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K-State Today

April 20, 2016

Earth Day Week 2016: K-State's Biodiesel Initiative

Submitted by Logan Joos

The K-State Biodiesel Initiative is a student-run organization driven to decrease K-State's energy footprint. The initiative collects used vegetable oil from the dining centers and local businesses and converts it to biodiesel for the Recycling Center's vehicles. With financial support from the Soy Bean Commission and Green Action Fund, the Biodiesel Initiative has been able to buy needed supplies and provide students with research opportunities, finding solutions to improve production and repurpose byproducts.

A project of the initiative includes recycling the reaction byproduct, glycerin, into other goods. The initiative has an operational distillation column that is used to separate methanol from the glycerin. Through filtering processes that are currently being explored, the glycerin is purified of particles and used in making soap and fire starters.

Through the Biodiesel Initiative efforts, approximately 200 gallons of biodiesel is produced each semester, which is used to fuel five of the Recycling Center's vehicles. During K-State's open house, the initiative shared, progress on projects, information on production and more.

Learn more about K-State's Biodiesel Initiative online.

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