Iowa Biodiesel Board

ISU student chosen to lead national biodiesel effort Bookmark and Share


‘Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel’ initiative grows new crop of energy leaders

ANKENY, Iowa –  A new era of thought leaders soon will lead our national efforts to create our own energy, and Bernardo del Campo of Iowa State University in Ames could be one of them. 


That’s why he's been selected as one of four nationwide co-chairs of the newly formed Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel initiative. The effort asks student scientists to sign an on-line declaration of support for biodiesel and provides educational and networking opportunities. 


“Biodiesel can certainly make an impact on the world,” del Campo said. “I believe biodiesel is helping everyone, environmentally, socially, and economically.   I want to be a part of pushing us forward to that.” 


Del Campo, a native of Uruguay, has made it his life’s work to be a part of an energy revolution, with biodiesel front and center. 


Pursuing a Master of Science major in Biorenewable Resources and Technologies, del Campo has already had an impressive career that includes soybean research that could benefit biodiesel production. He also helps teach college courses, and has been instrumental in helping ISU educate the state’s youth on biodiesel, leading engineering workshops that teach them about biodiesel. 


The Iowa Biodiesel Board applauded the selection of an ISU student for the effort.

“Biodiesel’s long-term success depends in part on cultivating future scientific leaders who support biodiesel as part of our nation’s energy solution,” said Randy Olson, IBB executive director. “If our state is to be the renewable energy capital of the world, Iowa should continue to play a leadership role in such efforts.”


Led by the National Biodiesel Board, the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel effort creates networking opportunities for students to collaborate and share ideas. A virtual conference is scheduled for Sept. 28. A Facebook page also provides students with a forum to discuss biodiesel with each other and view profiles of other students and their biodiesel projects.


Del Campo’s latest project involves bringing the fuel from the laboratory to the campus itself. With an active group of students, BioBus Organization, a student-run club, is hoping to make biodiesel to provide a B20 blend (20 percent biodiesel/80 percent diesel) for the ISU buses, starting with just one bus. The group has already received two grants for $8,000 and is in the process of building the biodiesel production facility. 

“After we show that it is a success, and that we can produce high-quality biodiesel that meets national standards, we’re hoping to increase our production scale, and perhaps reach Ames city buses some day,” he said. 


In addition to del Campo, the other co-chairs of Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel are: 

  • Lucas Ellis, Dartmouth College (Biochemical Engineering)
  • Mikkel Leslie, Oregon State University (Environmental Engineering)
  • Jason Strull, University of Nevada – Reno (Material Sciences and Chemical Engineering)


The Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel initiative is modeled after the Scientists for Biodiesel campaign. Launched in February 2009, 125 scientists have signed on to the declaration. Both initiatives are led by NBB.


# # #


* denotes a required field.
Add Comment
Name: *
Comments: *
© 2019 Iowa Biodiesel Board, All Rights Reserved