Gainesville Students Win Award for Biodiesel Project
Students at the Oak Hall School in Gainesville have won the 2009 President's Environmental Youth Award for District 4. Their project began as a science fair project to collect and process used vegetable oil (UVO) into biodiesel fuel for the school's diesel-powered lawn equipment and eventually, school buses. With the dedication of several high school students, the project evolved into a plan to build a student-operated biodiesel facility on the school campus as an effort to pursue alternative energy sources and to encourage school-wide environmental stewardship.
Members of the project team obtained all necessary local and state regulatory approvals for biodiesel production; raised funds for the reactor, a facility to house the reactor and supplies to manufacture biodiesel; collected more than 250 gallons of UVO; and produced over 25 gallons of biodiesel. The students also wrote an instruction manual to encourage other schools to replicate the biodiesel project.