For the past six weeks, students from Fountain Valley School, a boarding and day high school with an enrollment of 240, have been collecting kitchen grease from the school’s dining hall and concocting biodiesel with equipment they designed and built in science class.
This week, Venetucci Farm began using the homemade alternative fuel in tractor engines.
Susan Gordon, director of the Venetucci Farm, which offers educational agricultural programs, said the cost savings are noticeable. The biodiesel fuel costs about 70 cents a gallon, she said, compared with regular diesel, which is retailing for about $4 a gallon.
The homemade system is capable of producing 30 gallons of biodiesel per month, and the project to fuel the farm’s tractors will be ongoing, said Jeanne Olive, Fountain Valley’s spokeswoman.