Green biodiesel company partners with Embry-Riddle
DoctorBioDiesel, a local green fuel company based in the quad-city area, has partnered with faculty at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University for the school's first "all-access" green technology project.
The local company, operated by husband-and-wife team Jeffrey and MaryAnne DeMarco, is sponsoring the senior project research group, which will work to convert biodiesel to jet fuel and make the research available online to other students, professors and aeronautical companies.
Biodiesel itself is a fuel additive made from recycled waste vegetable oil.
ERAU faculty member Mike Fabian said the partnership would allow seniors to take on a "green" project prior to completing school. A handful of students have already signed on for the project, which began last month.
"That's an exciting experience. It's hands-on, and it really starts our energy track - part of our new mechanical engineering program," Fabian said.
Students, according to Jeffrey DeMarco, will expand on a biodiesel reactor invented by University of Connecticut Professor Richard Parnas. Parnas himself will pay a visit to the ERAU Prescott campus on Feb. 28.
"DoctorBioDiesel had found a newer style than the classic settling chamber styles," Fabian said. "This new way is a much more compact design and it's an improvement in technology. The design work is under way now; they've got CAD (computer-aided drafting) drawings, and they're figuring what parts they need to order."
DoctorBioDiesel operates under the umbrella of the Demarcos' Internet News Network, which will present filmed and live broadcast lectures and testing.
"The application of the Internet experience and the networking is layered upon the whole biodiesel -to-jet-fuel project, which will all be on film," Maryann DeMarco said. "It's open-sourced, so the students can invite other professors, other students from other schools, to all work on this as a worldwide laboratory, to make it better, faster and cheaper."
Jeffrey DeMarco plans to encourage students in the use of social media to promote biodiesel as part of their education and future career efforts. "The purpose is for students to understand biodiesel," he said, "but also have a contact group where someone may offer them a job before they even graduate."
The Demarcos began DoctorBioDiesel three years ago. They plan to place receptacles in the community to collect waste vegetable oil for conversion to biodiesel, which can then be used in diesel engines.
Jeffrey DeMarco envisions a scaled-down biodiesel appliance that would allow small businesses and even households to create their own biodiesel from waste vegetable oil.
For more information, email QuenchYourMotorsThirst@DoctorBioDiesel.com or view a video at https://vimeo.com/50429823.
Follow reporter Patrick Whitehurst on Twitter @pwdcourier