Cowichan Valley recycling added another partner to its impressive ranks last summer as Greasecycle, Inc. teamed up with the University of British Columbia to help further reduce greenhouse gases on the Vancouver campus.
UBC chemistry and biology students have been producing biodiesel from used cooking oil since 2002, using it to power various pieces of equipment on campus. Today, all of UBC Student Housing’s shipping and receiving vehicles run entirely on biodiesel produced on campus by the UBC biodiesel initiative. The partnership with Greasecycle will improve UBC’s ability to produce biodiesel.
Waste vegetable oil is rich in triclycerides, which are large molecules that don’t combust easily. The process for converting the oil to biodiesel, known as transesterification, uses catalytic acids or bases to break down the triglycerides into biodiesel and glycerol. Greasecycle is part of the British Columbia Biofuel Network.