For more information:
Laura Guncheon, HERO BX Penn State Behrend: Robb Frederick
(814) 464-3677c (814) 464-5608c
April 27, 2018
Ribbon Cutting to celebrate new HERO BX Research Lab at Knowledge Park
Erie, PA – Lake Erie Biofuels, dba HERO BX, will officially cut the ribbon at their new research and development laboratory at Knowledge Park on Tuesday, May 1, 2018, at 10:00 a.m.
“This marks the culmination of an idea that began years ago,” said HERO BX Founder & CEO Samuel P. “Pat” Black, III, “where the work inside these four walls will serve as a catalyst for change.”
Biodiesel, also known by its chemical handle of methyl esters, is produced from a chemical reaction of waste fats, waste oils and virgin vegetable oils with alcohol and can be used safely and reliably as a drop-in replacement for petroleum diesel. Over the last few decades, biodiesel has become a mainstream fuel source that started from an effort to find a market for a surplus soybean oil that was eating away farm profits. Fast forward to present day, various biodiesel blends are now found in transportation fuel, heating oil and most other diesel fuel uses across the United States. In November 2017, HERO BX celebrated a decade of producing America’s advanced biodiesel at its flagship production facility on the shores of Lake Erie – over 50 million gallons annually.
Located at Knowledge Park in the Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation Center (AMIC), the HERO BX laboratory advances the company’s efforts to diversify and develop biodiesel products for new markets while utilizing the skills of Penn State Behrend students in industry-driven research. One of the first initiatives is to realize a way to reduce the sulfur content of raw materials, or feedstocks, used in biodiesel production to diminish the fuel’s pollutants even further. Subsequent studies will focus on increasing the efficiency of biodiesel in cold temperature applications such as the airline industry.
“Like any other, the biodiesel industry has to diversify to survive and I chose to invest in our own research and development to ensure that survival,” Black continued. “And I chose Penn State Behrend as I know that the next generation of researchers, innovators and leaders walk their halls.”
Penn State Chancellor Ralph Ford added, “The HERO BX lab will create new opportunities for Penn State Behrend students to collaborate with an industrial research partner – in this case, developing cleaner, domestically-produced, renewable fuel sources.
Ford continued, “By providing targeted opportunities for students in our School of Science, our partnership with HERO BX expands our open lab model of learning, which matches students and faculty members with private-sector partners for experiential student learning, applied research and advanced product development. We’re excited for the future of HERO BX and Knowledge Park.”
A short program will take place promptly at 10:15 a.m. and will feature the following speakers:
- Dr. Martin Kociolek, Director, School of Science, Penn State Behrend
- Samuel P. “Pat” Black, III, Founder and CEO, HERO BX
- Congressman Mike Kelly, 3rd District, Pennsylvania
- Dr. Ralph Ford, Chancellor, Penn State Behrend
A ribbon cutting will commence immediately following the last speaker.
Media is invited to attend and on-camera interviews with Mr. Black and Chancellor Ford will be available.
Advanced Manufacturing & Innovation Center
5530 Technology Drive
Erie, PA 16511