The Local School Which Makes Its Own Biofuel
by Francis Witsenhuysen (Northern Star) Learning how to turn sugar cane into biofuel in primary school is one thing, but running the school’s lawnmower with biofuel is quite another.
Yesterday, Empire Vale Public School raised the bar in innovation and sustainability by taking out the Northern Rivers Green Innovation Awards primary school category. The entry that got them over the line was creating an ethanol-based biofuel made from sugar cane to run a lawnmower, with the vision to run cane trucks on sugar-based biofuel in the future.
Recognising innovation, team work, business planning and environmental science, the awards aimed to encourage students to innovate in a ‘green’ way and to carry this passion throughout their lives.
Empire Vale Public School teacher Karen Rantissi said the school was determined to utilise the sugar cane surrounding the school for their entry.
“After visiting the local Sunshine Sugar’s Broadwater Mill the kids from our senior class, myself and a local cane farmer and scientist Mick O’Connor created the biofuel out of glucose, water, a activated yeast and sugar cane,” she said.
“We are a little school of about 30 kids and for them to have the opportunity to work with local industry and help to find a solution to an environmental problem is really great.
“From yesterday’s achievement we’ve been asked to present our findings at the next Cane Growers Association meeting later in Wardell.” READ MORE