16 year-old creates new method to turn algae into biofuel

Categories: Energy

Rising senior Evie Sobczak's new method is cleaner and more efficient than current methods.

OK, here's a list of things I was not doing when I was 16.  

  1. Running in marathons. (I didn't start doing this until my 30s.)

  2. Knitting. (I learned in my 20s)

  3. Writing books. (30s)

  4. Developing a new biofuel that could potentially change the world's dependence on oil. (Um, I have never even come close to doing that.)


Just when I think I've done some cool things in my life, I come across one of these awesome green teens who are literally changing the world before they even learn to drive. In this instance, I'm referring toEvie Sobczak, a soon-to-be senior atShorecrest Preparatory School in St.Petersburg,Fla.

From the Tampa Bay Times:

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 after four years of messing with her project using equipment that she engineered on her own, she did it.Sobczak figured out a way to grow algae, extract the oil, and use it asbiodiesel. Oh, and her method is chemical-free and produces roughly 20 percent more oil than current methods, which could make algaebiofuel cheaper and cleaner to use.

Sobczak recently won first place at Intel’s International Science and Engineering Fairfor her project, officially titled, Algae to Oil via Photoautotrophic Cultivation and Osmotic Sonication. Sobczak explains her project further in this 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? 

Check her out in this video below: 

I'm not sure if Evie has ever met Azza Abdel Hamid Faiad, the 16-year-old Eqyptian student who figured out a way to create biofuels from her country's plastic waste. If not, someone really needs to make the introduction. Something tells me these two ladies will be unstoppable working on their own. Together, they may just be an eco-science team to be reckoned with.

via MNN

  Page Turn  

Related articles in Energy