Universities Create Biodiesel from Waste Cooking Oil

A recent update from Engineers for a Sustainable World on student projects from 2018 included a note on the University of British Columbia Campus Biodiesel project. See https://www.eswglobal.org/database. According to that synopsis, “The campus biodiesel project seeks to produce biodiesel from waste cooking oil produced on UBC campus. Cooking oil can be collected from the dining halls of first year residence, in partnership with UBC food services. ESW has access to use a reactor system in the Chemical and Biological Engineering building with the capacity to produce 60 L batches. There is also a fuel dispensing system in the equipment yard of the building. The goal of the project is to produce batches of biodiesel with reliable quality to be used by diesel powered vehicles in fleet services.”

More information on the UBC campus biodiesel production project can be found on the Engineers for a Sustainable World UBC web site at http://blogs.ubc.ca/sustainabilityclub/biodiesel-project/.

This project is similar to the Illinois Biodiesel Initiative (IBI), which evolved from an Engineers Without Borders project on the campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. See https://icap.sustainability.illinois.edu/project/illinois-biodiesel-initiative-ibi and http://biodiesel.illinois.edu/ for further information on that project.

Similar projects have also been coordinated with high school students converting waste cooking oil from K-12 school food service operations for use in district school buses. See the archived suggested activity “Divert or create biodiesel from waste cooking oil” document from the original Green Lunchroom Challenge K-12 pledge program for more information and inspiration for incorporating such an activity, or information about it, into K-12 lesson plans.

Has your college, university, or high school/school district diverted used cooking oil to fuel in a similar fashion? Consider sharing a link to a site describing your efforts or a brief description of your project in the comments section of this post.