• The Plan
    How do you get fuel from waste? Learn about Team Alberta's progression from by-product biomass to a viable biodiesel.

    Click here to

  • The Procedure
    New organisms require new techniques. Learn how Team Alberta progressed from an idea to a reality and the steps required to get there.

    Click here to

  • The Product
    Biodiesel is a viable fuel. See our fuel in action and learn about Team Alberta's plans to make biodiesel production and usage even easier.

    Click here to

  • The Potential
    Home production and commercial production are viable options for our biodiesel production methods. See Team Alberta's plan to make a small laboratory process into small scale bio-production and large scale.

    Click here to


Team Alberta's aim is to aid in the solution of a global problem, the fuel crisis, by thinking locally. In Alberta, our main industrial practices lay within the oil and gas sector; however, we also have a thriving agricultural and forestry-based industry. The industrial processes associated with these industries produce biomass by-products of little economic value. The aim of our project is to convert these by-products into a useful and economically viable fuel, biodiesel.

Previous research has been largely focused on engineering organisms to metabolize cellulose, a highly inefficient approach with very little yield. Here is where our approach differs. Why engineer a new organism to perform a function nature has perfected in another species? Why not just make this organism even better?

We have selected the filamentous, ascomycete fungus Neurospora crassa, which is a natural cellulose metabolizer, with the aim of creating an organism to efficiently make biodiesel. Our fuel will be made by up-regulating fatty acid synthesis and inhibiting beta-oxidation, effectively causing the over-production of fatty acids within N. crassa. From here we will efficiently esterify the fatty acids into fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs), producing a viable fuel.

Ingenuity Sustainability Cost Efficiency
  1. Development of a rapid, systematic method to construct genes for N. crassa
  2. Development and utilization of N. crassa as a suitable synthetic biology chassis
  3. Creation of 7 parts for use in future synthetic biology projects
  4. Design of a self-contained bioreactor apparatus
  5. Determination of our fuel as an economically viable biodiesel