Dr Haridas Chandran 1
Students will modify the coal burning chamber constructed by last year’s students by including outlets for measuring the amount of CO2 getting into the tank containing algae. The gas will be measured by using the CO2 sensor bought from Vernier software and technology. They will also try to build efficient sensors using an Arduino board to measure other gases emitted from the burnt coal. Different types of coal seam will be used to study the yield of the bio-fuel produced from the type of green algae called chlorella. A vacuum pump will be used to evacuate the entire length of the tube so that only the gas from the burnt coal will be pumped into the tank. This will give the experimentalist confirmation of the presence of gas admitted into the tank containing algae. The students will also modify the inlet tube present in the algae tank by connecting it to a flat gas burner tray built by students. This modification will help algae to absorb the CO2 gas equally in the entire tank. Temperature and pH of the sample in the tank before and after the insertion CO2 will be measured using the temperature and pH probes available in their science lab. Growth of the algae will be monitored regularly by measuring its volume. The bio-fuel from the algae will be extracted by harvesting the algae collecting them using a cheese cloth. The cheese cloth will be dried using a dehydrator. The dehydrated algae will be combined with hexane and the mixture will be squeezed to extract bio-fuel. The confirmation of the extracted material as a bio-fuel will be determined by measuring its density.