is an experienced project manager, having worked with business development as well as product development and market introduction. His work at MBI International focuses on the development of biorefinery concepts for ethanol dry mills and the utilization of the byproducts from these mills.

Lawrence T. Drzal, University Distinquished Professor, Dept. of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science Michigan State University Professor Drzal is the Director of the Michigan State University Composite Materials & Structure Center. His research involves nanocomposite and biocomposite materials. This includes new biobased biofiber reinforcements from plants, biopolymers from plant chemicals, and new methods for processing biocomposites with high reinforcement contents. He has been awarded 18 patents.

F. Larry Leistritz. Dr. Leistritz, NDSU Distinguished Professor of Agribusiness & Applied Economics, has more than 35 years experience in research on agricultural issues in the Upper Midwest region. He has been project manager/lead researcher on numerous projects sponsored by state and federal agencies and commodity groups
.
Nancy Hodur, Research Scientist, NDSU Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics. Primary areas of research are rural economic development, nature-based and heritage tourism, and natural resources. Prior to joining NDSU in 2001, she worked as a legislative aid to US Senator Byron L. Dorgan.

Donald Senechal, Founding Principal of The Windmill Group, LLC. Mr Senechal has provided management consulting services to leading food and agribusiness organizations in the cooperative, not-for profit and commercial sectors globally during a 30-year consulting career. His focus is strategic planning and implementation of resulting business initiatives.

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