Vadim Kochergin, a researcher with the Audubon Sugar Institute, has been named the director of the Louisiana Institute for Biofuels and Bioprocessing. Both institutes are part of the LSU AgCenter.

“The Louisiana Institute for Biofuels and Bioprocessing is beginning to get more recognition nationally and internationally and to attract major grants,” said John Russin, LSU AgCenter vice chancellor for research, who also had been the institute’s director. “We are fortunate to have someone with Dr. Kochergin’s considerable experience take on this responsibility.”

The Louisiana Board of Regents gave approval to the AgCenter to establish the institute in December 2009.

“The Regents provide no funding, but their backing helps in our grant solicitation,” Russin said, adding that he’s expecting to announce a multimillion-dollar grant for biofuels research in the next few weeks.

The institute’s purpose is to pull together all Louisiana resources concerning research and development of the biofuels and bioprocessing industry and provide a structure for expansion of the industry. The AgCenter has more than 30 scientists who conduct research in this area, and Kochergin is one of the more prolific and prestigious.

Kochergin, who came to the AgCenter in 2006 after spending most of his career in industry, has developed and patented technologies that when applied commercially in the sugar and pharmaceutical industries have resulted in multimillion dollar revenues. He is the author of 12 published and two pending patents.

One of his most recent inventions is a device for solid-liquid separation that has been implemented in four Louisiana sugar mills and overseas.

While at the AgCenter, Kochergin has organized short courses on sugar processing that have attracted more than 200 specialists from a dozen countries.

Kochergin, a native of Moscow, Russia, has M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Mendeleev Chemical Engineering University in Moscow, and he is a registered chemical engineer.

A principal area of research is the conversion of sugarcane biomass to fuels and chemicals. He has published 80 papers in professional journals and given more than 50 presentations at national and international meetings.