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Advancing Utah's Energy Future

USU researchers blazing trails with car fueled by algae, safflower seeds

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Mike Anderson – The Deseret News

Utah State University researchers are using the Bonneville Salt Flats to market what they believe is the fuel of the future: a biofuel made with algae and safflower seeds.

For some, salt is the stuff dreams are made of.

“Racing on the salt is something I’ve been wanting to do for probably 35 years,” Steve Menendez said Monday.

Menendez came from St. Louis, Missouri, to break a record at the World of Speed. He went nearly 135 mph in a small-engine diesel truck. That’s about 30 mph over the previous record.

“I’ve been dreaming about this for so long, and I come out on our first trip to Bonneville and then set a record, and bump our own record. Nothing beats it,” he said.

He also teamed with a different kind of racer — the kind that wears a lab coat. Michael Morgan, a research assistant at USU, is out to prove something.

“Not only can we run it in our everyday cars, but when we want to, come here and run it as fast as we possibly can,” Morgan said.

The diesel fuel his team made with algae and safflower seeds can stack up to the real thing, he said.

“I know that the world only has so many resources. We’re using them up quickly,” Morgan said.

The type of biodiesel he uses is expensive, but costs continue to decline as research moves forward. (…)

To read more, please visit the Deseret New.