URI to host biofuels symposium, May 29

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KINGSTON, R.I. – May 4, 2009 – “Creating a Sustainable Energy Economy in Southern New England” is the theme of a symposium on biofuels to be held at the University of Rhode Island on Friday, May 29 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sponsored by URI, the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce as part of its Knowledge Economy initiative, Ocean State Clean Cities, and the University of Connecticut, the event will be held in the URI Center for Biotechnology and Life Sciences, 120 Flagg Rd., Kingston.

“This program will be an excellent opportunity for those interested in the production, distribution and use of biofuels to network with colleagues, consumers and potential investors and learn about cutting edge research,” said Wendy Lucht, organizer of the event for URI and the coordinator of the Ocean State Clean Cities program.

The symposium will consist of a series of panel discussions, followed by tours of URI research laboratories. The opening panel will feature Michael Saul, executive director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation, and Joel Rinebold, director of energy programs for the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, discussing biofuels legislation, policies and funding opportunities.

Concurrent sessions will follow on the production, distribution and research on biodiesel and cellulosic bioenergy featuring scientists from URI, UConn, and the University of Tennessee, as well as industry representatives from Agrifuels, Tomorrow Biofuels, Edenspace, and Realtime Analyzers. Nathan Gilliland, co-founder and chief financial officer of Harvest Power, Inc., a developer of organic waste to energy projects, will also speak.

The afternoon sessions will include an examination of how to develop and manage a biofuels business. Panelists for this session will be Nat Harris of Newport Biodiesel; Jim Malloy of T.H. Malloy and Sons; Randy Lohr of Guardian Fuel Systems; Gus Kellogg of Greenleaf Biofuels; and Richard Hosley of Hale Hill Farm Biofuels. In addition, Michael Rabb, founder and president of Agrivida, will discuss the research that his agricultural biotechnology company is undertaking to create the next generation of industrial feedstocks for the fuel and chemical industries.

The cost of attending the symposium, including lunch, is $50 for the general public and $10 for students. For more information, contact Wendy Lucht at wlucht@uri.edu or 401-874-2792.