Students of the 8th Elementary School, the Experimental High School of the University of Crete and the 1st Vocational High School in Rethymno had the opportunity to learn about the biodiesel and the benefits of recycling Used Cooking Oils (UCOs) during an educational activity organised by the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Systems Lab of the Technical University of Crete and the Department of Education of the Municipality of Rethymno.




The event, aiming to raise awareness about the harmful consequences that improper disposal of UCO to the environment, the advantages of its transformation into biodiesel and to challenge the behavior change of the school community (students, family, teachers), took place on the World Environment Day (June 5th, 2014).


Mr Giorgos Georgalis, the Vice Mayor of Education opened the event presenting the collaboration between the Municipality and Technical University of Crete (TUC) for the development of a sustainable collection and recycling system of UCO. He stressed out the critical role of the students in the collection of UCO and the support of TUC at informing and educating the citizens and providing technical expertise and quality testing of the produced biodiesel. He motivated the students to collect and recycle the UCO from their homes so as their school could benefit by energy and cost savings which could help the improvement of infrastructures for the schools involved in the pilot project.


On behalf of the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Systems Laboratory, Ms Afroditi Fotiou presented the scope and activities of the European initiative RecOil. She informed about the environmental hazards that UCOs can cause to the sewage system, the water resources and the natural ecosystem of their home town and highlighted the benefits deriving of their collection and transformation into biodiesel; also she indicated the different uses of biodiesel and its advantages in comparison to the conventional fuels.


Then, the 1st public demonstration of UCO transformation to biodiesel took place. Mr Giorgos Psomas, representing the manufacturer of a small scale autonomous unit for biodiesel transformation, explained in more details the transformation process. He also discussed about the lack of normative framework regarding the small scale production of biodiesel in Greece, in comparison to other European countries. Students have brought their UCO to feed the transformation unit themselves. The unit will be used during the RecOil pilot project in Rethymno for educational and research purposes.


The event was widely disseminated by the local media and students, teachers and parents declared very interested at the process and motivated for the next steps of the pilot project.


Source: TUC