November 3, 2014
High school seniors studying green technologies in Don Bosco Technical Institute’s (Bosco Tech) Architecture & Construction Engineering (ACE) program are creating and testing viable alternative fuels from cooking oil with remarkable results.The Green and Energy Efficient Engineering course offered at Bosco Tech stresses the importance of reducing, re-using, and recycling and how these important environmentally sound precepts apply to architecture and engineering. While studying alternative fuels, the students recently executed a successful burn-comparison test where they observed and documented the energy and pollutants generated by their biodiesel formulas and compared it to that of petroleum-based diesel fuel.
They found the biodiesel had an equivalent energy density to petroleum-based diesel, making it a viable alternative, while also diverting waste that would previously have gone to a land fill. The biodiesel also produced less smoke, possibly making it cleaner burning and less harmful to the environment.
“The goal of ACE’s green technology course is to inspire students to seek alternative, environmentally sound solutions to everyday problems,” says ACE Chairman Chris Barnett. “In architecture and engineering, that includes passive and active solar design, wind energy production, alternative eco-friendly building materials like bamboo flooring, and the use of re-cycled finishing materials such as reclaimed wood and counter tops made from broken glass.” The ACE students also study Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) curriculum, a unique course for high school students.
“Our students are not just learning how to design better buildings,” Barnett shared, “they’re learning to build a better environment.”