Tuesday, June 18, 2013

16-year-old turns algae into biofuel, makes rest of us feel unaccomplished

16-year-old turns algae into biofuel, makes rest of us feel unaccomplished:
Screen shot 2013-06-18 at (Jun 18)
Evie Sobczak is a young science rockstar who has already done more in her 16 years than most of us will in our entire lives (I KNOW, I should speak for myself):
For a fifth-grade science fair, Evie Sobczak found that the acid in fruit could power clocks; she connected a cut-up orange to a clock with wire and watched it tick. In seventh grade, she generated power by engineering paddles that could harness wind. And in eighth grade, she started a project that eventually would become her passion: She wanted to grow algae and turn it into biofuel.
And she totally did. Sobczak engineered all of her equipment 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% more oil than current methods, which could make algae biofuel cheaper.  She recently won first place at Intel’s International Science and Engineering Fair for her process, which is a big deal because, as Sobczak says, “It’s like the biggest science fair ever.” As she says in a video for Intel:
I really believe algae could be our next fuel source because it doesn’t take a lot of land and it doesn’t take away from our food source. And if you use my processes, you don’t use any chemicals, so it’s not harming our environment. I live in Florida, so we have a lot of algae problems, so I thought why not use something negative to help our world?
Watch her awesomeness:

And no matter what you think about algae, it’s rad to see a young woman totally kick ass in a field where women are hugely underrepresented (fewer than 1 in 4 environmental scientists is female). YOU GO, GIRL.

Filed under: Business & Technology, Climate & Energy

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