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Biodiesel Program

Building a Circular Economy

Imagine a world where waste becomes a sustainable resource. That's the goal of a "circular economy." We see it happening every day in the Searle Biodiesel Lab. 

Our biodiesel program converts used vegetable oil into fuel and other products, with the long-term goal of reducing waste, conserving resources, and combatting climate change.  

In the Searle Biodiesel Lab, our goal is to operate a zero-waste production process while offering experiential learning opportunities for students. 

Our Biodiesel Program is centered on utilizing waste products to create energy with the long-term goal of establishing a "Zero Waste Process" to help our planet face global challenges like climate change, biodiversity loss, waste, and pollution.

They act to convert waste into energy and lower carbon emissions by developing biodiesel fuel.

Here's how we do it...and how you can help:

Student Internships

Dedicated Loyola students join in all aspects of the program from biodiesel fuel production and equipment design, to project management and brainstorming. Interns help run the day-to day operations of the lab (biodiesel production, oil collection, waste processing), and additionally take a leadership role on a project in the Searle Biodiesel Lab (new product development, education initiative, marketing, energy efficiency). This opportunity is open to students of every level and from every discipline.

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Product Quality Control

The Biodiesel Program includes an extensive chemical analytics research lab that allows our students to test all of our fuel to ensure it meets the highest quality standards. We use industry-standard equipment, peer-reviewed procedures, and cross-check our results with an external (third party) lab for accuracy.

Oil Collection

The biodiesel program collects used deep-fryer oil from University food service facilities, other universities, local businesses, and institutions such as the Shedd Aquarium. Individuals can participate by dropping off used vegetable oil from home cooking. Please note that we cannot take animal fats, pan drippings, or petroleum products. Our oil collection network is a collaboration with Green Grease Environmental. Please visit here for more information. Our oil collection network is powered by Green Grease Environmental.

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Our Products

Our students and lab personnel convert used vegetable oil into biodiesel fuel that powers our campus shuttles. We use by-products from the fuel production process to create environmentally friendly soap. These products are available directly from the Searle Biodiesel Lab. However, not all of these Loyola-made products are available for retail sales. 

Certified Green Business

We want to make environmental education a part of every high school student's education. We use biodiesel as a working example of conservation, energy cycles, and sustainability. Here is some of the support we provide:

  • Tours (link to Facility Tours page)
  • In-class guest speaking and assistance with biodiesel labs
  • Support for teachers and students via e-mail or Skype, videos, and equipment design, such as the Mobile Biodiesel designed for education.
  • Biodiesel lab curriculum for high school teachers
  • Please e-mail us to learn more about the resources available through our program and feel free to contact us with any questions or ideas: zwaickm@luc.edu.

News

Faculty member fills hand sanitizer at Loyola lab
Health and Safety

Helping hands

Inside the School of Environmental Sustainability, Loyola is addressing its hand sanitizing needs with creativity and resourcefulness.

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Faculty member prepares cooking oil to made into fuel
SUSTAINABILITY BIODIESEL

Waste makes haste: How used cooking oil becomes bus fuel

The biodiesel fuel production process hasn’t been a static one for the past 10 years though. Zach Waickman, the lab manager, and his students continue to make the business more energy and cost effective.

Learn More.

Our Biodiesel Program is centered on utilizing waste products to create energy with the long-term goal of establishing a "Zero Waste Process" to help our planet face global challenges like climate change, biodiversity loss, waste, and pollution.

They act to convert waste into energy and lower carbon emissions by developing biodiesel fuel.

Here's how we do it...and how you can help:

Certified Green Business

We want to make environmental education a part of every high school student's education. We use biodiesel as a working example of conservation, energy cycles, and sustainability. Here is some of the support we provide:

  • Tours (link to Facility Tours page)
  • In-class guest speaking and assistance with biodiesel labs
  • Support for teachers and students via e-mail or Skype, videos, and equipment design, such as the Mobile Biodiesel designed for education.
  • Biodiesel lab curriculum for high school teachers
  • Please e-mail us to learn more about the resources available through our program and feel free to contact us with any questions or ideas: zwaickm@luc.edu.