Student-made bio fuel may soon power New Haven school bus - KMSP-TV

Student-made bio fuel may soon power New Haven school bus

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By Robin Schwartz
Fox 2 News Reporter


NEW HAVEN, Mich. (WJBK) -- You can use it to make French fries or run an engine.  Some metro Detroit high school students are turning vegetable oil into bio fuel.  Soon their fuel could help power a school bus in New Haven.

It's a painstaking process turning vegetable oil into biofuel, but as high tech as it sounds, students are able to do it at New Haven High School.

"The biggest thing we have to do, first, is purify it and then it's a process of mixing it with methanol to get the right mixture," said automotive instructor CJ Milton.

Every two days, the class makes about 15 gallons.  The fuel, also known as bio diesel, works with any diesel engine.  It burns cleaner, is cheaper to make than fossil fuels and helps reduce our dependance on foreign oil.

So far they've only tried the fuel in test engines, but the goal is to use it in an actual school bus.  That's expected to happen this spring.

The program is part of New Haven's K-12 alternative energy curriculum developed with the group Energy Works Michigan to get students thinking green at an early age.

"We think that alternative energy is the future.  I think that the future jobs are there, and we'd like our students to be as prepared or more prepared than other school districts in sending them out into those new jobs, new fields, with new knowledge," said New Haven Superintendent Keith Wunderlich.

The district also wants to be known as a hub for alternative energy education and possibly fuel the creation of green jobs as a result.

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