It's a process that experts say could free the United States of it's dependence on petroleum diesel fuel. And it all started with a senior at Augsburg College.
His is a name and face to remember. At the ripe old age of 21, Augsburg College Senior Brian Krohn is a history-maker.
"I really wanted to study a new way to produce biodiesel," Krohn said.
Brian found out there is a new way. Working together, Brian, his Augsburg professors and scientists from Anoka-based SarTec corporation have come up with a process that scientists say has the potential to revolutionize the fuel industry.
"Really the power of this process is in its simplicity," SarTec Corporation Vice President Clayton McNeff said.
The new Mcgyan Process, as it's called, puts alcohol and a variety of waste oils through a high-temperature, high pressure reactor. Inside, the oils from things like soybeans, coconuts, even algae react with a catalyst, creating 100-percent renewable biodiesel fuel.
"The Mcgyan Process is clean, efficient-- it's really fast-- it can make biodiesel in under six seconds. And it's just environmentally-friendly," Krohn added.
Efficient, environmentally-friendly and it's cheaper to produce too.
"Savings from the transportation industry can be phenomenal," Augsburg College Science Professor Arlin Gyberg said.
What began as Brian's simple lab experiment, has led to what some say is a modern day miracle in fuel creation. A headline that's still sinking in for this Cloquet-native and Augsburg College student.
"I think my Northern Minnesota modesty is scared by that a little bit. It feels nice and it's just nice to be here and working with such great scientists," Krohn said.
The Mcgyan process is currently being used to create biodiesel at Ever Cat Fuels in Anoka. Some the biodiesel created there is being used to heat the building and run the company's trucks.
A new plant in Isanti will be ready in about nine months.
Meanwhile, Brian's heading to Washington at the end of April show the Mcgyan Process to members of Congress.
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