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Virginia Tech Team Wins EcoCAR Contest

Virginia Tech Car TeamAn ethanol-powered electric vehicle that can travel the equivalent of 81.9 miles per gallon clinched the EcoCAR Challenge for a team of Virginia Tech engineering students. They beat 15 other student teams in the three-year competition, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and General Motors, to design a more fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly car with the same consumer appeal and safety as today’s models.

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Event: X-Prize Automotive Prize. Sept. 16, 2010

xprize car competitionNational Geographic airs a Sept. 16, 2010 TV special on competitors who undertook the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE challenge to create the world’s most fuel efficient car. The Geographic episode coincides with public award ceremony in Washington, DC, for the winners of $10 million contest.

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Competitions: Alt Energy Model Car Race. Florida

Students make hydrogen before the race.The Florida Solar Energy Center sponsors two competitions to design, build and race alternative energy model cars: The Hydrogen Sprint for Florida students in grades 9 – 12; and the Junior Solar Sprint (JSS) for Florida students in grades 6-8. The small model cars powered solar or hydrogen energy are built as team efforts guided by teachers.

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Activity: Ethanol Fermentation

Ethanol MoleculeWhat kinds of foods are easiest to ferment for fuel? Ethanol is made from a variety of plant substances – corn, sugar cane, even some kinds of wood. In this activity, students test different substances to see what they can learn about fermentation.

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Website: Alternative and Advanced Fuels

This Department of Energy Web page provides links to on the Alternative and Advanced Fuels section of the DOE Website. Topics range from better known fuels, such as biodiesel, ethanol, hydrogen, to emerging fuels such as biobutanol and hydrogenation-derived renewable diesel (HDRD). Fuel-Related Topics include fuel blends and fueling stations, while various links lead to videos, specific state information, and a glossary of terms, among other resources.

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