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Cooking oil to become bio fuel in joint UWI Mona/YCWJ initiative

Used vegetable cooking oil will be transformed into a bio fuel capable of running motor vehicles and generators, under an ambitious 18 month pilot project launched on World Environment Day (Wednesday, June 5).   
The Biodiesel Production Initiative, funded by the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme, brings together the technical capabilities of the University of the West Indies Mona’s Departments of Chemistry and Physics and the community based crime prevention networks of the Youth Crime Watch of Jamaica (YCWJ).
The pilot will explore the feasibility of converting waste vegetable oil into bio fuels with a view to one day impacting the volume and spend on fossil fuel imports and the concomitant emission of Greenhouse Gases (GHG).
Over the 18 month period, the project seeks to collect 30,000 litres of waste vegetable oil for conversion purposes. As a result, the project procured a pilot-scale biodiesel processor in March 2013 to assist with the conversion of the waste vegetable oil. The unit is a 120V, 50Hz stainless steel processor capable of producing 190 litres of biodiesel per batch.
The project will also train 30 community members and 30 students in elements of biodiesel production, environmental stewardship and entrepreneurship. The training component is expected to take place during the summer of 2013.
The Project seeks to engage individuals from at-risk community and schools in energy diversification, transportation, education and climate change mitigation. Some of the schools and communities included in the project are Norman Gardens PJH, Calabar PJH, Melrose PJH, Maverley PJH, McIntyre Villa, Nannyville Gardens, August Town, Trench Town and Arnett Gardens. It is expected that other schools, business establishments and communities across the Corporate Area will be add their support to the waste vegetable oil collection efforts over the course of the project.
The project has so far made preliminary presentations at the UWI Research Day activities with over 1000 persons from various institutions being introduced to the project and the elements involved in the conversion process. Many enthused individuals have expressed an interest in participating in the project.
The Youth Crime Watch of Jamaica (YCWJ) is a non-governmental organization committed to addressing issues concerning Jamaica’s youth, primarily relating to crime and violence. The YCWJ supports several national initiatives in the implementation of violence prevention and alternative livelihood strategies and works closely with key stakeholders in the private, public and NGO sectors who are involved in the promotion of safer communities especially for young people. Photo by the Jamaica Observer

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