A Bio-Diesel Baja Vehicle and Student Competition

EPA Grant Number: SU833158
Title: A Bio-Diesel Baja Vehicle and Student Competition
Investigators: McClain, Stephen T. , Peters, Robert W.
Current Investigators: McClain, Stephen T. , Crawford, Jarret , Haswell, Joshua , Irwin, Christa , Kingsley, Jeff , Peters, Robert W. , Schofield, Josh
Institution: University of Alabama at Birmingham
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Phase: I
Project Period: September 30, 2006 through May 30, 2007
Project Amount: $10,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2006) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: P3 Challenge Area - Energy , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Awards , Sustainability


The SAE Mini Baja® competition is an extremely popular design competition for students in engineering programs around the world. The competition focuses on the design of an off-road vehicle for performance and cost-of-production. The objective of the proposed effort is to convert a vehicle created for the SAE Mini Baja® competition to a bio-diesel vehicle. Through the conversion, the rules for a new competition will be created, resembling the SAE Mini Baja®, but focusing on vehicle performance and the production bio-derived diesel fuels, employing the carbon cycle to produce sustainable automotive propulsion. To capture the student’s fascination with automotive design and racing, the new competition would still employ elements of mechanical design for “off-road” performance. However, the competition winner will be the team that balances performance with the most cost-effective and convenient methods of producing bio-derived fuels to run the vehicle. The cost of fuel production and the quality of fuel created for the competition would be major aspects of scoring. If awarded, the efforts of Phase II would involve developing a national competition seeking to reach and encourage students from around the nation, and eventually the world, to begin development of sustainable automotive propulsion systems.

Supplemental Keywords:

Biodiesel, Design, Student competition, Baja,, RFA, Scientific Discipline, TREATMENT/CONTROL, Sustainable Industry/Business, POLLUTION PREVENTION, Environmental Chemistry, Sustainable Environment, Energy, Technology, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Environmental Engineering, energy conservation, sustainable development, clean technologies, environmentally friendly transportation fuel, bioengineering, environmental sustainability, alternative fuel vehicles, energy efficiency, biodiesel fuel

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report