Overall Rating Silver - expired
Overall Score 49.70
Liaison Whitney Crooks
Submission Date April 27, 2012
Executive Letter Download

STARS v1.1

Red River College Polytechnic
IN-4: Innovation 4

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Sara MacArthur
Sustainability Manager
Sustainability
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A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:

Red River College has devised an innovative strategy to reduce waste, reduce emissions, save money and promote learning.

Prompted by an interest in developing cleaner fuel technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, automotive instructor Mike implemented a biodiesel project on campus.

Since April, 2010 Mike's been taking waste cooking oil from the Food Services Department and converting it to a usable fuel. Biodiesel is produced by heating waste vegetable oil to 50 degrees Celsius, adding a catalyst to the oil and mixing for 1 hour. The mix is left to sit for a few hours and the catalyst causes a breakdown of the oil molecules separating the heavy oil (glycerin) from the lighter (biodiesel Molecules). The heavier molecules sink to the bottom of the reaction tank where it is drained off. The fuel is then transferred to a wash tank where it is cleaned of it impurities. The fuel is then dried and filtered and is now ready for use in most diesel vehicles.

The finished biodiesel is then used by the College's Pavement and Grounds Department. Initially the biodiesel was only used in some lawn and garden equipment. Now, it is used in more than half of the Grounds' fleet and is used year-round. The department is interested in continually expanding the blend and use of biodiesel in their equipment.

The biodiesel production facility is used to educate students of the environmental benefits of using this cleaner fuel.

Producing biodiesel on-site also saves the College money by reducing the College's use of diesel fuel.


A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise:
The website URL where information about the innovation is available:
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