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Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Environmental Sustainability


Liquid Handsoap

EPA Design for the Environment - Green Cleaning Seal
Ingredient List

Students in the Clean Energy Lab turn byproducts from biodiesel production in an eco-friendly soap. BioSoap is available for purchase from the Clean Energy Lab and is also used in bathrooms across Loyola's campus. We hope to have our BioSoap used as the exclusive liquid soap in bathrooms and locker rooms at Loyola University Chicago by 2015.

EPA Design for the Environment - Green Cleaning Seal

Loyola University Chicago’s BioSoap has been recognized for safer chemistry by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Design for the Environment program. This partnerhip program seeks to promote the use of products with improves environmental and human health characteristics. By eliminating hazardous solvents, environmentally persistent surfactants, and other harmful ingredients, our BioSoap has demonstrated active environmental stewardship and dedication to continuous improvement. ‌n Agency (EPA) Design for the Environment (EPA.gov/dfe) program. The new partnership recognizes the green chemistry behind the handsoap. 


We want to create biodiesel in a sustainable way and part of this means creating as little waste as possible. One of the by-products of biodiesel production is glycerin. After distilling excess methanol out of the glycerin, to be reused in biodiesel production, the glycerin can be used as an ingredient in soap. This allows us to be one step closer to closing the loop and creating less waste.

The liquid soap project began during Fall 2008 with a group of students enrolled in the Solutions to Environmental Problems (STEP): Biodiesel course. Prior to the liquid soap trials students previously enrolled in the STEP course had tried creating Bar Soap, but they were unable to make a consistent, quality bar soap. The students in Fall 2008 wanted to give liquid soap a shot and they eventually succeeded.

After a consistent, high quality recipe was created for small-scale batches of soap the biodiesel lab decided to scale up and start distributing liquid soap on campus. It took some time to master a process to scale up the recipe, but after several months and finding the right equipment the process was perfected and the liquid soap, BioSoap, was ready to be distributed to campus stores for sale.

Ingredient List

IngredientsCAS #




Soybean Oil


Potassium Hydroxide


(may include those at www.ifraorg.org)






Institute of Environmental Sustainability
Loyola University Chicago · 1032 W. Sheridan Road
Chicago, IL 60660 · Phone: 773-508-2130 · IES@luc.edu

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