Talk about sustainable multi-tasking. Not only have students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign created a device that cultivates algae for biofuel production, they’ve made it out of old computer parts! Dubbed Bio-Grow, the algae bioreactor features parts from an Apple G4 CPU tower, PVC pipes, acrylic panels, an Apple iMac CRT, and high density foam.

The device also uses a Dell Latitude CPX laptop modified to allow the iMac CRT to turn on different light spectrums and to adjust the temperature. The makeshift tank’s water pump aerates the algae, while a faucet lets users extract algae on demand.

Ultimately, the students hope that their device can change the biofuel game by increasing output and lowering costs of algae production (it doesn’t get much cheaper than recycled electronics). According to the students, if just 6.5% of Americans housed Bio-Grows, they could generate enough algae to completely replace petroleum with biodiesel.

Of course, few homeowners will make or buy a Bio-Grow without some sort of incentive program. But that’s another project altogether.

Via Discovery News