Asking the right questions—Clayton McNeff speaks at Eye-Opener Breakfast

mcneff_breakfastClayton McNeff ’91, chief science officer and chief financial officer for Ever Cat Fuels, recounted the story of the Mcgyan Process to an audience of more than 100 on May 10 at the Eye-Opener Breakfast. He told of discovering a process to make cost-effective biofuel that can reduce or eliminate U.S. dependence on fossil fuels. He also told the group that this “green miracle” began like many great discoveries, with someone asking the right question. Continue reading “Asking the right questions—Clayton McNeff speaks at Eye-Opener Breakfast”

Ever Cat Fuels opens in Isanti

evercatWhat began as a student research project in a Science Hall laboratory made another step toward changing how fuel will be produced in the future when Ever Cat Fuels held a grand opening for its biodiesel plant on Monday.

The plant, located about 40 miles north of campus in Isanti, Minn., is expected to produce about 3 million gallons of biodiesel per year when it is fully operational. The plant represents the first large-scale application of the Mcgyan process of making biodiesel. Continue reading “Ever Cat Fuels opens in Isanti”

From Science Hall to Capitol Hill

biodieselIt all started with Brian Krohn’s summer research question: is there a better way to make biodiesel?

Brian’s answer to that question has led him from the laboratory to Capitol Hill. With the help of Augsburg faculty and alumni, Brian uncovered a way to produce biodiesel from a wide variety of organic sources, not just crops. The new process also creates biodiesel much faster than existing methods while producing virtually no waste.

“Our process can use any feedstock,” said Brian. “What this does is it makes biodiesel cheaper, and you’re not using a food source — like corn or soybeans — to make a fuel.” Continue reading “From Science Hall to Capitol Hill”

Brian Krohn interviewed by 'Good Morning America'

sartec3This Monday afternoon, Augsburg College chemistry senior Brian Krohn and President Paul Pribbenow were interviewed by ABC News’ “Good Morning America” program. All indications are that this interview will be broadcast tomorrow, April 29. Local ABC affiliates carry “Good Morning America” from 7 – 9 a.m. CDT.

As has been reported on Inside Augsburg and outside media, Brian’s summer research under the eye of Professor Arlin Gyberg led to a revolutionary discovery of a highly efficient method of producing biodiesel from a wide variety of sources. Brian and Dr. Gyberg contacted Dr. Clayton McNeff, an Augsburg alumnus who also happens to be a vice president with Sartec Corporation. Sartec was able to provide the resources and expertise to turn Brian’s discovery into a full-fledged production system that will be producing millions of gallons of biodiesel by the end of the year. Continue reading “Brian Krohn interviewed by 'Good Morning America'”

Revolutionary biodiesel discovery starts at Augsburg

sartec2At a joint press conference held this morning in Science Hall 302, Augsburg College and SarTec Corporation officially announced the

discovery of a chemical process that could free the United States from its dependence on petroleum diesel fuel. This revolutionary method to make biodiesel started with the curiosity of Augsburg chemistry senior Brian Krohn and ended with three Twin Cities scientists creating the “Mcgyan Process.”

Brian initiated his summer research project by deciding to study new ways to produce biodiesel. After Brian’s preliminary

research, his professor advised him to contact chemist Dr. Clayton McNeff, an Augsburg alumnus and vice president of SarTec. McNeff, his chief scientist Dr. Ben Yan, and Augsburg’s Professor Arlin Gyberg took Brian’s idea and created a chemical reaction that has never before been described in scientific literature. As a result of the Mcgyan Process discovery, McNeff co-founded Ever Cat Fuels based in Anoka. It is the only plant in the world using this new method to manufacture biodiesel. Continue reading “Revolutionary biodiesel discovery starts at Augsburg”

Mr. Krohn goes to Washington

brian_krohn2Senior chemistry major Brian Krohn is one of approximately 70 students in the country who will travel to Washington, D.C., on April 30 to present their research to members of Congress. Accepted to the 2008 Posters on the Hill program, sponsored by the Council on Undergraduate Research, he will travel to Washington with his research adviser, Arlin Gyberg, professor of chemistry.

Krohn’s poster is titled “Fuel of the Future: Biodiesel. A Novel Method and Catalyst for the Production of Biodiesel.” He became interested in biodiesel fuels and received a grant from Augsburg’s Undergraduate Research and Graduate Opportunity Office (URGO) in summer 2006 to work with Gyberg. His goal was to experiment with alternate catalysts that could create a more efficient and environmentally friendly biodiesel. This research, done in collaboration with Augsburg alumnus Clayton McNeff ’91, vice president of SarTec Corporation, was successful and spurred the discovery of a new process to produce biodiesel. Continue reading “Mr. Krohn goes to Washington”