Kathmandu University News

Successful test of "used cooking oil" as a bio-fuel at Kathmandu University

isms | 23 March, 2009 10:36

Amid the hardships being faced by the business communities and the general public due to the energy crisis in the country, Kathmandu University has successfully tested a very noble and greener source of energy.

At a function jointly organized within the university’s premises by the Department of Environmental Science & Engineering and Mechanical Engineering on 19/03/2009, ‘used cooking oil’ was used to run diesel-based engine. This particular bio-fuel (used cooking oil) was collected by an informal group of volunteers called the “eco-overlanders” from various hotels and restaurants in Kathmandu, which otherwise is thrown away. The bio-fuel can be used to run diesel-based power generators, irrigation pumps and vehicles and is believed to bring in some relief to the business community particularly the hospitality sector which produces a sizeable amount of discarded cooking oil and has to depend heavily on diesel generators to produce electricity at present.

Mr Manoj Badu, lecturer at the Department of Environmental Science and Engineering of the university and a member of the volunteer group ‘eco-overlanders’ revealed about the university’s plan to conduct an eco-friendly trip from the East to the West of Nepal and few different places in India, using the same bio-fuel, which is being supported and sponsored by various non-government and government organizations such as Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC).

A talk program was organized at the CV Raman Auditorium of the University prior to the demonstration of the working of diesel engine. Speaking at the program, Prof. Panna Thapa- Dean of School of Science, reminded students of their responsibilities to the society while undertaking their innovative works in their academic field. Prof. Sanjay Nath Khanal- Director of the Students’ Affairs Division, applauded the biofuel-testing activity and encouraged students to respond to the changing environmental conditions.  Associate Prof. Bhim Prasad Shrestha- head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, revealed various activities related to the development and promotion of alternative energy being carried out by the department at present and plans in future. Associate Prof. Janardan Lamichhane- head of the Biotechnology department, discussed the possibilities related to the exploration and development of environmental friendly knowledge and tools through biotechnological approach.  Senior Training Officer of the AEPC Mr. Nawa Raj Dhakal, talked about AEPC’s role in the promotion of cleaner technologies in Nepal and expressed commitment for further support and collaboration. Mr. Miles Chadwick- a member of the eco-overlanders and volunteer from the UK shared his experience of working under various socio-economic circumstances and explained how small things could make a difference.

The program was attended by the students, teachers and researchers of the university, representative from the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC), Eco-overlanders, NGOs, Nepalese and international volunteers and media groups.

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