University of Michigan engineering students have discovered a redeeming quality in junk food: waste grease produced in campus cafeterias that can be used to make biodiesel fuel for U-M buses.
During a term project for a course in environmental sustainability, a four-student team led by Lisa Colosi and Andres Clarens concluded and demonstrated that it is economically and technically feasible to harvest the 10,700 gallons of waste grease produced in the 10 campus dining halls to make an effective biodiesel fuel, which they produced in the lab and tested out on a small U-M tractor.
The students vision, "from the fryer to the fuel tank" could save an institution that produces significant amounts of waste grease thousands of dollars in transportation and disposal costs by adopting even a portion of their proposal, said the course instructor, Walter Weber Jr., the Gordon M. Fair and Earnest Boyce Distinguished University Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering and director of the College of Engineering Concentrations in Environmental Sustainability (ConsEnSus) Program.
Laura Bailey | EurekAlert!
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