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Navy secretary Mabus to address biofuels conference

September 27, 2011

For Starkville Daily News

U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus will deliver the keynote address during the 2011 Mississippi State University Biofuels Conference Oct. 5-7.
Open to registered conference attendees, the program on the 6th featuring his remarks will begin at 10 a.m. in the university’s Foster Ballroom of the Colvard Student Union. University President Mark E. Keenum and conference director Rafael Hernandez also will speak.
Mississippi’s former governor who was appointed last year by President Barrack Obama to lead the nation’s second oldest military department, Mabus will discuss the value of biofuels and other alternative energies to national defenses commitments. The Ackerman native also was U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia in the Clinton Administration. For more, visit http://www.navy.mil/navydata/bios/navybio.asp?bioID=505.
The conference also will include speakers representing the many stages of biofuel production, from the initial bench-scale level to companies already utilizing biofuel technology in commercial markets, said Hernandez, associate director of MSU’s Sustainable Energy Research Center.
“We’re telling success stories of how technology takes biofuels from a few gallons to hundreds of thousands of gallons,” added the Texas Olefins associate professor in the Dave C. Swalm School of Chemical Engineering.
On Oct. 7, the conference will feature an 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. panel discussion with representatives from the National Science Foundation; U.S. departments of Agriculture, Defense and Energy; Environmental Protection Agency; and public-private Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative. They will discuss current research and development projects of their respective agencies, among other topics.
Glenn Steele, director of MSU’s Energy Institute, said the yearly gatherings are designed to share perspectives of leaders in business, government and industry while showcasing leading biofuels and renewable energy research at MSU.
“MSU is developing fuels that can be mixed with gasoline, diesel and jet fuel,” Steele said. “We have three different processes at the pilot level and have a number of commercial partners who have begun to take our technologies to the next level.”
These projects are working to meet the U.S. goals of reducing dependence on foreign oil and producing more environmentally friendly and sustainable fuels, he added.  
Additional information and a full conference agenda are available at http://www.biofuelsconference.msstate.edu.
For additional information, contact Hernandez at 662-325-0790 or rhernandez@che.msstate.edu.

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