Inspired by “Grassoline” Cover Story, High School Student Takes First in Statewide Science Competition
(Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center) At the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Sciences (PJAS) state competition earlier this year, Jacob Robertson took home a first prize for his project, “Could Corn be Put to Better Use?” Robertson, a high school student from Fairview, Pa., also placed first at the regional competition with the best alternative energy research project.
Robertson’s experiment examined the production of ethanol from corn stover, the above-ground portion of the corn plant (not counting the grain), and compared this to the ethanol which can be produced from corn flour. The inspiration for the science project came from an article which appeared in Scientific American last year, “Grassoline: Biofuels beyond Corn” written by Dr. George Huber and Dr. Bruce Dale.
With the help of Rebecca Garlock, one of Dale’s Ph.D. students, Robertson designed and conducted experiments that mimicked the industrial processing of corn stover. READ MORE