Mar 13, 2009 | 1
If you missed our coverage of the 2009 Intel Science Talent Search finalists and winners earlier this week—or even if you didn't—below you'll find a package of whiz kid profiles. Spending time with them is enough to turn a hardened cynic into an optimist who believes that the next generation has a chance of solving many of the world's problems. Christie Nicholson, who produced the videos, and Laura Vanderkam, who did the interviews, will agree.
There's Aditya Rajagopalan, who figured out how to improve the way we make cellulosic ethanol (and had a few words for the President). There's Chelsea Jurman, who took fifth place out of 40 finalists and suggests that parents don't say too much about their own drinking to their kids. There's Philip Streich, who took third place in the competition, for his project on carbon nanotubes.
Mar 9, 2009
WASHINGTON, D.C.—When gas prices were sky high, lots of people talked about ethanol as a fuel of the future. In particular, many investors placed their hopes in cellulosic ethanol. Such ethanol is made from the non-edible parts of corn, such as the stalk and leaves, or from non-corn sources such as certain kinds of grasses.* Unlike the ethanol available today, it does not require the edible parts—a requirement that has raised concerns of pitting fuel versus food.
But at least as important, no one has yet figured out a way to make cellulosic ethanol for anything approaching the price of gas—or how to make much of it at all. “Right now it’s just big diseconomies of scale,” says Aditya Rajagopalan, 17, a student at Choate Rosemary Hall in Connecticut.
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