DES MOINES, IOWA, U.S. — Kemin Industries announced a new hire to its biofuels staff and several internal additions.

Jim Kacmar, a biofuels industry veteran, has joined Kemin Biofuels, which provides ethanol yield and biodiesel antioxidant solutions, as senior field technical sales manager.   

Kacmar, who has spent 15 years working in biofuels, is a recognized expert in cellulosic ethanol production and a sought-after presenter at industry events, Kemin said.

As part of Kemin Biofuels, he will focus on the company’s growing portfolio of biofuel production aids, with an emphasis on cellulosic ethanol production.

Prior to joining Kemin, Kacmar was director of engineering and operations at Edeniq, a biotechnology company that develops processes for producing and measuring cellulosic ethanol. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, both in chemical engineering.

“Adding Jim to our emerging Kemin Biofuels business fits perfectly with our emphasis on developing new solutions for ethanol and biodiesel producers,” said John Phillips, senior sales manager, Kemin Biofuels. “For over 50 years, Kemin has used molecular science to make advancements and discover new ways to improve animal and human health through enzymes and antioxidants. We are now applying these advancements to bring breakthrough science to biofuels.”

In addition to adding Kacmar to its team, Kemin has expanded its Kemin Biofuels business internally.

Kenny Erdoes is vice-president of corporate engineering. A U.S. Navy veteran and chemical engineer, Erdoes has significant experience starting up biodiesel plants and previously worked for biodiesel companies.

Shweta Shah, Ph.D., is scientific and regulatory affairs manager. Shah has over 15 years’ experience in biofuels and related studies and is a widely cited scientist. For her master of technology in modern methods of chemical analysis dissertation, she focused on optimizing the reaction conditions for biodiesel production from vegetable oils. Shah received both this degree and her doctorate in chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi. She completed post-doctoral research at Iowa State University, followed by five years as a staff scientist.

Ye Lao, Ph.D., is vice-president of worldwide research and development. Lao has been with the company for more than 10 years. She began her Kemin career in R&D at Kemin Animal Nutrition and Health – China.  She then took on the role of vice-president of marketing for the region, which was followed by her current role.

Lao received a doctorate degree in biochemistry from the University of Iowa and received an executive master of business administration from Washington University in St. Louis.

Matt Timm is plant manager. Before joining Kemin three years ago, Timm spent the bulk of his career at Red Star Yeast, beginning as a process shift supervisor and eventually becoming production manager.

“The biofuels industry is accelerating and has the capacity to make a positive impact on so many aspects of our daily lives and the future of our planet,” said Chris Nelson, PhD, president and chief executive officer. “Because Kemin has decades of experiences with the same enzymes and antioxidants biofuels producers are using, we found this extraordinary synergy between our applied science and the interests of the biofuels industry. As we work to transform the quality of life, now is the time to grow our presence in an area that presents so much potential for beneficial change.”