e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

Who Doesn't Love Butter?

From sculpture to biodiesel

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Eight hundred pounds of butter, sculpted into a tribute to New York state's dairy industry and positioned as a centerpiece attraction at the New York State Fair, will end up fueling the vehicle fleet at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF).

College scientists, in collaboration with the American Dairy Association and Dairy Council, Inc., and the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency, will make the butter into biodiesel at the production facility on the ESF campus.

This year's edition of the crowd-pleasing butter sculpture is called Dairyville 2020. It presents the future of dairy farming as an environmentally friendly endeavor, with a village called Dairyville running on power derived from cow manure.

The sculpture was unveiled Aug. 25. ESF's Dr. Christopher Nomura of the Department of Chemistry and graduate student Jessica Bohn joined representatives of the dairy industry to explain to the media how the process works.

After the fair's 12-day run ends on Labor Day, the butter will be brought to the ESF biodiesel production facility. This is the third year the college has turned the butter into fuel.

The work is an extension of a project already in place at ESF, in which students collect used fryer oil from dining facilities at neighboring Syracuse University and use it to make biodiesel fuel for the college fleet.