In his lab in the Integrated Science Center, Barnabas Gikonyo, lecturer in chemistry and director of introductory chemistry labs, teaches students the foundations of chemistry research. Last year, 10 of them assisted with long-term projects to support better health and more sustainable use of resources.
Gikonyo, an expert in organic and materials chemistry, and his team are developing both biofuels and a biocompatible cement that may one day be used by surgeons to repair bone defects and fractures.
As part of their biofuels research, Ginkoyo and the students grow algae in the lab, analyze its properties and examine its ability to produce clean biodiesel fuel. The team also explores the possibility of making bioethanol, which would be used as a gasoline additive, from corn husks and other farm waste.