SUNY-ESF Making Own Biodiesel
17% of ESF fleet runs on biodiesel
SYRACUSE, N.Y. – A student at the SUNY-ESF College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) is using waste fryer oil from a nearby student dining hall to make biodiesel fuel that helps run ESF vehicles.
Seventeen percent of ESF’s vehicles now operate on biodiesel, including buses, trucks and even bulldozers. A third of the ESF fleet runs on some form of alternative fuel (e.g. electric, hybrid electric, compressed natural gas, and flex fuel, which is 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent unleaded gas).
Greg Boyd, a senior at ESF, works with a processor installed in former greenhouse on the ESF campus. He uses waste vegetable oil (fryer oil) from a dining hall at neighboring Syracuse University. The waste oil is strained and then pumped into the bioprocessor. Methanol is added to produce biodiesel. Sodium hydroxide is added as a catalyst for the methanol.
After 24 hours, the glycerol settles to the bottom and is siphoned off. ESF researchers are using the glycerol to make biodegradable plastic. Glycerol is already used in the manufacture of soap and a variety of make-up products.
The biodiesel is washed with water to remove any impurities and it is then ready for use in any modified diesel engine. Boyd says it produces 70 percent less emissions than petroleum diesel.
Boyd, who started making biodiesel when he was in high school, has modified the fuel lines in his 1989 Mercedes Benz so the car runs on biodiesel.
- What Species Is Most Fit for Life? All Have an Equal Chance, Scientists Say
- The Ocean Is Losing Its Breath — Here’s the Global Scope
- Governor Unveils Plan to Protect N.Y. Lakes from Harmful Algal Blooms
- Acorns to Action Strives to Help Victims of Natural Disasters
- Synthetic Protein Could Be Key in Battle against Disease
- Hurricanes Hit, so Ph.D. Candidate Gets to Work in Puerto Rico
- ESF Student Part of First-Place Team in Hult Prize Competition
- Zachary Smith's Commencement Speech
- Commencement Celebrates 'Stumpies...Because We Care'
- ESF Alumna Named Schwarzman Scholar
- ESF Celebrates December Commencement
- ESF Discovery Could Advance Cancer Research
- Senior Accomplishes Goal: ‘Publish in a Journal’
- ESF Students Participate in SEA Semester Program
- ESF President Joins NY Botanical Garden as ‘Distinguished Counsellor’
Office of Communications
122 Bray Hall
1 Forestry Drive
Syracuse, NY 13210