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Biofuels Research Scientist



Experiment with new and more efficient ways to produce biofuels.

What does a Biofuels Research Scientist do?

When you’re a Biofuels Research Scientist, new knowledge makes you giddy, and you spend your days knee-deep in it. You study the production and usage of biofuels, which are fuels — like ethanol, biodiesel, vegetable oil, and methane gas — derived from plant and animal sources.

Employed by governments and universities, as well as oil and gas companies, you discover new ways to turn organic matter into energy, and to more efficiently use that energy. If you’d told them just 50 years ago that corn, cooking oil, and cow manure could power their cars, heaters, and stoves, most Americans would have probably laughed at you. As a Biofuels Research Scientist, however, you’re the one who’s laughing now.

A common criticism of biofuels is the energy required to make them. While environmental sustainability is a major catalyst behind the biofuels revolution, since biofuels — unlike oil and coal — are a renewable energy source, it unfortunately takes a tremendous amount of energy to fertilize, cultivate, ferment, and process the crops from which they’re made. It’s up to you as a Biofuels Research Scientist, therefore, to find out how biofuels can help the planet without hurting it.

Because you’re on the cutting edge of energy research, your scientific mission is unique. Your scientific method, however, is traditional: You come up with hypotheses, then test them in labs. Common duties, therefore, include collecting and analyzing specimens; designing and conducting experiments; and writing articles, grants, and reports.

Worth noting: Because it means job security, you’re one of very few people who benefit from rising gas prices!

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