Raising concerns over global fuel price hikes have prompted USM students to explore fuel alternatives for vehicles.
Through the innovation of 23-year-old Wan Khairul Norhaizan Wan Ishak, the university found that used cooking oil could be converted into fuel for vehicles. And it’s environment-friendly!
"Biodiesel oil is safer and more economical compared to current energy sources. It’s also free of plumbum (technical name of lead) and in line with aims to reduce green house effect, as recommended by the Kyoto Protocol.
"More importantly, use cooking oil which many have been throwing away, could be recycled as an alternative source of energy for motor vehicles," she said, when met at the National Level Research and Innovation Competition 2008.
Wan Khairul Norhaizan is a final year student of the USM Chemical Engineering Research Centre.
Elaborating, she said the used cooking oil has to be separated first from other substance in it, before it is processed through a chemical reaction.
"Through this innovation, one litre of used cooking oil can produced one litre of biodiesel oil. This means the used cooking oil is used in full, without any wastage.
"Some vehicles may need to go through a modification before it can be used as biodiesel fuel. Nevertheless, now there are some vehicle producers such as Honda and Toyota which have introduced biodiesel vehicles. I believe biodiesel has the potential to replace fuel soon," she added.
She also said substance used in the modification process can be repeatedly used.
Apart from biodiesel fuel, this innovation has also successfully produced 'glycerin' – which is a common ingredient in the pharmaceutical industry in the world.
NOTE: Translated from Malay press release. Original Article - http://www.usm.my/v3/berita-penuh.asp?id=5781&idform=7
Mohamad Abdullah | ResearchSEA
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