Algae / Biofuels

Video: 16 yr-old Turns Algae to Biofuel and Wins Intel Science Award

Video:  16 yr-old Turns Algae to Biofuel and Wins Intel Science Award


Evie Sobczak is a freakin’ rock star, and you want to know her. Why? Because what started out as Evie’s 8th grade science fair project just won Intel’s International Science and Engineering Fair. That’s a big deal because, as Sobczak puts it, “It’s, like, the biggest science fair ever!”

Evie’s project is, in a nutshell, a chemical/catalyst-free process in which algae is processed into fuel-grade ethanol. In addition to collecting her algae stock from the type of blooms common in Florida (ensuring that no special processes or algae strains are required), Sobczak designed and engineered all of the equipment for her project herself, creating a totally chemical-free way to grow algae, extract the oil, and use it as biodiesel. Plus, her process produced as much as 20 percent more oil than current methods, which could make biofuels even cheaper (compared to gasoline) than they already are!

You can check out Evie’s summary of her project, in her own words, below. Enjoy!

Source: Tampa Tribune, via Grist.

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Jo Borrás
Jo Borras has been in the auto industry since 1997, and has been a contributor to various automotive and technology blogs for more than a decade. You can find him #resisting on Twitter, talking Swedish metal at his Volvo fansite, out cruising on two wheels, or chasing his kids around Oak Park, IL.