Saarang and the annual technical festival Shaastra, the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, is a class apart when it comes to showcasing and encouraging talent.
Now in its eleventh edition, Shaastra is the first ISO 9001:2000 certified college festival in the country. The five-day festival has competitions, workshops, Spirit of Engineering projects and technical exhibitions. Competitive events form the backbone of Shaastra and attract maximum participation, up to 30,000 a year.
Algiesel: Algae contain lipids, which can be extracted and converted to biodiesel by transesterification (process in organic chemistry to exchange the organic R group of an ester with the organic R group of an alcohol). The lipid yield is optimised by lab experiments and by manipulating the medium of growth. The process includes harvesting of algae, breaking the cell walls, extracting triglycerides through appropriate solvents and finally transesterification. Analysis of the transesterified lipids showed the presence of palmitic acid, which can be used as biodiesel.