2005 Interview Series #1: Richard Reilly

Author: Frank LaBanca, Ed.D.

Richard Reilly is not a scientist. He is an entrepreneur. He recently started a company www.biodieselwarehouse.com. This company is web-based and sells parts necessary for a home user to set up a biodiesel “refinary” in their home. This conversion technique is called “the appleseed process.” The biodiesel fuel can be used to run a diesel engine car or mixed up to 20% in home heating oil. Richard estimates that it costs approximately $0.70 per gallon to make biodiesel. This is a far cry from the approximately $3.00 people are currently paying at the pump.

Using the information above as well as your own interests and further research, compose appropriate, relevant questions to ask Mr. Reilly when he visits us on September 29. Questions should be conceptual, in-depth, and original (do not repeat other students’ questions). Post them here so we can share our ideas and thoughts.

Our interview will conclude with the “Big10.” . . . a series of questions based on The Pivot Questionnaire. You will probably recognize them as similar to the 10 questions James Lipton asks of his interviewees on the television program Inside the Actor’s Studio.

01. What is your favorite word?
02. What is your least favorite word?
03. What turns you on creatively?
04. Who has made the biggest impact on your life? (name and relation)
05. What is your favorite scientific word?
06. What sound or noise do you love?
07. What sound or noise do you hate?
08. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
09. What profession would you not like to do?

10. What phrase or message should all people know?

19 Responses to “2005 Interview Series #1: Richard Reilly”

  1. Sarah Peck Says:

    Would you be able to use the waste oil of commercial businesses such as Dunkin’ Donuts? (Doughnuts can be made with vegetable oil.)Would that oil be too contaminated to use?

  2. maricate Says:

    On your webiste I read that biodeisel will help decrease the dependence on foreign oil, how will this affect national and international economy?

    What exactly makes biodeisel better for the environment than regular oil? Will biodeisel be 100% environmentally safe or will it still have affect on the environment, just a reduced affect?

  3. Harriet Morgan Says:

    Did you ever have any interest or think you would be involved in a carrer in biodiesel?

    When you first heard about it did you know then and there that people would be very excited and willing to do it?

  4. Sam Says:

    In your package to create your own biodeisel what is included within it?

    Due to a decrease in dependence on foreign oil, what positive effects will occur from this change?

  5. Derek Calderara Says:

    1. How did you get to this point in your life?

    2. Will the biodeisel have any effect on your car’s handling? Good/Bad?

  6. Laura Konkos Says:

    Mr. Keilly-

    Through your information posted it seems that using biodiesel would be much safer for everyone overall-Would this include the effects on a biodiesal spill? Would the microinvertabrates, residual hydrocarbons, oxygen and water chemistry be less effected and harmed if a spill were to occur with biodiesel? If you even ship the actual biodiesel at all? Have u researched within this topic?

    Did you start this biodiesel production through a need to help the world and our environment and truly help others and/or to get money?

    What led you to first realize that this is the science field you would like to get into? Did you know from an early age that this was something you would like to spend a huge portion of your life with? What opportunities and college did you go to?

  7. Luke Says:

    Are you using biodiesel in your car? If so, how much have you saved in the last year?

    Is it safe to make biodiesel in your garage? Can it be harmful to the envionment?

  8. Dan Bunger Says:

    Before you began this business of yours, what were you interested in? Why? What made your focus shift to Biodiesel? Why?

    Being that cooking oil is limited within local areas, what needs to happen for Biodiesel to expand into a larger market? How will/does the plan to build 3 new biodiesel plants in malaysia affect the biodiesel business?

    When starting your business, were you intimidated by the nature of the enterprise, or were you attracted to it because you felt comfortable in the field?

  9. Lauren Says:

    How popular would you say using biodeisel is right now? How much do you expect this to increase in the coming years?

    As is stated on http://www.biodieselcommunity.org, “There are a number of water-soluble impurities left in biodiesel after the reaction and initial settling is complete. They are found in everyone’s homebrew biodiesel, regardless of the quality of your reaction or of your oil. The contaminants include (primarily) soaps, a small amount of leftover methanol, a small amount of leftover lye, and some free glycerine.” What would happen if you didn’t wash your fuel after you made it? Also, there are several “washing” methods mentioned, which, in your opinion, is the best and most efficient?

  10. Sarah Gutbrod Says:

    Did you ever consider a career in science in High School? Did your interest in this field stem from a general interest of the material (cars, the cost of gas, etc.) or from the science behind the process?

    Is there a possibility to use the same concept with petroleum?

    Why do you consider yourself more an entrepreneur than a scientist?

    How far do you see yourself taking the concept of using and selling biodiesel fuel? Will you continue to research the field to further develop it?

  11. alex Says:

    How expensive is it to switch from a gas engine to a diesel and will people readily do this?

    How long do you expect it to tack for bio diesel to start being soled like gas?

  12. Laura Koscomb Says:

    Who got you interested in making biodiesel?
    How did you get started making this?
    Was this a long time interest or was it something new that you picked up in your life?
    Will this fix the gas shortage that is going on around the world or will it just help it?
    Is it possible to make this in mass amounts and not just in small batches?

  13. Ivan Says:

    What other advantages, besides the obvious economic one, does biodiesel have over conventional fuels?

    Also, what may inspire people to convert to using it? Even though hydrogen is more energy rich pound for pound and costs about the same as gasoline, and can be burned in a modified internal combustion engine, people do not convert their cars because it is simply too much of a hassle. How complex is the biodiesel-making process?

    -Ivan Virovets.

  14. drew Says:

    Even though the main focus is on cars, especially with the gas prices today, what else can a biodiesel engine be used for?

    Is biodiesel flammable?

    What’s your favorite baseball team?

  15. gabby n Says:

    Are there any safety hazards when dealing with biodisel fuel?

    I read on the National Biodisel Board ( http://www.biodiesel.org/) that Biodisel is helping in the Katrina relief, is your company sponsoring this effort? What is being done?

    Can any oils be used to make biodisel?

  16. Alex de Brantes Says:

    I was wonderin what your educational background was before netering into the biodiesel bussiness?
    I myself am going to be focusing my project on working with biodiesel. Hopefully converting it into a diesel engine and testing the change in emissions from normal gas emissions, diesel emissions, and bio diesel emissions. I was wondering if we could establish a contact so I could get help in the future with the problems I am bound to encounter.


  17. kendra Says:

    How far do you think the idea of biodesiel fuel will go? Did you ever imangine living in a world where everbody who owns a car makes their own biodesiel fuel in their own homes? Have you tried making making society more aware of your plan to save money on oil and to, more importantly, make the environment cleaner and safer?

  18. Anonymous Says:

    Is there any possible prospects for a biogas? to be used in gasoline cars and if there isn’t, what is the restriction?

    Is there a certain mixture of diesel and biodiesel that proves to be the most environmentally friendly? Or is pure biodiesel better than any mixture of the two?

    Where can the vegetable oil be obtained if there is a very limited amount in your town or surrounding towns. Is there any place that sells it by large volume? Or even commerially?

    –Dayton H.

  19. Claudia Schwarz Says:

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