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Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Environmental Sustainability

Methanol Recovery

When waste vegetable oil is chemically converted into biodiesel a glycerin by-product is produced. The glycerin from biodiesel production is contaminated with methanol making it a hazardous waste product that needs to be handled carefully. Methanol is also an expensive reagent used to make biodiesel. Balancing cost savings and additional energy inputs, students in the Biodiesel Program set off to recover the methanol to be reused and leave behind glycerin suitable for soap production.

Glycerin has many uses ranging from heart medicine to soap. Planning for glycerin purification, disposal, and/or use is an important step before producing large volumes of biodiesel.

This project address program goals of utilizing waste products and becoming a zero waste lab.

Project Leads:

Stephen Trankina
Biodiesel Lab Fellow
September 2009-May 2010
Biofuels Lab - Spring 2009

Will Jarrott
Biodiesel Lab Fellow
September 2008-December 2008
STEP: Biodiesel - Spring 2008


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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