What 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 in late September. 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 fully operational. It represents the first large-scale application of the Mcgyan process of making biodiesel.
The Mcgyan process came out of research by Augsburg undergraduate and Rhodes scholar Brian Krohn ’08 and creates biodiesel from waste oils. The process doesn’t require food stock to work and doesn’t create any waste products. The Mcgyan process—named for Ever Cat Fuels founder and Augsburg alumnus Clayton McNeff ’91, Augsburg chemistry professor Arlin Gyberg, and Ever Cat scientist Ben Yan—has certainly attracted a lot of attention.
“When I see something like this, it’s everything that we talk about in Washington,” said U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, who spoke at the grand opening.
McNeff said Ever Cat Fuels is already planning to expand its facility in Isanti. In addition, the company is licensing the Mcgyan process, and it is expected that other biodiesel facilities will be built across the country and the world. McNeff also said that a donation to Augsburg’s planned Center for Science, Business, and Religion will be made for each gallon of biodiesel sold.