Harold May introduces all the elements and encourages scientists, elected officials and business people to work together for a sustainable outcome. Trained in microbial physiology and ecology, May shares a new field of environmental research. He illustrates how microbes use carbon dioxide and electricity to make fuels and chemicals. This process, unlike conventional biofuels, doesn’t depend on food crops, arable land or water, but rather waste, making his discoveries a two punch impact.
A professor of microbiology and immunology at the Medical University of South Carolina, Harold May’s research focuses on microbial diversity and biocatalysis. For the non-scientist, in short, he studies how to turn waste into energy. From more than 30 years in government, industry and academia, Dr. May has been researching the use of the electrobiome to produce liquid fuels and higher value chemicals, which are ordinarily are only produced from fossil carbon. His curiosity about environmental questions began early at his father’s filling station in Indiana. His more than 56 publications and patents are contributing to the emerging field.