Define, plan, or execute biofuels/biodiesel research programs that evaluate alternative feedstock and process technologies with near-term commercial potential.
- Develop methods to recover ethanol or other fuels from complex bioreactor liquid and gas streams.
- Design or execute solvent or product recovery experiments in laboratory or field settings.
- Design chemical conversion processes, such as etherification, esterification, interesterification, transesterification, distillation, hydrogenation, oxidation or reduction of fats and oils, and vegetable oil refining.
- Develop separation processes to recover biofuels.
- Develop computational tools or approaches to improve biofuels research and development activities.
- Conduct research to breed or develop energy crops with improved biomass yield, environmental adaptability, pest resistance, production efficiency, bioprocessing characteristics, or reduced environmental impacts.
- Perform protein functional analysis and engineering for processing of feedstock and creation of biofuels.
- Develop carbohydrates arrays and associated methods for screening enzymes involved in biomass conversion.
- Develop methods to estimate the efficiency of biomass pretreatments.
- Conduct experiments to test new or alternate feedstock fermentation processes.
People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: EI.
This means people who work in this occupation generally have Enterprising interests, but also prefer Investigative environments.
People who work in this occupation generally prize Achievement, but also value Working Conditions and Independence in their jobs.
- English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
- Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
- Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.
- Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Systems Analysis - Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
- Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
In 2017, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $144,790 with most people making between $89,900 and $204,150
During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 5,480 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 5,700 employed in 2024.
This occupation will have about 22 openings due to growth and about 168 replacement openings for approximately 190 total annual openings.