Green Engineering to Reduce the Use of Petroleum Energy Resources. Phase I. Use of Sustainable Sources of Feedstocks for the Production of Biodiesel Fuel – An Undergraduate Educational Program

EPA Grant Number: SU833534
Title: Green Engineering to Reduce the Use of Petroleum Energy Resources. Phase I. Use of Sustainable Sources of Feedstocks for the Production of Biodiesel Fuel – An Undergraduate Educational Program
Investigators: Lewis, John Barkley , Lloyd, W. A. , Nedwick, R. , Perez, J. M.
Current Investigators: Lewis, John Barkley , Angelini, Mark A. , Goodwin, James P. , Johnson, Ryan A. , Kipp, Dylan R. , Lloyd, W. A. , McCowan, Matthew W. , Perez, J. M. , Redding, Aaron J. , Smith, Leland C. , Stephens, Corey J.
Institution: Pennsylvania State University
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Phase: I
Project Period: August 1, 2007 through July 31, 2008
Project Amount: $10,000
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2007) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: Nanotechnology , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Energy , P3 Awards , Sustainability


The primary objective is to provide undergraduate students with a real life, hands-on engineering project that focuses on chemical engineering principles, environmentally friendly fluids, and sustainable resources to reduce the use of petroleum derived fuels. Phase-1 of this proposal will utilize virgin plant oils, (including those from 3rd World countries), animal fats, algae, waste cooking oil (available on campus) and local restaurants as feed stocks for the production of biodiesel fuel.


This is an ongoing sustainability project in the Chemical Engineering Department at The Pennsylvania State University. To date most research has used soybean oil as the feedstock. This project is part of a long-range program to change the University “Green”. Ten undergraduate and two graduate students are currently involved in the biodiesel project. The program to turn the University “Green” involves the collaboration of students, staff and faculty of Agricultural Sciences, Farm Operations, Fuel Sciences Energy Institute, Environmental Sciences, Environmental Health and Safety and Chemical Engineering. Fuels and lubricants based on renewable resources have been in use in farm tractors, hydraulic systems of farm implements, and campus elevators for three years. A measure of the success of the program will be the dissemination of information to farmers and small producers of safety and process information and the construction of a 200 gallon semi-continuous student operated batch plant to supply all biodiesel needs of the University using sustainable feed stocks and waste cooking oil.

Challenge Area: This Phase I project will support eight projects. These projects are based on previous P3 experience and discussions with other researchers, including scientists at the USDA Laboratories in Peoria, IL and Wyndmore, PA. The projects include both short term and long term goals that will lead to well trained students with the skills and experience to support sustainable environmentally friendly programs in their careers. The long range goal of producing sufficient biodiesel to supply all University needs (20,000 gallons/year) using sustainable resources is achievable within 2 years.

The program has three faculty advisors, Joseph M. Perez, Ph.D., Wallace A. Lloyd, Ph. D. and Robert Nedwick. Dr. Andrew Zydney, Department Head, Chemical Engineering strongly supports the program.

Publications and Presentations:

Publications have been submitted on this project: View all 1 publications for this project

Supplemental Keywords:

Environmental Chemistry and Engineering, Agriculture, Renewable resources, Transportation – Petrodiesel Energy Replacement,

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report