The Algae-to-Biofuel Girls Go to MIT

Maine High school students Tessa Churchill and Holly Jacobson isolate algae that produces extra biodiesel oils.

Published: 07-Nov-2006

Holly Jacobson and Tessa Churchill, seniors at Greely High School in Cumberland, are at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology today, explaining how they would use fast-growing algae to help solve the energy crisis.
In a nutshell, the young women may have found a way to produce more biodiesel fuel while consuming fewer organic resources.

The project got its start two years ago when Jacobson and Churchill began examining natural oils stored in fatty acids -- called lipids -- in various forms of marine algae. Recently, they identified a strain of algae that produces more oil for a given mass.

They are at MIT to present their findings to a panel of university judges, who will weigh their project against those of three other teams in the regional finals of the sixth annual Siemens Math, Science & Technology competition.


The D1 Lola B2K is only capable of 200mph, some 15mph slower than its petrol-powered competitors, but Lola hopes that, as it will need fewer pit stops to refuel, it could be quick overall.

Enterprise purchased five Jeep Liberties outfitted with standard diesel engines that require no modifications to run on biodiesel, which it keeps filled with B20 biodiesel.


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