March 12, 2008

Biofuels symposium rescheduled for March 25

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Officials at Southern Illinois University Carbondale have rescheduled a symposium on biofuels postponed last month by bad weather.

SIUC will present the symposium and panel discussion titled "Biofuels: Ethanol, biodiesel and beyond," on March 25 at the old city hall in West Frankfort, 108 N. Emma St. The event previously was set for Feb. 21 at a different West Frankfort location, but organizers postponed it because of an impending winter storm.

Organizers said those who already are pre-registered for the event need not sign up again. There still are some slots open for the symposium, however, and they are still accepting pre-registrations.

The evening will start with refreshments and conversation at 5:30 p.m., followed by the program at 6 p.m. A question-and-answer period will follow the panel discussion, with the event scheduled to end by 8 p.m.

The event is the third in a series sponsored by the University aimed at updating the public on advances surrounding coal technology. Officials are inviting lay people, elected leaders, educators and business people interested in gaining more understanding of coal energy technology issues.

Previously, the University held discussions on coal gasification technology and the future of coal mining. John S. Mead, director of the Coal Extraction and Utilization Research Center at SIUC, said this event's focus on biofuels will help bring valuable information to a public strapped by rising energy costs.

The event will feature several knowledgeable participants who work or do research in the biofuels arena. They include:

• John V. Caupert Jr., director of the National Corn to Ethanol Research Center at SIU Edwardsville, who will speak on "The Impact of the 2007 Energy Independence Act."

• Ira J. Altman, assistant professor of agribusiness and economics in the College of Agricultural Sciences at SIUC, who will speak on "The Economics of Biofuels Project Development."

• Darryl Brinkman, member of the National Farm Bureau Board of Directors and the National Biodiesel Board, who will speak on "Agricultural Producers Perspective."

• Brian Boyle, of Stepan Co., a large Northbrook-based biodiesel company, who will speak on "Large Producer Perspectives."

• Tim Lindsey, a researcher with the Illinois Waste Management Research Center at the University of Illinois, who will speak on "Small Producer Perspectives."

• Tom Dersch, vice president of Dersch Energies Inc., who will speak on "Biofuels from a Retailer Perspective," as well as how the petroleum market relates to biofuels.

• Blaine H. Heisner, assistant instructor in the automotive technology program in the College of Applied Sciences and Arts at SIUC, who will speak on "Biofuels as Alternative Motor Fuels."

The Southern Illinois Entrepreneurship Center at SIUC is co-sponsoring the event. The SIUC coal research center and Connect SI, a local organization aimed at connecting public and private resources to create a sustainable, globally competitive economy, organized the event.

To pre-register, contact Man-Tra-Con Corp. at 618/998-0970, Ext. 215; by fax at 618/998-1291, attention: Tammy Kirk; or by email at You can also write to Man-Tra-Con Corp at 3000 W. DeYoung St., Suite 800-B, Marion, IL 62959.