College Campuses are Heating Up!

      This past fall, Boston University began recycling their cooking oil from on-campus dining halls and using it to help heat thirteen of the university’s buildings. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, reused cooking oil should release about 70% less greenhouse gas than petroleum heating oil, and cost less. BU produces 5,000 gallons of cooking oil waste a year (100 gallons per week). They recognize that the waste oil will only comprise a fraction of the total oil used to heat the university’s buildings annually. This project is carried out with the help of an organization called Save That Stuff. Save That Stuff is a leading waste management company that helps over 2,000 New England businesses and institutions safely and efficiently get rid of recyclable substances. The company supplies BU with clean equipment and collects their used cooking oil regularly. According to the company, with minimum modifications, filtered and cleaned used vegetable oil can be used in most residential furnaces and industrial process heating and electric power generation units designed to burn No. 2 and No. 4 heating oil.

      Also, used vegetable oil can be made into biodiesel. Biodiesel can be blended with petroleum diesel at any level to create a biodiesel blend. These blends can be legally used in diesel engines, home heating applications, furnaces and boilers with little or no modifications.

      Furthermore, other campuses that have implemented this conservation movement include:

–         Sinclair Community College (Dayton, Ohio)- Students make biodiesel fuel by converting used cooking oil form the dining hall.

–         State University of New York- Biodiesel accounts for 8% of the fuel used on campus.

–         Dickinson College (Carlisle, PA)- produces 50-150 gallons of biodiesel week to power campus lawn mowers, a garbage truck and farm equipment

      This information is extremely valuable in regards to my personal Biofuels project. I have already emailed the director of these projects at Boston University and Sinclair Community College to receive information about how they started their projects and how is had benefited the campus thus far. I look forward to hearing their responses and using this information as supportive material in my project.

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