4 minutes with… Gregory T. Benz, President, Benz Technology International

Tell us about your company and it’s role in the Advanced Bioeconomy.

We consult on fluid agitation, especially for biofuels and renewable chemicals, including cellulosic. We also improve return on capital by sourcing carefully vetted equipment from China and other developing countries.

Tell us about your role and what you are focused on in the next 12 months.

Continue to do pilot testing on cellulosic hydrolysis, as well as fermentation. Help customers scale up to production scale. Aid in marketing customer technology when ready.

What do you feel are the most important milestones the industry must achieve in the next 5 years?  

Beat the cost of petroleum from all sources.

If you could snap your fingers and change one thing about the Advanced Bioeconomy, what would you change? 

Remove “Global Warming” from the talking points as a reason to proceed with biofuels.

Of all the reasons that influenced you to join the Advanced Bioeconomy industry, what single reason stands out for you as still being compelling and important to you?  

Inevitability, as we are running out of fossil fuels eventually.

Where are you from? 

Ohio

What was your undergraduate major in college, and where did you attend? Why did you choose that school and that pathway?

Chemical Engineering, from University of Cincinnati. I chose that school because I had to pay for it myself, and the co-op system helped a lot.

Who do you consider your mentors – could be personal, business, or just people you have read about and admire. What have you learned from them?

My father-in-law, Richard Durchholz. He was a man of great moral character as well as one of the best engineers I have ever known.

What’s the biggest lesson you ever learned during a period of adversity?  

Keep plugging away.

What hobbies do you pursue, away from your work in the industry?

Photography, hiking, physical fitness.

What are 3 books you’d want to have with you, if you were stranded on a desert island

Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever series (yes, that is cheating; it is 10 books.), Dune, and the Bible.

What books or articles are on your reading list right now, or you just completed and really enjoyed?  

Mostly I read news online. Haven’t had much time for recreational reading.

What’s your favorite city or place to visit, for a holiday?

Glacier National Park.

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