Students from the Axe Valley Community College are working with the University of Exeter to create biodiesel from used vegetable oil.
The project was started in 2008 and has encompassed a vast range of learning opportunities. With the aid of a Royal Society Partnership Grant, the students, teacher and scientific advisor set up a biodiesel conversion plant, and the school was involved in creating a company to produce and sell the product. The profits were used to buy items for the school. Local businesses provided the oil and business advice. Year 10 graphic and design students designed the Axe Valley Biodiesel logo. Students publicised the project to the local media and it was featured on River Cottage. An A-Level Chemistry student is also working to use the waste product from the biofuel process to create soap. Other pupils have based their GCSE coursework on determining the rate of the conversion process.
"The project has given students the opportunity to learn not only about creating and processing biodiesel, but also creating a business brand and taking the waste product and transforming it into something useful," says Mr Andrew Colville, Science Teacher from Axe Valley Community College.
Visitors to the exhibit will be able to learn how the students set up the biodiesel plant, the chemistry behind the conversion process and how they developed tests to check the quality of the biodiesel produced.
Exhibiting at A winning partnership: science in schools on Friday 25 and Saturday 26 June 2010.
Exhibitied by Axe Valley Community College and University of Exeter