High school chemists’ budget boost: Biodiesel

From left

From left

Class has ‘the stuff,’ but is looking for expertise

About 32 Friday Harbor High School students are involved in a project to produce biodiesel — enough to possibly reduce the school district’s regular-diesel expense by 20 percent.

Chemistry II teacher Nick Frazee is leading the class in a service-learning project to create the school’s own biodiesel to use in its buses as a possible contribution to the budget shortfall.

And, senior Josh Christenson added, students like the environmental benefits of making fuel out of discarded kitchen oil from area restaurants.

Currently, the project is in the planning stage. The class is trying to gather enough resources and knowledge to get the project off the ground.

The class is divided into separate work groups that cover different fields of the project: Research, resource acquisition, legal, communications, public relations, construction, chemists, sustainability and scheduling.

The students have acquired a kit and have figured out how to successfully make biodiesel. Now, they are turning to the community for expertise.

“We have the stuff. We need the know-how,” Frazee said.

If anyone in the community is willing to share their expertise, equipment or materials in this project, call Frazee at 378-5215 or e-mail nfrazee@sjisd.wednet.edu.