This press release is available in Spanish.
The cafeterias at the Catering School on the Leioa campus of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) use litres upon litres of oil for cooking, given that many students, research workers, lecturers and ancillary staff eat there. Currently a truck takes away all the waste. However, a number of Chemistry Faculty lecturers have demonstrated that this oil can be used and revalued at the university itself, having managed to produce biodiesel from the used oil. According to lecturer Ms Eneritz Anakabe, "we have shown that it can be done on a small scale, that biodiesel can be obtained from this oil in a simple manner".
This initiative involves three lecturers in Chemistry from the UPV/EHU, one from the School of Engineers in Bilbao and a number of collaborators. Their research project is called Transesterification. Biodiesels, is financed by the UNESCO Catedra for the Sustainable Development and Environmental Education of the UPV/EHU, and is to last for two years until 2011. Obviously, to produce large quantities of biodiesel, another type of installation will be required, but what can be produced in the laboratories of the Faculty of Science and Technology is sufficient for the lawn mowers, heating and official cars of the UPV/EHU.
Without greenhouse effect
In order to obtain biodiesel from oil, a transesterification reaction is necessary. The lecturers mentioned have gathered together the literature on various experimental techniques that enable this reaction and have carried out trials until they found the cheapest, most rapid and, in their view, the most appropriate. Not more than an hour is needed to undertake this transformation. Moreover, they have compared their results with commercial biodiesel fuels (taking advantage of the fact that their properties and quantities are known
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