A group of researchers from the faculty of Science and Technology at UWI, Mona have used waste cooking oil to produced personal care products such as hand sanitizers, liquid soap and soap bars.
The products will be on display at the University’s Research Days event from February 7-9. They are the end result of research led by Dr. Michael Coley and Ms. Denis Campbell who explored useful ways to dispose of waste cooking oil which is often sends up blocking drains or clogging sewer systems.
Understanding that waste cooking oil has crude glycerol which can be processed and used, the researchers carried out a chemical process that converts crude glycerol to purified glycerol which is a high-value product in great demand.
The crude glycerol was acidified, evaporated, decolourized and distilled and was then tested using several techniques to ascertain its purity. The products are a testament to the value in recycling waste and using it add value to our homes and environment.
The research also found that the waste oil can be converted into biodiesel and can be mixed with petroleum diesel and burned in vehicle engines and generators. There is a potential market for about 5 million litres of biodiesel per year in Jamaica as a blend of 5% biodiesel and 95% petroleum diesel can be sold legally.