Now that Phase I of the Brazil Grease Car Project is complete, it’s time to start looking towards Phase II. We’re hoping that Edson, Thiago, and perhaps Eduardo will help us with this part. These three are the ones who essentially converted the vehicle on the last day, and are all from different cooperatives. Our hope is that these three will be willing to spread the technology, and teach other catadores how to convert vehicles, as well as provide troubleshooting assistance.
We’ll need to do a little more fundraising, but the goal is to be able to provide a stipend for the workshops that they hold. We will need to establish a means of communicating with them to get updates on the project. Here, we’d like to involve the local universities. We already have contacts at Universidade de São Paulo (USP) and Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV), so ideally, we would get some more students to learn about the process and act as a contact for both our group and the group of catadores.
As far as this project goes on MIT’s campus, we’ll be setting it up as a project with the Biodiesel@MIT student group. This way, it will have constant access to the new recruits of Biodiesel@MIT, and will continue to be a functioning group. We’re hoping that we will be able to do the project in other countries, with Nicaragua being the most promising next site. Our Nicaraguan contacts come from CoLab, so our group will also continue working with them. Between Biodiesel@MIT and CoLab, our hope is that the group will continue to recruit new members and continue to make new contacts, spreading this technology wherever it can help.
Sam Fox completed her Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering at MIT in June of 2010. She is now at Stanford getting her Master’s degree.