First Large-Scale School Biodiesel Production and Education Facility in Appalachia

Lexington, Ky. – Earth Day Network, in partnership with The UPS Foundation, today unveiled the first large-scale biodiesel production facility at a school in the region, as the centerpiece of Henry Clay High School’s showcase Biodiesel Production and Education Program.

The new facility, purchased with a grant from The UPS Foundation, has the capacity to produce 40 gallons of biodiesel fuel per week. Students harvest waste vegetable oil – a necessary building block of biodiesel – from the school’s cafeteria to produce the fuel, thereby reducing the school’s waste and the associated cost of removal. Initially, the final product will supply clean fuel to several diesel engine-driving teachers, with the intention of broadening the fuel’s usage throughout the community. The school plans to hit full production capacity during the fall semester.

School buses in the United States travel over five billion miles per year, often at a significant health and financial cost to school communities. However, biodiesel fuel can reduce particle emissions from school buses by up to 40 percent – curtailing a pollutant that is particularly harmful to children’s still-developing lungs and saving schools money in the process.

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