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Talented teen transforms cooking oil into fuel (builds biodiesel refinery, wins national awards)
The Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, U.K.) ^ | December 9, 2006 | Nick Whitten

Posted on 12/11/2006 10:52:25 AM PST by Stoat

Talented teen transforms cooking oil into fuel

Dec 9 2006
 

 

By Nick Whitten, The Evening Chronicle

 

 

Steve Henderson

 

He happily admits he's hopeless at school - but Steven Henderson is Tyneside's very own oil baron.

Northumberland's answer to JR Ewing has built his own oil refinery in the shed at his home in Stamfordham Road, Eachwick, near Ponteland, which he uses to produce 1,000 litres of bio-diesel a week.

He collects waste cooking oil from pubs and restaurants and each weekend he processes it into environmentally-friendly bio-diesel.

It is then used by his dad to power his farm's tractors and vans saving him around £300 a week.

Steven said: "This all came about after I was reading about climate change and rising oil prices and became worried.

"I decided to build a small bio-diesel refinery. Bio-diesel is a natural and harmless fuel to the planet. One day I would like to build a really large plant.

"I get really pleased when I see my refinery. It makes me feel very proud."

Steven is the youngest person in Britain to hold a waste carriers licence from the Environment Agency.

And he's scooped a host of awards including the Young Engineer for Britain award, and the Chronicle's Young Achievers Technology award.

Now he also runs his own tax registered company called S-Plant.

His dad Roy, 48, said: "From a very early age he has always been talented.

"He dug the foundations for our house when he was about 11 and he built a pond in a nearby empty field when he was 12.

"Then one day he came to me and said he was interested in making bio-fuel. I got him a book on the subject and it seemed like his head was buried in the book every moment of the day.

"He talked me into buying some parts and he set about making the fuel. He made several mistakes, but eventually he cracked it. To make bio-diesel, the waste oil has to be heated to 50C which can be a problem.

"Steven went away a bought loads of old radiators and with some tinkering and modifications he can now heat 8,000 litres of cold oil to 50C in just three hours.

"It is very clever. He is lucky in that he has the assets to work with here. But he has the drive to go forward.

"The by-product of bio-diesel is glycerin and Steven is now looking at using that to power a steam generator which will provide heat and electricity for our house. If he gets it going he will be my hero."

He added: "He has a younger brother called Shaun who wants to play for Newcastle United, but Steven wants to own the club. That shows the difference in his mentality."

The Ponteland High School pupil openly admits to struggling academically but the school's gifted and talented co-ordinator Stacy Boyes said: "Everyone is over the moon for Steven. The staff and pupils are very happy for him."



TOPICS: Business/Economy; News/Current Events; Technical; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: BIODIESEL; BRITAIN; ENERGY; GREATBRITAIN; UK; UNITEDKINGDOM
From the article:

"One day I would like to build a really large plant."

".....he can now heat 8,000 litres of cold oil to 50C in just three hours."

Sounds like he already has a pretty large plant!  With this sort of bold, innovative thinking, he will go far in this world.

1 posted on 12/11/2006 10:52:27 AM PST by Stoat
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To: Stoat

But does this fuel cause high cholesterol in car engines?


2 posted on 12/11/2006 10:55:21 AM PST by TommyDale (Iran President Ahmadinejad is shorter than Tom Daschle!)
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To: Stoat

Bright, ambitious kid.

I hope his jalopy of radiators in the basement full of hot oil is safe.


3 posted on 12/11/2006 10:55:32 AM PST by Uncledave
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To: Stoat

Why couldnt a bunch of American kids do that?

If enough people could build their own backyard plants, it might be worth it to buy a diesel vehicle.


4 posted on 12/11/2006 10:56:00 AM PST by Armedanddangerous (Master of Sinanju (emeritus))
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To: TommyDale

What about trans fats? Can they be used in vehicles driven in NYC??


5 posted on 12/11/2006 10:56:50 AM PST by Armedanddangerous (Master of Sinanju (emeritus))
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To: Armedanddangerous
Why couldnt a bunch of American kids do that?

They are.........

6 posted on 12/11/2006 10:59:09 AM PST by Red Badger (New! HeadOn Hemorrhoid Medication for Liberals!.........Apply directly to forehead.........)
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To: Stoat

Neat kid. Glad to see England is still turning them out.


7 posted on 12/11/2006 10:59:20 AM PST by Redleg Duke (Heaven is home...I am just TDY here!)
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To: TommyDale
But does this fuel cause high cholesterol in car engines?

If so, then there's an untapped industry that you can get in on the ground floor of.....design a chemical or process that removes engine cholesterol, set up your own chain of "Jiffy De-Lubes" around the country and then retire and complain all day about having so many checks that you have to cash  :-)

8 posted on 12/11/2006 10:59:49 AM PST by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2008: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: Armedanddangerous

http://www.ohio.com/mld/beaconjournal/news/state/16210466.htm


9 posted on 12/11/2006 11:00:08 AM PST by Red Badger (New! HeadOn Hemorrhoid Medication for Liberals!.........Apply directly to forehead.........)
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To: TommyDale

I'm worried about the residue it will leave on the roads.


10 posted on 12/11/2006 11:03:34 AM PST by rabidralph (The pajama-wetters are at it again.)
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To: Stoat

Well done, young man. We need more like you.


11 posted on 12/11/2006 11:05:15 AM PST by SueRae
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To: Stoat

Well done, young man. We need more like you.


12 posted on 12/11/2006 11:05:19 AM PST by SueRae
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To: Stoat
"This all came about after I was reading about climate change and rising oil prices and became worried.

The econuts are going to have to work on their propaganda.
A kid is not supposed to feel problems can be solved through technology. Technology is the cause of problems don't you know, especially when combined with private enterprise and profit!

13 posted on 12/11/2006 11:06:17 AM PST by mrsmith
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To: Stoat

I can't help but wonder what fuel he's using to heat all that oil and power his refinery.

Is there a net gain or loss in efficiency here?


14 posted on 12/11/2006 11:06:32 AM PST by Argus
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To: Stoat; Tired of Taxes

I'm waiting for those who claim that kids are unmotivated unless professional educators are teaching them to show up.


15 posted on 12/11/2006 11:07:03 AM PST by cinives (On some planets what I do is considered normal.)
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To: mrsmith

Well, thnk about it. He's now directed his technology at the wrong target because we now know courtesy of the U.N., that cows are the real problem.


16 posted on 12/11/2006 11:08:26 AM PST by cinives (On some planets what I do is considered normal.)
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To: Stoat

What a great kid!!

Children and parents shouldn't pay attention to grades, per se. A friend of mine's parents were told that he was a "slow learner" with a "low IQ". My friend completed his doctorate several years ago, lol. I think the school system made the same mistake with Einstein, IIRC.


17 posted on 12/11/2006 11:10:19 AM PST by khnyny (God Bless the Republic for which it stands)
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To: Stoat
"I get really pleased when I see my refinery. It makes me feel very proud."

That's dangerous thinking in Europe these days. He better just be quiet or someone will come along and send him to more public schooling.
18 posted on 12/11/2006 11:13:51 AM PST by AD from SpringBay (We have the government we allow and deserve.)
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To: TommyDale

"But does this fuel cause high cholesterol in car engines?"

Yes, it clogs the fuel lines and causes premature engine failure.


19 posted on 12/11/2006 11:16:18 AM PST by hophead
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To: Armedanddangerous

Just because you are ignorant please do not presuppose American kids are ignorant.

This is very old stuff in US science projects.

Besides American kids prefer nuclear power...


This is very old stuff and pretty simple. Nothing at all revolutionary.

I got 1.3 million hits on "cooking oil" as "fuel". Hundreds of recipes and ways to do it.


20 posted on 12/11/2006 11:32:52 AM PST by Mark Felton ("Wisdom is supreme...and though it cost all you have, get understanding" -- Proverbs 4)
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To: DaveLoneRanger; 2Jedismom; Aggie Mama; agrace; Antoninus; arbooz; bboop; blu; cgk; ...
PING...

...to the Another Reason to Homeschool list. Neat story about an English boy who says he struggles academically in school. But at home he is an inventor.

This ping list is for the "other" articles of interest to homeschoolers about education and public school. If you want on/off this list, please freepmail me. The main Homeschool Ping List by DaveLoneRanger handles the homeschool-specific articles.

21 posted on 12/11/2006 12:10:50 PM PST by Tired of Taxes (That's taxes, not Texas. I have no beef with TX. NJ has the highest property taxes in the nation.)
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To: cinives

Thanks for the ping. Nice story.


22 posted on 12/11/2006 12:11:58 PM PST by Tired of Taxes (That's taxes, not Texas. I have no beef with TX. NJ has the highest property taxes in the nation.)
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To: Stoat

Not sure how you could use glycerin to heat your house.


23 posted on 12/11/2006 12:21:50 PM PST by IamConservative (Any man who agrees with you on everything, also lies to others.)
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To: Tired of Taxes

I love stories like this - a nice change to the usual poor parent/screwed-up education stories.


24 posted on 12/11/2006 12:22:15 PM PST by cinives (On some planets what I do is considered normal.)
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To: cinives

Not to worry. Soon he'll convert the family farm into a dairy and make good use of the cows', er, output.


25 posted on 12/11/2006 12:57:18 PM PST by GovernmentShrinker
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To: Stoat
Steven said: "This all came about after I was reading about climate change and rising oil prices and became worried.

"I decided to build a small bio-diesel refinery...

I think I like this kid. It'd be nice if you could get a lot of kids like this to get worried about other things and see what they could come up with.

And then, this gem:

"I get really pleased when I see my refinery.

Probably wind up owning Esso/Exxon one day and he'll be saying the same thing then.

26 posted on 12/11/2006 1:11:48 PM PST by Prodigal Son
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To: Stoat
This kid has Wessonality!

-PJ

27 posted on 12/11/2006 1:14:14 PM PST by Political Junkie Too (It's still not safe to vote Democrat.)
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You know, this kid has got me to thinking... You could combine this eco-fuel business with liposuction and solve obesity while you power a few cars. You could even pay the obese person a market rate for their fat.


28 posted on 12/11/2006 1:15:06 PM PST by Prodigal Son
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To: Stoat
"He has a younger brother called Shaun who wants to play for Newcastle United, but Steven wants to own the club. That shows the difference in his mentality."

Most imprtant bit of the story!

29 posted on 12/11/2006 2:34:31 PM PST by ASOC (The phrase "What if" or "If only" are for children.)
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To: Tired of Taxes

This brings back memories of Thomas Edison.

As most Freepers know, excelling in the public schools is more a reflection of endurance than excellence.


30 posted on 12/11/2006 2:38:05 PM PST by Clintonfatigued (Corporatism is not conservatism)
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To: ASOC
"He has a younger brother called Shaun who wants to play for Newcastle United, but Steven wants to own the club. That shows the difference in his mentality."

Most imprtant bit of the story!

Yes, this guy is certainly no mind-numbed Socialist  :-)

31 posted on 12/11/2006 3:06:44 PM PST by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2008: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: IamConservative
Not sure how you could use glycerin to heat your house.

I confess that this statement from the article initially baffled me as well, but thanks to about 30 seconds of searching, I found this article:

Glycerine Journey to Forever

32 posted on 12/11/2006 3:15:51 PM PST by Stoat (Rice / Coulter 2008: Smart Ladies for a Strong America)
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To: Argus
Is there a net gain or loss in efficiency here?

What does it matter? If his Dad's tractors need diesel fuel and he can make it cheaper than it costs at the pump, they're ahead.

33 posted on 12/11/2006 3:18:09 PM PST by BfloGuy (It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we can expect . . .)
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To: IamConservative

Add Nitro......it will really "heat" your house...


34 posted on 12/11/2006 3:23:20 PM PST by PSYCHO-FREEP
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To: Armedanddangerous

"Why couldnt a bunch of American kids do that?"

They could. The kits are available.


35 posted on 12/12/2006 5:32:58 PM PST by RKBA Democrat (Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!)
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