Daniel Gómez
2013, Mexico
Technologies for decentralized power generation from non-food sources Energy

A new technology used to generate biofuels that, nowadays, operates 80 percent of Mexican biodiesel plants was born of a school research project driven by the audacity of a 17-year-old boy.

When the market for biodiesel emerged in Mexico in 2008, it was divided between two extreme scenarios: large plants with high production capabilities and homemade biodiesel producers whose quality was not always guaranteed. The modular and automated technology proposed by Gomez maintains high quality standards while reducing initial investment, which in turn elevates the cost of the final product. Designed to produce biodiesel from non-edible products, it allows producers to use raw materials without competing with food production, one of the major criticisms of the biodiesel industry.

Solben, the company founded by Gomez to further advance his initial project, uses part of the proceeds from the sale of biodiesel equipment for the development of systems, for example for waste treatment, the production of biogas and ethanol. They are also engaged in the construction of facilities, operation and maintenance of their equipment, and the provision of engineering services, logistics and quality analysis to its clients and investors. All of this was created and managed by a workforce whose average age falls short of 30.

Gomez, who continues his studies in Chemical Engineering at the Technological Institute of Monterrey (Mexico) while leading the business development of Solben, has received many acknowledgments of his entrepreneurial career including the Honeywell Nobel Initiative Award, granted by the Nobel Prize in Chemistry Dr. Mario Molina, or the Santander for Business Innovation award. In 2012 he was the youngest person nominated for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of The Year in Mexico competition, and he has founded several associations for young entrepreneurs in the fields of chemistry and engineering.