Run on the smell of an oily . . . fuel

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By ES­THER LAUAKI

Pare­mata School stu­dents are tap­ping into lo­cal re­sources to fuel the fu­ture in pub­lic trans­port in Porirua by cre­at­ing bio­fuel from veg­etable oil.

The school is col­lect­ing used house­hold veg­etable oil this week with the aim of run­ning a bus to Welling­ton with the fuel they helped re­cy­cle.

Mana Coach Ser­vices chief ex­ec­u­tive Geoff Nor­man said this was the first ini­tia­tive of its kind in Welling­ton. The bus com­pany ap­proached the En­vi­roschools Foun­da­tion, which teaches kids about car­ing for the en­vi­ron­ment, to of­fer pupils the op­por­tu­nity to learn about al­ter­na­tive fu­els.

‘‘Diesel en­gines can run on bio­fu­els, the first diesel en­gine was de­signed to be run on peanut oil. It’s been great work­ing with the stu­dents and teach­ing them about it,’’ Mr Nor­man said.

There are al­ready two buses which run on bio­fu­els in the area.

En­vi­roschools fa­cil­i­ta­tor Charles Bar­rie said it was a learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for him as well as the chil­dren.

‘‘We’ve been get­ting in a whole lot of ex­perts to come teach us about bio­fu­els and other means of elec­tric­ity; how it’s made and where it comes from. We did an ex­er­cise where we looked around the room try­ing to find some­thing that didn’t use oil and there was pretty much noth­ing that doesn’t use some sort of oil.’’

Pare­mata School’s se­nior stu­dents started learn­ing about re­new­able en­ergy sources in Au­gust and en­cour­age peo­ple to bring in their used veg­etable oil.

Year 8 pupil Vanessa Red­dit said, ‘‘We learned about why it’s im­por­tant to have fu­els and what fu­els weren’t bio­fu­els. We also learned that you can run a bus on veg­etable oil and [about four litres] would get us to Tawa . . . It ac­tu­ally smells like fish and chips when the en­gine’s on.’’

Mr Bar­rie said the school planned to widen its search for veg­etable oil next year.

Bot­tles can be col­lected from Pare­mata School and full bot­tles should be re­turned by De­cem­ber 17.

Bot­tles up: En­vi­roschools fa­cil­i­ta­tor Charles Bar­rie, left, Mana Coach Ser­vices chief ex­ec­u­tive Geoff Nor­man, right, and Pare­mata School’s se­nior coun­cil en­cour­age peo­ple to col­lect their used veg­etable oil in these bot­tles to help run Porirua’s first biobus ser­vice.

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