College Students: Contributing to Saving the World

Today we want to share a notable effort to repurpose used cooking oil from University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign (UIUC). These college students are working to promote the transformation of used material into beneficial biodiesel to contribute to our environment. In the wake of this development, don’t hesitate to implement your Alhambra Used Cooking Oil Collection service.

The Illinois Biodiesel Initiative (IBI), is a project of Engineers without Borders that works to collect used cooking oil from dining halls on UIUC campus in order to convert it to biodiesel fuel that can be used by campus vehicles. Used cooking oil collection from Ikenberry Dining Hall is usually done once a week by the IBI student organization. They then load it onto the back of a truck and drive it to Research Park where the oil is put into a 400-gallon thermal reactor, heated and turned into biodiesel — an environmentally friendly alternative to gasoline.

Reactions occur every few weeks and are all performed by students. For every 400 gallons of oil used, 330 gallons of biodiesel are produced, along with 70 gallons of glycerin. The Campus Garage currently utilizes roughly 7,500 gallons of diesel each month. Therefore, the petro-diesel consumption of the Campus Garage will be offset by approximately 20 percent once full projection is achieved, a monthly 1,600 gallons diesel production capacity.

Not wanting anything to go to waste, the group is also working on developments that could make use of the leftover glycerin as hand soap. Although only in its early testing stages, Lietz, soap production officer for the group and sophomore in Engineering, is optimistic about its success.

We truly appreciate the passion and diligence of the group, just like Morgan Bakies, a group member and freshman in the school of Engineering said “we’re saving the world — one gallon of vegetable oil at a time”.

At Optimal Biofuels, we share the same spirit in our biodiesel efforts. We strive to constantly evolve to better serve Southern California’s local and regional communities and are passionate about promoting the use of biodiesel fuel created from used cooking oil and grease. To learn more about our products and services, or to schedule your used cooking oil pickup, contact us today at (877) 702-3835.



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