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Students help turn recycled cooking oil into fuel

The Center for Advanced Technical Studies are teaching students everything clean energy related.

CHAPIN, S.C. — Students at Lexington Richland District Five's Center for Advanced Technical Studies are taking old cooking grease and turning it into biofuel in their Clean Energy Technology class.

“We lead a project based curriculum where students are exposed to all of the career areas that are available to them now in the world of clean energy,” Patrick Smallwood, teacher for this class told Street Squad.

“Its cool because what you can do is you can take cooking oil from any restaurant like Chick Fil A, Bojangles ... I got mine from Fatz when we did ours. It's so nasty to see it, but then once you use it ... you put some chemicals with it … and you rinse water through it, it can turn into something that an engine can run off of," says senior Caylin Lomoriello who plans to study Environmental Engineering in college. 

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“We’ve partnered with Green Energy Biofuel which is a local South Carolina company," Smallwood continues, "and we’ve set up a public collection site where anybody, any day of the year, any time of the day, can come and deposit their used cooking oil outside of our clean energy lab and that is collected by Green Energy Biofuel they actually bring a big tanker vacuum truck and they suck all of the oil out of there and they take it back to their production facility and they turn every drop of that oil into biodiesel.”

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And the best part: discarding your oil here benefits the Clean Energy Program. "The nice little kickback for us is that our clean energy program gets a little bit of money for every gallon of oil that gets collected out of that. So, it’s a win-win for us at the school in the program and for the Biofuel plant because they get free fuel and they give us a little kickback for it," Smallwood says."

Like they mentioned, you can dump your cooking oil any day, any time outside of the Clean Energy Lab which is the first classroom around the left side of CTE. 

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