Welcome back everyone! Illinois Biodiesel Initiative is undergoing many exciting changes this semester! We hope to recruit new members who can help continue our sustainability efforts at the University!
New Lab Space
IBI has finally secured lab space in 250 Noyes! All of our equipment has been relocated to this location. New members interested in attending open lab will need to complete required safety training before attending.
NEW CLASS-CHEM 297
A new class has been created, that will hopefully carry into future semesters. If you are looking for a way to get involved, learn some new research/lab techniques, and get course credit, then this is the class for you! The class meets twice a week and biodiesel related lab experiments are performed, which assist with our sustainability efforts on campus. The class can be taken multiple semesters and students who do take the class multiple times will have the opportunity to perform more advanced lab techniques and possibly obtain a paid position in future semesters.
Open Lab Days
Members of the club who are not in the class can still do stuff in the lab during our designated open lab times. During this time, a graduate student along with executive board members will be present to assist members in lab work. Currently there are lab days scheduled most Tuesdays from 5-7pm, but these can change depending on peoples availability.
Projects We Are Working On
Members of the IBI are working on many different projects currently! These range from basic biodiesel production from waste vegetable oil from the dining halls, soap production, and coffee grounds oil extraction. Special Projects is also working to troubleshoot the Methanol Recovery Unit. No experience is required to become involved in one (or many) of these projects!
Thank you to everyone who came out to the first general meeting! We had a great turnout. If you weren’t able to make it, you can still join IBI. Below is a recap of what was covered in the meeting. If you would like to sign up for subgroups, then please fill out the form below.
History of IBI
IBI was founded as EWB local initiative in 2006. We were awarded grants and built 450 gallon system which was operational in ISTC Pilot Plant. Between 2012-2014 we lost our space and so we were looking for new space. We finally found a spot in RAL and have future plans to get space in IBRL, a new building that is being built on campus. We recently got a trailer for the biodiesel and we have new large scale soap equipment so we will be ramping up production this semester.
How We Operate
We have four main subgroups which each hold their own meetings. Anyone is welcome to come to as many or as few subgroup meetings as they would like. The four subgroups are described below.
1. Production and Testing
Production and testing is focused on make biodiesel from waste oil. The vegetable oil is obtained as waste oil from the dining halls. We currently are running one 50 gallon batch a week and hope to scale up to two batches per week soon. P&T also tests the product to make sure it meets ASTM standards. We are also looking for process improvements that can be made.
The soap subgroup works on taking the byproduct from the biodiesel reaction and turning it into soap. This group investigates the chemistry behind this reaction through lab experiments and works to improve the chemistry. The goal is to be able to sell the soap back to the dining halls.
The special projects group works on other related renewable energy related projects. Last semesters projects included repairing a biodiesel run go-kart, which we hope to further improve this semester
The finance group works on budgeting and grant writing for the organization. The group also performs economic analysis and seeks corporate sponsorship.
Thanks to everyone who visited us on Quad day! If you didn’t get a chance to visit us, you can visit the following link to signup for our general mailing list.
We will be having our first general meeting this Thursday, August 25 2016 at 6pm in Engineering Hall 106B3. We hope to see everyone there!
Come visit IBI and out biodiesel powered Go-Kart at Quad day! There you will be able to sign up for email newsletters and find out more information about the club and meeting times. For more updates about IBI, visit our Facebook Page!
Illinois Biodiesel will be back in Fall 2016! The website is currently under construction, but newsletter signup will be available soon. Be sure to stop by and see us at Quad day! We plan to have the Go-Kart for viewing. If you would like more information, please visit our Facebook page for updates.