Teenager makes grease to help farmers - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Teenager makes grease to help farmers

June 12, 2003

Moultrie - A southwest Georgia teenager is on his way to revolutionizing the agriculture business. He's won awards at region, state and national science fairs. Through trial and error, he made a biodegradable grease that lasts longer on equipment than normal grease.

Eighteen-year-old Joseph Searcy of Moultrie has always been interested in science and mathematics. He explains, "If somebody tells me how something works doesn't suffice me, I want to know how, what, why, when and where."

His thirst for knowledge has led him to a new spin on grease called bio based grease. Searcy says, "I found out you can make grease using canola oil, an advantage over grease using petroleum based oil."

Searcy ended up with the right ingredients for a science project. He says while stirring mixture, "I did more research and started to make my own grease as you can see here."

The bio based grease is supposed to be less harmful to the environment. Which means when farmers grease up their tractors, the drippings won't hurt the crops. Searcy says, "If they could have something that is environmentally safe and biodegradable I think it would help out the agricultural community around here a lot."

Searcy wonders if this grease will make him filthy rich. He laughs, "I've had a lot of people say, hey remember where your from and remember us. It's a good experience and I think I will remember down south."

The experiment has already won him prize money and a summer trip to an international science fair in London. Searcy graduated this year from Colquitt County High School. He's in the process of applying for a patent.

Searcy will start at Valdosta State University this fall and then transfer to Georgia Tech to get his masters in computer engineering.

Searcy says the Army and U.S.D.A. are leading researchers of bio based grease. He's already been approached by an Army researcher at one of the science fairs.

posted at 5:20PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com

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