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Bridport woman works on biodiesel project

Don't throw that French fry grease out; put it in your truck. This is the message Clarkson University engineering students are sharing with members of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe (SRMT). The University's student chapter of Engineers Without Borders USA (EWB-USA) is putting knowledge acquired in the classroom to work on a real-world project helping design and construct a biodiesel plant on the Akwesasne reservation. Clarkson students, including Melissa S. Kipp of Bridport, completed a feasibility study last fall and worked with the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe to design a biodiesel production system that will turn used vegetable oil, which the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino currently pays to dispose of, into alternative fuel. The biodiesel will be used to operate the SRMT's solid waste facility generators and maintenance vehicles. "We incorporated the heating value of both petroleum fuel and biodiesel to determine how much fuel will be required each month," remarked EWB-USA student chapter president Samuel M. Gorton. "Assuming 95 percent efficiency from the casino's used cooking oil, the biodiesel plant we are designing will produce more than enough fuel to meet the waste facility's needs." The St. Regis Mohawk Reservation, referred to as Akwesasne by the Mohawk people, spans two countries, one state and two provinces. Roughly 14,640 acres of the territory are found in New York State, while another 11,000 acres of the territory are in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec. The reservation straddles the border between the U.S. and Canada along the St. Lawrence Seaway.

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