• Feb 21st 2007 at 11:49AM
  • 8
Steven Henderson, a 15-year-old "hopeless" student who learned about climate change in school, decided to do some serious extracurricular activity: he built a large biodiesel processing system in his family's barn.
That barn is now more like a warehouse full of biofuel processing equipment , according to the BBC reporter who went to meet Henderson. The boy's biofuel powers his father's farm equipment. Henderson makes about 1,000 liters a day out of waste oil from local restaurant kitchens.

What prompted a kid to get his dad to spend about £10,000 for all the equipment - six huge tanks, pumps, etc. - to make biodiesel using the tank settling method?

"I was worried about global warming and climate change," he said. "And it saves quite a bit of money."

The family Land Rover was the first "victim" for the young man's biodiesel, and his dad was worried at first about running it in a vehicle. Now, though, the father says the engines run better on biodiesel.

Even though the waste oil is free, and the Henderson's don't sell the biofuel, they still have to pay 27.1 pence tax on each liter they make. Still, the family saves between £300-400 a week compared to buying diesel at the pump. Also, Steven pumps hot water from the barn processing facility into the house; now the family's hot water bills have dropped to nothing.

What's next? Henderson says he "would like to be a really big oil producer" (which BBC thought deserved the Dallas theme music as an underscore).

You can listen to Henderson's story on BBC 4 Radio or read it over at the The Evening Chronicle. The mostly right-wing crowd (check their signatures) over at the Free Republic sees Henderson as an example of why home schooling beats public education and a Brit who is not a "mind-numbed Socialist."

For more young people who love biodiesel, check out this video.

[Source: BBC, The Evening Chronicle, Free Republic via Biodiesel_in_schools]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      • 8 Years Ago
      Pretty cool, but that biodiesel thing was supposed to be sustainable. I wonder what would happen if everyone started making his own biodiesel, would the used cooking oil still be free?
      • 8 Years Ago
      1000 litres a week, not a day
      got enough ads?
      • 8 Years Ago
      DID YOU NOTICE HOW THE LOCAL GOVERNMENT
      WAS TRYING TO TAX THIS YOUNG MAN ON
      WHAT HE HAS BEEN DOING?THAT IS JUST
      WRONG...KEEP MAKING YOUR FREE OR
      ALMOST FREE FUEL AND DON'T PAY
      THE TAXES ON IT.........
      • 8 Years Ago
      If the kid did a little more research he might have found out that one can buy a 1500 liter per day biodiesel kit for about $15,000 or ≈ £7,500. http://www.homebiodieselkits.com/
      Oh well. Concerning sustainability, biodiesel substituted for modern gasoline use could not be sustainable, but used to offset the CO2 and harmful effects of diesel, especially in agricultural applications, it is certainly a more sustainable possibility then the present. And no the oil can not remain free forever but the ecological costs of petrodiesel will not remain unaccounted for forever either. The point is biodiesel is a stepping stone and energy costs must rise until substantial investments are made in solar and wind.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Great for Steven! We need more technically-bright and entrepreneurially-savvy young people like him!
      • 4 Years Ago
      We are leading Manufacturer of bio diesel Plant and bio diesel processing Plant in India
      • 8 Months Ago
      Unfortunately there is no such thing as waste oil. Restaurant grease is usually recycled into other products, most of which is for animal feed (grease is too hazardous to disposed of in a landfill). I'm sure the grease recyclers are going to want to have a talk with this young man for using up their feed stock. At 1000 liters of diesel; around 2500 liters of oil; a week this kid is sucking up a lot of grease.

      So although an impressive achievement for a 15yr old, this brings up the fundamental debate of biofuel:

      Food or Fuel? Pick one because you can't have both
      • 4 Years Ago
      We are leading Manufacturer of bio diesel Plant and bio diesel processing Plant in India .We are also Exporters of bio diesel Plant and bio diesel processing Plant through out world from Hyderabad
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