Summary: Congratulations to Dr. Wolan, Associate Professor in Chemical Engineering and the team of
students who placed as finalists in the prestigious 2010 Oak Ridge National Laboratory Global
Venture Challenge Awards held in Oak Ridge, Tennessee on March 25-26, 2010. The USF
project was submitted by Dr. Wolan, chemical engineering graduate student Syed Ali Gardezi
and Jaideep Rajput, a manager in USF's Division of Patents and Licensing and a graduate
student in the business school. The venture is incorporated under the name COSI Catalysts Inc.
The project submitted involves a process developed by a team of USF researchers which
converts common organic materials such as sawdust, yard clippings and even horse manure into
jet fuel. The project was among an elite group of 15 projects named as semi-finalist for the Oak
Ridge competition. The team subsequently placed as finalists at the final event. The
competition is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and leading technology and venture
capital organizations. The USF project competed in a specialized field of entries in the category
of "Advanced Materials for Sustainable Energy" submitted from leading American universities
as well as groups from Canada, Spain and the Netherlands.
The required commercialization plan submitted is linked so students can become better
acquainted with how successful projects should be prepared. According to a recent USF press
release, the project is a biomass fuel reactor which can convert common organic materials into
fuel used for airplanes, jets, trucks or cars. In lab experiments, the group has been able to make
jet fuel from sawdust and say almost any kind of organic waste material can be converted
through their patent-pending catalytic process.