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Introduction


Taken From Eve Weston's Essay


The Cascade BioCoil is a photosynthetic bioreactor designed to test the effectiveness of growing algae for biodiesel production. The testing system consists of two free-standing photosynthetic bioreactors with two species of algae; Chlorella vulgaris and Botryocooccus bruanii. The algae is propelled into aqueous suspension by CO2 and air that come up through two diffusers stationed at the bottom of the tanks. The algae receive a controlled amount of "food" consisting of nitrate, phosphate, potassium, calcium, and light. The system is effective for monitoring nutrient and CO2 usage as well as growing the algae quickly and without diseases, while managing to mimic natural cycles. Algae biodiesel would combine the need for the removal of CO2 and waste nutrients with the production of a clean-burning fuel alternative.



Taken From Matthew Bingman's Essay


The Cascade BioCoil is a photosynthetic bioreactor designed to remove CO2 created by fossil fuel fired power plants, eliminate nutrients from wastewater and produce bio-diesel. My paper focuses on the production of bio-diesel. Two different species of algae are grown in two conical freestanding tanks. After collecting nutrient and usage data, the algae is dried and harvested, preparing the algae for lipid extraction. Using hexane for soxhlet extraction, the lipids are separated from the dried algae. The extracted lipids are used in the process of transesterification, creating biodiesel. By running the transesterified lipids through a mass spectrometer, fatty acids are identified, determining the possibility of using algae as an alternative source of biodiesel.


The above introduction comes from the abstracts of essays written by Eve Weston and Matthew Bingman. Eve and Matthew wrote these papers for a competition in Salt Lake City, Utah earlier in the year. The essays explain everything in and out about the BioCoil and are the outline of this year's BioCoil webpage (click here to view the essays). The BioCoil project is made up of two sophomores, two juniors, and six seniors. The sophomores are Shana Yelton and Kelsey Lambirth. The two juniors are Kurt Charlton and Jim Fluckinger. The seniors are Matthew Bingman, Eve Weston, Tessa Stocks, Allison Tangen, Ashley Evers, and Amanda Bennett.


In May, the Biocoil group, represented by Eve Weston, Matthew Bingman, Kurt Charlton and Amanda Bennet competed at the Imagine Tomorrow competition in Polman, Washington at the Washington State University campus. The group won first place in the biofuels category, which challenges students to demonstrate a technological, design, behavioral aspect of how biofuels will be utilized in the U.S. or around the world. Each student in the first place team earns $1,000 and the school receives $5,000. Cascade students also won an award for being the best new entry from Idaho's Congressional District 1, which carried an award of $100 for each student and $500 for the school. Click here for the competition essay they presented at WSU. Here is the link to the website for this competition.

The Group


The Group (click here to see more pictures from the classroom)