Thursday, October 31, 2013

Student Scholarships for Biodiesel Conference

College students in scientific areas of study have the opportunity for a unique educational experience.  The National Biodiesel Board, state soybean boards, and the United Soybean Board, through the soybean checkoff, are offering scholarship opportunities for Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel members to attend the National Biodiesel Conference & Expo, Jan. 20 – 23, 2014 in San Diego. 

This scholarship would include: 

• A complimentary conference registration (an $800 value)*
• A travel scholarship of $400**
• Networking opportunities with some of the brightest minds in biodiesel research, in events set up exclusively for scholarship recipients

Even if you are not selected for the full scholarship, the National Biodiesel Board has made available several $100 conference rates for NGSB members. 

Click here to see more on last year’s student participation!

To apply:  You must be a college/university student in a scientific field of study, and have joined NGSB.  (Joining is easy!) 

Apply here by Nov. 15, 2013.

Students can also present a poster on biodiesel-related research. Submit your abstract here. The poster application deadline is Dec. 1, 2013.

Lawmakers to meet Wednesday on long-delayed farm bill

House and Senate lawmakers responsible for writing a farm bill will gather publicly on Wednesday for the first time, a meeting expected to shed light on how quickly the conferees could strike a deal on the much-delayed legislation.
The biggest obstacle for House and Senate conferees is the wide gap in food stamp cuts — the House bill cuts by $39 billion; the Senate by $4.5 billion
Read more from USA Today.

  • Follow news on the farm Bill here.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

USDA Announces Availability of Funding to Develop Advanced Biofuels Projects

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the availability of $181 million to develop commercial-scale biorefineries or retrofit existing facilities with appropriate technology to develop advanced biofuels. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) remains focused on carrying out its mission, despite a time of significant budget uncertainty. Today's announcement is one part of the Department's efforts to strengthen the rural economy.

"This financing will expand the number of commercial biorefineries in operation in the U.S. that are producing advanced biofuels from non-food sources," Vilsack said. "USDA's Biorefinery Assistance Program is yet another way USDA is helping to carry out the Obama Administration's 'all-of-the-above' energy strategy to develop every possible source of American-made energy. But the benefits go beyond reducing our dependence on foreign oil. These biorefineries are also creating lasting job opportunities in rural America and are boosting the rural economy as well."

The Biorefinery Assistance Program was created through the 2008 Farm Bill and is administered by USDA Rural Development. It provides loan guarantees to viable commercial-scale facilities to develop new and emerging technologies for advanced biofuels. Eligible entities include Indian tribes, State or local governments, corporations, farmer co-ops, agricultural producer associations, higher education institutions, rural electric co-ops, public power entities or consortiums of any of the above.

Sapphire Energy's "Green Crude Farm" in Columbus, N.M., is an example of how this program is supporting the development of advanced biofuels. In 2011, USDA provided Sapphire Energy a $54.5 million loan guarantee to build a refined alga oil commercial facility. In continuous operation since May 2012, the plant is producing renewable algal oil that can be further refined to replace petroleum-derived diesel and jet fuel. According to the company, more than 600 jobs were created throughout the first phase of construction at the facility, and 30 full-time employees currently operate the plant. The company expects to produce 100 barrels of refined algal oil per day by 2015, and to be at commercial-scale production by 2018. After receiving additional equity from private investors, Sapphire was able to repay the remaining balance on its USDA-backed loan earlier this year.

In 2011, USDA issued a $12.8 million loan guarantee to Fremont Community Digester for construction of an anaerobic digester in Fremont, Mich. The digester, which began commercial operations late last year, is the largest commercial-scale anaerobic digester in the United States. It has the capacity to process more than 100,000 tons of food waste annually to produce biogas and electricity. Biogas from the digester runs generators that total 2.85 megawatts in capacity. The electricity produced is sold to a local utility and is providing power for about 1,500 local homes.

Applications for biorefinery assistance are due by January 30, 2014. More information about how to apply is available in the October 2, 2013 Federal Register announcement or by contacting the USDA Rural Development National Office.

Since the start of the Obama Administration, the USDA Biorefinery Assistance Program has provided approximately $684 million in assistance to support biofuels projects in eight states.

Secretary Vilsack noted that today's funding announcements are another reminder of the importance of USDA programs such as the Biorefinery Assistance Program for rural America. A comprehensive new Food, Farm and Jobs Bill would further expand the rural economy, Vilsack added, saying that's just one reason why Congress must get a Food, Farm and Jobs Bill done as soon as possible.

President Obama's plan for rural America has brought about historic investment and resulted in stronger rural communities. Under the President's leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America's economy, small towns and rural communities. USDA's investments in rural communities support the rural way of life that stands as the backbone of our American values. President Obama and Agriculture Secretary Vilsack are committed to a smarter use of Federal resources to foster sustainable economic prosperity and ensure the government is a strong partner for businesses, entrepreneurs and working families in rural communities.

Release No. 0195.13
Contact: Jay Fletcher (202) 690-0498

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

AOCS Awards

October, November and December are busy months for AOCS awards. The majority of the awards material close dates fall within these months.

This year we are extending the deadline for at least one award. Why? To try to accommodate those of you affected by the partial US government shutdown. We want everyone to have a chance at submitting all required material for full consideration. Therefore, the Stephen S. Chang submission deadline has been extended to November 15, 2013.

We are accepting nominations for many of the awards, but deadlines are fast approaching.

November 1, 2013 is the next award deadline.

Society Service Awards
  • A.R. Baldwin Distinguished Service Award
  • Award of Merit
  • AOCS Fellows - December 1 close date
Scientific Awards
  • Supelco/Nicholas Pelick-AOCS Research Award
  •  Young Scientist Research Award
  • George Schreopfer Medal - December 15 close date

Divisions and Section Awards
  • Alton E. Bailey Award
  • Herbert Dutton Award
  • Timothy Mounts Award
  • Edible Applications Technology Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Ralph Holman Award
  • ACI/NBB Glycerine Innovation Award
  • Samuel Rosen Award
  • Processing Division Distinguished Service Award - close date January 1
  • Surfactants and Detergents Distinguished Service Award - close date January 1

Student Awards - close date of October 21
  • AOCS Foundation Honored Students
  • Ralph Potts Memorial Fellowship
  • Hans Kaunitz
  • Analytical Division
  • Edible Applications Technology Division
  • Health and Nutrition Division
  • Industrial Oil Products Division
  • Surfactants and Detergents Division

Visit the Awards Program website for a full listing of AOCS awards, nomination requirements, and applications. AOCS awards recognize achievements and contributions to the profession, industry and Society. Help honor the work of a deserving colleague. Nominate a colleague or yourself for one of the many AOCS awards.

Friday, October 11, 2013

California Safer Consumer Products Webinar

After five years of collaboration amongst manufacturers, consumers and environmentalists, California’s Safer Consumer Products Regulations entered into force on October 1 2013.  The impact of the regulations is expected to be felt across the US and beyond. 

The Regulations take a preventative approach to keeping dangerous chemicals out of everyday products and aim to provide a more predictable process for ensuring product safety. Find out what impact the Regulations will have on your company and what steps you can take now to work towards compliance.  Click here to register.

  • Karl Palmer, Chief, Toxics in Product Branch, California's Department of Toxic Substances Control, will introduce the new Regulations.
  • Lynn Bergeson of Bergeson & Campbell PC will focus on the initial steps companies need to take to understand how the regulations may affect their operations in the near future.
  • Emily Tipaldo, Manager, Regulatory and Technical Affairs, American Chemistry Council, will provide practical advice to upstream companies and discuss how they can work with customers in the supply chain to achieve compliance.

October 16 at 9am PDT (Los Angeles) / 12pm (New York) / 5pm (London) / 6pm (Brussels).  Click here to register.

Not able to attend?

Sign up to the webinar and you will receive a high quality video recording after the event.  Submit a question before the webinar to be answered by the speakers.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

AOCS Newsletter Highlights October 2013

AOCS Validates Methods for MCPD Ester Analysis
A collaborative study conducted by AOCS over the past 12 months with 20 participants from eight countries has validated three indirect methods for characterizing 3-MCPD- (or monochloropropane-1,2-diol), 2-MCPD- and glycidyl-esters in oils and fats.
  • AOCS Official Method Cd 29b-13: Determination of Bound Monochloropropanediol-(MCPD-) and Bound 2,3-epoxy-1-propanol (glycidol-) by Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS)
  • AOCS Official Method Cd 29c-13: Fatty-acid-bound 3-chloropropane-1,2,diol (3-MCPD) and 2,3-epoxi-propane-1-ol (glycidol), Determination in Oils and Fats by GC/MS (Differential Measurement)
Inform Free Features
The body's "silent partners" are the topic of the first free article from Inform, the AOCS membership magazine. Learn how the microbes that live on/in humans affect our physiology, how these microbial communities interact with our environment, and what the implications might be.

In our second free article, discover how a shortage of acrylic acid has led to a green route to glycerol and long-chain olefins via ultraviolet irradiation of fats and vegetable oils. "The glycerol can be transformed through catalytic processes into acrylic acid and other essential raw material . . . ," the investigators say. They are not alone in the search for biobased acrylic acid—an extremely versatile industrial chemical feedstock.

AOCS Award News
Allan Green of CSIRO is the recipient of the AOCS Australasian Section Lipid Research Award. He has been at the forefront of research in plant lipid biosynthesis and genetic manipulation for over three decades. Green will receive the award at the AAOCS Biennial Meeting in November.

We are still accepting nominations for many of the awards, but deadlines are fast approaching.

Visit the Awards Program website for deadlines, nomination requirements, and applications. Don't delay — October 15 is the first nomination deadline.

AOCS 2014 Budget Discussions
AOCS Business Management Committee members Phil Bollheimer, Doug Lopshire, Ramanathan Narayanan, and Blake Hendrix were joined by Vice President Steve Hill and President Tim Kemper to review the proposed budget for 2014 at AOCS Headquarters in Urbana, Illinois, USA, on October 2.

The committee spent the day discussing the proposed budget with AOCS staff. The budget was approved for recommendation to the Board.

The next Governing Board meeting will take place in Chicago, Illinois, USA, October 17 in conjunction with the AOCS Value Center Meetings taking place the day before. Members of the Value Centers will meet to assess current activities and to provide input to the AOCS staff about future directions.

Looking for a Job?
AOCS Career Services regularly posts some of the best career opportunities in the industry.
AOCS partners with Chemical Watch (CW)
AOCS members can keep abreast of global regulatory news and meet responsibilities under chemicals legislation worldwide.

CW – a news and intelligence service based in Great Britain – will provide several free articles and briefings per month on the AOCS members-only portion of the website. The company is also offering AOCS members 20% off the annual subscription fee for the full news service.

Simply log in to your membership account to access the reports.

Not yet an AOCS member? Join now!

 If you would like to receive the AOCS Newsletter and read it in full you may opt-in here.

Monday, October 7, 2013

AOCS Responds to EFSA Report “Analysis of occurrence of 3 ‐ monochloropropane ‐ 1,2 ‐ diol (3 ‐ MCPD) in food in Europe in the year 2009–2011 and preliminary exposure assessment”

 3-MCPD was the subject of a recent scientific report by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). In that report, EFSA notes that the results of its preliminary exposure assessment are uncertain owing to a lack of standard analytical methods.

AOCS Chief Science Officer and Technical Director Richard Cantrill responded to the EFSA report in a letter dated October 4, 2013:

"We wish to address the report recommendation regarding the development of standard analytical methods. . . . The question of whether these process contaminants are a threat to public health is a matter of great importance; however, as the report pointed out, that question can only be answered through the use of standard methods. We have worked for the past several years with the global edible oil industry to validate methods so that occurrence and exposure assessment can be as robust as possible. We would like to further that work by collaborating with EFSA. We welcome the
opportunity to discuss our comments in more detail at your earliest convenience."

Read "AOCS Response to EFSA Report"(.pdf) in its entirety.

EFSA Report and Responses
Find Out More

Friday, October 4, 2013

China Cleaning Industry Association (CCIA) Annual Meeting

The 33rd CCIA Annual Meeting will be held November 7-9, 2013 in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province of China and will  attract over 1,500 people from around the world.

AOCS has organized a half-day session on Friday, November 8, focusing on emerging technology in the surfactant and detergent industries. During the session, technical experts from P&G, Unilever, Kao, Amway, Clariant, and Dupont will be featured.

The exhibition (CPCDE 2013) will feature over 160 international companies involved in raw materials, machinery, and packaging.

Don't miss the largest surfactant and detergent event in China!

Find out more.

Palm Oil Trade Fair and Seminar (POTS) 2013 Announcement

Palm Oil Trade Fair and Seminar (POTS) 2013, MPOC's signature event which is jointly organized with the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), will be making its way to Iran in December of 2013.

POTS 2013 objectives are to present and reflect on the current issues that surrounds the palm oil industry, convey innovative ideas and critical thinking into a single platform, congregating oils and fats industry players,marketers, traders, economists, nutritionists, government officials as well as all segments of the private industry to deliberate on the latest developments and way forward for the palm oil industry.

For more information visit the website.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

AOCS validates three methods for MCPD-ester analysis

A collaborative study conducted by AOCS over the past 12 months with 20 participants from eight countries has validated three indirect methods for characterizing 3-MCPD- (or monochloropropane-1,2-diol), 2-MCPD- and glycidyl-esters in oils and fats.

Coincidentally, one of these process contaminants – 3-MCPD – is the subject of a recent scientific report by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). In that report, EFSA notes that the results of its preliminary exposure assessment are uncertain owing to a lack of standard analytical methods.

“AOCS has worked together with the global edible oil industry via our Expert Panel on Process Contaminants to validate methods so that occurrence and exposure data can be as robust as possible,” said AOCS Chief Science Officer and Technical Director Richard Cantrill. “Although primarily focused on direct analysis of contaminants, the Expert Panel decided to benchmark the three most commonly referenced indirect methods using a set of carefully manufactured authentic reference standards. Our experts were encouraged to find that the three methods not only performed equally well but also gave results close to the known content of the manufactured reference materials. AOCS is proud to have provided this valuable analytical contribution.”

Find Out More