SD Scientists Welcome Renewable Research Boost

Dec 7, 2015

World leaders are meeting in Paris to hash out a new agreement on the best way to deal with climate change.   As part of the effort President Barak Obama announced a doubling in funding for renewable energy research.   
This could have a direct impact on on-going research into new biofuels in South Dakota.
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology Professor Jim Stone is part of a team of scientists researching the potential for oil seeds as a renewable fuel crop.

This photo shows the oil seed plant camelina goring in a test plot in Western, SD.
Credit SDSU

“We’re hopeful to continue our work on next generation biofuel developments looking at camelina and carinata as part of the South Dakota oilseed initiative.  We think this would be a tremendous opportunity to help South Dakota become a leader in this area and look at alternatives for crops in our region, that can let’s say wean ourselves from fossil fuel use. So, it’s kind of like a double win, win for us here in South Dakota,” says Stone.

Stone  hopes this extra research funding allows the state to leverage its unique geography and growing conditions to produce more biofuel.
He says in recent years the overall level of research funding has been drastically reduced.  He adds there has been increasing competition among researchers for a shrinking pool of money.