High-school students make environment-friendly soap

VietNamNet Bridge – The initiative by three high school students to make soap with used cooking oil has got the third prize at the 2013 Innovation Competition for the HCM City’s youth.

Innovation Competition, high-school students, environmental soap

The three students are the 11th graders of the Gia Dinh High School – Nguyen Khanh Uyen, Nguyen Huynh Thuy Giang and Ho Minh Quang.

The initiative of making soap is not a new idea one. However, the success of the students in making soap with used cooking oil, which can help protect the environment, persuaded the jury board to give the third prize to the innovative work.

Especially, the environment friendly product can be made at low costs and can be used right in school, which can help improve students’ awareness of the green lifestyle.

The idea of making soap with used cooking oil was raised when the three students found a big volume of cooking oil left at the school’s canteen after the cooks fried potatoes and prepared meals.

The students then thought it would be harmful to the people’s health and the environment, if the oil is thrown away or re-used.

“We thought that if the oil left after cooking can be used for making soap through a chemical reaction we learned in our lesson, we can get the best out of the oil, thus practicing thriftiness. Meanwhile, the product is friendly to the environment,” Uyen said.

The three students decided that their idea needed to be turned into reality. They persuaded the cooks not to use vegetable oil many times and to give them the oil after cooking.

In order to make soap, the students spent most of their time reading relating documents. They confined themselves in the laboratory, asked for the teachers’ help, believing that they would succeed one day, and their invention would make a big change in the habit of dealing with used cooking oil

The students had to undergo three stages in making soap. At first, they had to filter the used oil to exclude solid waste. After that, they make up soap. And the final stage is to refine soap, create scents and color to help the soap more attractive.

The products look very attractive with heart shape and pleasant odor.

According to Uyen, the most difficult thing they had to do is to balance the PH degree. It took them a lot of time to find the most suitable method.

The students luckily were actively supported by the teachers of the school. The school’s board of management decided to reserve a laboratory for them to carry out their experiments.

“They said they feel happy when we can utilize the knowledge we receive at school in reality. Especially, our product is green,” Uyen said.

While looking for related documents, Uyen and the friends discovered that Chinese companies have been selling used oil to Vietnamese establishments.

“It is terrible that toxicity exists in many products being consumed by Vietnamese. This was one of the reasons which made us determined to make the environment friendly product,” Uyen said.

Phuong Mai

Innovation Competition, high-school students, environmental soap