A program targeting the work of young scientists may be paying off. Called the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel program, it aims to educate and collaborate with young scientists.
One example of a student who took part in this special program is Derek Pickett. He's a Kansas University graduate student who presented his findings during the 2014 National Biodiesel Conference and Expo. He was one of 36 students representing 18 universities that attended the event. Half of the students attending the event received scholarships from state soybean organizations and the United Soybean Board. Pickett received financial assistance from the Kansas Soybean Commission.
To give you an idea of the innovations presented, Pickett's work focused on his findings about using glycerin for power generation during a conference session specifically designed for student-scientists to share their cutting edge research. Each gallon of biodiesel produces about 1 pound of glycerin and he found that glycerin converted to a synthetic gas has the potential to be an inexpensive power source.
"A new conference session focused solely on university biodiesel research, and seven students presented their research during that session," explains Dennis Gruenbacher, who is KSC's liaison to NBB. "A networking luncheon also brought together students and scientists currently working in the field, and a poster session on the trade-show floor allowed some students to present their biodiesel-related research to conference attendees."
Source: Kansas Soybean Commission