Algae powered adventures in Chicago


In a piece of brilliant education a Chicago science teacher ran a project with his students to see if they could create enough biodiesel from algae to run a VW camper on a 20 mile round trip from their school to the Sears tower and back again. The algae “farm” was set up in a corner of the classroom, using fluorescent lamps to double for sunlight, and the resulting liquid separated in a centrifuge at a proper lab. A writer for Jalopnik was along for the ride as the battered old vehicle puttered its way through the windy city’s heavy Friday traffic.

Obviously the small scale set up the students used was probably carbon negative overal, with its reliance on pumps and artificial light, but large scale algae farms could benefit from natural light and wind or solar PV to power any motors.

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