Sinclair clears snow using biodiesel fuel made from recycled cooking oil

Published: Thursday, January 17, 2019 @ 1:27 PM

While clearing snow is a chore for most people, it gives Sinclair Community College an opportunity to teach students about chemistry and engineering while saving money.

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The college teaches students how to recycle cooking oil into biodiesel fuel that is then used to power its snow blowing and grass cutting tractors.

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“We have a social responsibility for our future generations,” said Woody Woodruff, director of Facilities Management at Sinclair Community College. “We started this initiative about 10 years ago and today the converted biodiesel fuel is used to power seven of our college tractors.”

Sinclair makes up to 300 gallons of biodiesel a year, saving thousands of dollars on fuel, according to the college.

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“Our first priority is education and not only do our students gain valuable lessons in chemistry and engineering, but recycling wasted cooking oil also saves our college money in cleanup costs,” said Bob Gilbert, professor and director at the Center for Energy Education. 

Biodiesel is also more sustainable for the environment, Woodruff said.

“Using biodiesel fuel significantly reduces the emissions of carbon monoxide and is a cleaner burning fuel,” he said.

News Center 7 consumer reporter Rachel Murray will have more information on the program today on WHIO-TV at 5 p.m.