Posted March 21st 2010 at 11:59 pm by
in Waste Pickers Movement in Sao Paulo, Brazil

Grease: One Man's Trash Is Another Man's Fuel

Download full poster here.

We made this poster for the 2010 MIT Energy Conference. The event offered engineering students preparing a project for the MIT IDEAS Competition an opportunity to speak with other groups involved in energy initiatives, and with individuals interested in our particular project.

People who already run their vehicles on waste veggie oil (WVO) offered us a lot of helpful anecdotes.  For instance, In Germany consumers face problems using WVO as a fuel. Some of the questions we fielded, such as, “if converting your car is so great and simple, why doesn’t everyone do it?” pushed us to take a few steps back and re-examine our proposal, especially in phase II of our project where we intend to develop a WVO business with the movement of catadores (wastepickers) in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Additionally, the experience inspired us to dig further for rough estimates on how much WVO the catadores are capable of collecting, and how much they will need to fuel the movement’s eleven vehicles. Ultimately, we were enlivened by the positive reaction of the individuals who visited our booth and came out of the conference looking forward to our next steps.

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