16-Year-Old Develops a New Way to Turn Algae into Fuel

by , 06/20/13

Evie Sobczak, biofuel, algae, algae-to-biofuel, Intel ISEF

While other 16-year-olds were watching TV and hanging out with their friends, St. Petersburg, Florida-native Evie Sobczak was hard at work in her garage developing a device that turns algae into fuel. Sobczak told the Tampa Bay Times that she spent about an hour each day tinkering in her garage on the project. After about four years, her hard work paid off, as Sobczak figured out a way to harvest and extract algae oils — without using any chemicals — and turn them into biofuel. And the technique is 20 percent more efficient than existing technologies. Sobczak’s algae-to-biofuel invention recently won first place at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix.


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  1. Teresa Moore November 13, 2014 at 10:20 am

    It’s a good thing her parents & other adults in her life allowed her to tinker. I hope she doesn’t get screwed out of some sort of royalties for this.

  2. Bw5k June 20, 2013 at 10:03 pm

    Once economical algae oil seems like the perfect drop in fuel for big diesel trucks and tractors. Glad to know kids still like science.

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