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Don't toss that old cooking oil--it can be recycled

Blythewood High School students are turning oil into diesel fuel.

BLYTHEWOOD, S.C. — Before you pour that old cooking oil down the drain, you might want to consider donating it. Blythewood High School students need it to produce diesel fuel.

After it fries your food it sits idly by the trash, it could be repurposed to fuel your car after feeding your body.

“It starts with our oil drive, explains Andrew Gatzke, a senior biodiesel student at the school. "We need oil in order to make biodiesel fuel so the last week we’ve been asking people that come through the car rider line and we’ve gained about 10 gallons from that."

After getting donations, the oil gets filtered to get rid of impurities.

“We use that b100 as fuel and continue to purify it by heating it and running it through an exchange column,” Gatzke said.

Inside the classroom, there are other teams working to perfect the process.

“We run investigations on what quality control does so that we make sure the biodiesel is tested properly,” said Peyton Patterson, a junior at the school. 

But the project is much more than turning oil into fuel. It’s gassing the future for each student.

“So the whole point of this class is to prepare students for their future whatever that is. Whether that’s going into the industry or to enroll in a four-year institution or going into our military," Will Epps, the Biodiesel teacher said. 

In addition to training students for post-grad life, it provides a solution for the community.

Richland county only has two oil waste drop-off spots.

Because of this project, Blythewood High School is a third option to dump that old grease.

If you have cooking oil you’d like to donate the students at Blythewood High School are accepting those donations.

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