by Nathan Warner
Elk River native Josh Wolf has received special acknowldgement.
According to a recent online journal report from the U.S. Department of State, the 18-year-old Elk River High School student and “serial inventor” is a perfect example of American youths’ ambition in innovation and discovery. One of three students nationwide highlighted by the journal, Wolf is one of the “super-students” that the publication uses as success stories for how the country’s educators should support gifted students in science.
Wolf has garnered attention at science fairs nationwide for his varied experiments and inventions, including his famed algae that produces biodiesel fuel under electrical stimulation.
On the heels of this praise, Wolf received a grant this year from the Coca-Cola Company through the DIVINE Institute, a school that specializes in teaching inner-city youth the values of literacy, social skills and sciences.
The grant awards Wolf with equipment and instruments to continue his role teaching pre-collegiate students about science at DIVINE, while also taking his biodiesel producing algae experiments to proof of concept.
The grant gives Wolf funding through August, but he hopes to accomplish his goals sooner.
“I’m hoping, by February, to have most of the research and documentation finished,” he said, “so I can take the next step with the patenting process.”
Currently, Wolf has secured a provisional patent, which offers little protection for an idea. A proof of concept is necessary to proceed to the concept becoming patent pending.
At that point, his invention could become more viable to produce.
“I will be able to introduce this concept as a marketable product ready for industrial application, so if companies decide to utilize it, I can begin receiving royalties,” he said.
Wolf will be presenting his algae-biodiesel concept on Feb. 22 at the Central Minnesota Regional Science Fair held at St. Cloud State University.