Girma Biresaw is a Research Chemist / Lead Scientist in the Bio-Oils Research Unit at National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (NCAUR). He received a Ph. D. in Chemistry from the University of California, Davis and served as a postdoctoral research associate at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has conducted research in a wide range of disciplines including in chemistry, tribology, adhesion, surface and colloid science. His current assignment is the development of biobased products, including bio-lubricants, from farm-based raw materials such as vegetable oils, starches, and plant proteins. He is a Fellow of the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers, and Editorial Board Member for the Journal of Biobased Materials and Bioenergy, and the Polish Journal of Commodity Science.
The focus of Dr. Biresaw's project is developing technology that will be used to convert vegetable oils from soybean, corn, sunflower, canola, and many other crops, into value-added commercial bioproducts. The technologies targeted for development include: (a) methods for separation and purification of low-cost fatty acids from vegetable oils; (b) developing technology for chemical modification of vegetable oils and their derivatives (e.g., fatty acids, methyl esters, etc.,) into new products that are capable of removing heavy metals and other toxins from industrial waste water; and (c) development of novel biobased lubricant additives and base oils.