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Biofuels Processing Technicians

The Job

More than 4 percent of U.S. energy is derived from bioenergy such as corn, soybeans, and wood. Biofuels processing technicians work in energy plants and manufacturing facilities that convert these materials into biofuels for generating electricity, producing heat, and fueling vehicles. They monitor biofuels production processes and operating and overseeing production equipment.

Biofuels processing technicians may oversee biofuels batches, continuous flow, or the process of producing hybrid biofuels. Their work is similar to that of production plant workers, with the difference being that this job oversees the process of converting organic materials into biofuels and biofuel products.

The job entails a variety of tasks, from operating production equipment to collecting biofuel samples and doing laboratory tests on the samples to analyze and assure the quality of the biofuels. Biofuels processing technicians have strong knowledge of production processes, raw materials, quality control, and budget considerations in the manufacture and distribution of goods. They use various software programs in their work, such as facilities management software, inventory management software, industrial control software, as well as spreadsheet software and Word processing software.

They operate and control production equipment and systems, using gauges, dials, pumps, valves, etc., to control and adjust machinery. They use equipment such as centrifuges to take samples of biofuels products and by-products and monitor and record processing data. They work closely with other technicians and supervisors, communicating by telephone, e-mail, and in person. Exposure to hazardous materials is part of the job, so biofuels processing technicians wear protective clothing and equipment every day that they work.

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