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Archive for April, 2008

7 April 08

The honour of gracing the first post goes to soap-from-used-oil batch #1!
We’ve made our very first batch of soap using used oil; first time’s a success!

Firstly, background information on what has happened before today:

  • In late January/Early February, a whole list of projects were introduced to the student body. One project that particularly caught our attention was on saving the environment through teaching the public the process of turning used cooking oil into soap; and not just the public but big companies in the Food & Beverage business as well, such as the few familiar in almost every household in Singapore – Macdonalds, KFC and Old Change Kee.
  • Throughout the months of February and March, our group has been meeting up with the teacher in charge of that project to eagerly consult her and concurrently doing up the project proposal, with submission deadline being early March .
  • To help with our proposal, we’ve also conducted an online anecdotal survey on 100 RGS households, inquiring about the way they dispose of used cooking oil at home – if any.
  • On the 17th of March, Ms Tan sent us an email saying, “Congratulation[s]…Your CmPS proposal has been accepted.” Everyone leapt for joy at this, some even playfully joking to those still in the dark that we had not gotten in.
  • So over the past few weeks, Ms Tan Beng Chiak – the teacher in charge of the project and now our teacher mentor – has been meeting up with us to discuss our progress. She has told us of a Japanese lady – Ms Nakagaki – who has been very involved in the Japan soap-making movement, whom she managed to get a soap-making recipe from. The special thing about this soap-making recipe was that it mirrored what we want to teach the public: Making soap from used cooking oil. On 3rd April, a few days ago, we made our very first batch of soap from used cooking oil! We used Ms Nakagaki’s soap-making recipe and went to look at the soap today. Guess how it turned out? (:

Batch #1!

Complete Cake of First Generation Soap

Complete Cake of First Generation Soap

Cake of soap with a slice cut out

Cake of soap with a slice cut out

And now, top view!

And now, top view!

This was the recipe we used:

– 1.1 litres unpurified oil – 166.9g NaOH (sodium hydroxide) – 1/3 litres water.

The cooking oil we collected from some of our canteen vendors, who have also kindly agreed to a weekly collection on Fridays from now on.

As for why it’s in the shape of a bucket…well, admittedly we were not very professional about it. We collected the oil in a small, plastic pail and simply turned the entire pail of oil into a giant chunk of soap. In retrospect, we really should have put the oil to better use and made smaller batches of soap instead. Still, this soap-making experience was precisely what we needed to spur us on towards our goal. After looking at the soap today, I personally feel much more excited about the project, and am defintely looking forward to the day we can share the soap-making experience with the public! (:

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