“Grass-to-Gas” biofuels summer workshop and demo organized for local NJ high school students by Prof. Chundawat and team

Prof. Shishir Chundawat and Rutgers rising senior (Mr. Benjamin Esposito from Rutgers CBE Graduating Class of 2018) organized and led an enzyme engineering/biofuels focussed workshop this summer with over 45 local New Jersey high school student participants. Students learned what it means to be a chemical/biochemical engineer and specifically focussed on a hands-on experiment where they measured the catalytic activity of cellulase enzymes hydrolyzing cellulosic biomass to facilitate biofuels production. Students also analyzed their results and made predictions for the required cost of enzymes needed to scale-up their process and enable cost-effective commercial-scale biofuels production. This workshop was sponsored by Rutgers University (Department of Chemical & Biochemical Engineering and the Division of Continuing Studies) and the National Science Foundation (Award #1604421). Please directly contact Prof. Chundawat if you are interested to incorporate this hands-on demo activity in your K-12 classrooms.