Utah State Dragster Runs on Cheese Waste Biofuel
A team of engineering students from Utah State University has set a new land speed record using a car that burns a new form of sustainable biofuel made from a waste product of the cheese manufacturing process.
“How many people get to drive a car they helped build with fuel they created from a living microorganism?” asks USU undergrad biochemist Michael R. Morgan, who drove the dragster across Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats Speedway to its landmark finish earlier this month.
The Aggie A-Salt Streamliner, as it’s officially known, runs on yeast biodiesel derived from the industrial waste of cheese production. The sleek, Aggie-blue hot rod was among some 200 high-tech racers competing at the Utah Salt Flats Racing Association’s 2012 World of Speed event Sept. 8-11.
At its top speed, the Aggie vehicle clocked in at 65.344 miles per hour. At first glance, that speed may fail to impress NASCAR fans or even most interstate motorists. But make no mistake; it’s a head-turning achievement for a biofueled vehicle with a one-liter, two-cylinder engine. READ MORE and MORE (Utah State University)
Excerpt from Utah State University: …With McCurdy, Morgan and other student team members in the colleges of Science and Agriculture, Seefeldt and Bruce Bugbee, professor in USU’s Department of Plants, Soils, and Climate, have been working for more than a year to perfect the production of the fuel using yeast and bacterial platforms, as well as developing fuel from carbon dioxide and the Sun using microalgae platforms.
“We’ve recently succeeded in producing quantities of fuels from all of these sources that have superior properties in test engines, comparing favorably to biodiesel produced from soybeans,” says Seefeldt, recipient of USU’s 2012 D. Wynne Thorne Career Research Award, the university’s top research honor. “The USU fuels are a renewable, low-footprint replacement for petroleum diesel and they don’t compete for food crops.” READ MORE