A Closed-Loop Biodiesel Production and Research Facility in Keene, NH

EPA Grant Number: SU833523
Title: A Closed-Loop Biodiesel Production and Research Facility in Keene, NH
Investigators: Traviss, Nora
Current Investigators: Traviss, Nora , Denley, Andrew , DiFraia, Joseph , Grotton, Mike , McKeen, Andrew , Paley, Donna , Plouff, Irissa , Swasey, Joshua , Treadwell, Melinda
Institution: Keene State College
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Phase: I
Project Period: September 1, 2008 through September 1, 2009
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: Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Challenge Area - Energy , P3 Awards , Sustainability


A number of U.S. organizations interested in a renewable and domestic source of energy have switched from petroleum diesel to biodiesel blends for transportation and heavy-duty equipment use. Biodiesel is a fuel made from either vegetable oils or waste grease; as a renewable fuel biodiesel offers promise as a sustainable energy source. However, key technical challenges remain: these include a lack of availability in many areas of the country, high cost, concerns about NOx emissions and consumer apprehension about product quality. While biodiesel use is increasing, there are very few places in the U.S. that are both manufacturing and using biodiesel fuel within the local community on a sustainable scale. There are no known public/private/college partnerships that manufacture biodiesel from waste grease for energy use within the local community and connect this to existing research on “real world” biodiesel exhaust exposures in the workplace and local environment. Realizing biodiesel’s full potential – to integrate resource conservation, closed-loop sustainable economy, and health risk reduction – has been elusive to achieve at the community level. This project will demonstrate innovation by closing this loop at the community scale in Keene, NH – by making biodiesel from waste grease generated within the community, using biodiesel in local public fleets, and extending Keene State College’s (KSC) existing research programs evaluating biodiesel on “real world” occupational and environmental exposures. This project benefits people due to the anticipated reduction in PM, CO2, and CO emissions which results from use of biodiesel fuel.


The proposed design is innovative in its attempt to couple both a sustainable economy and ecology. The recycling of waste grease into a viable green energy source promotes resource conservation and reduces net CO2 emissions helping to minimize effect on global warming. The health research connection helps further bridge people, prosperity, and planet. Finally, the manufacturing facility will provide hands-on experiential learning opportunities for undergraduate students in Safety Studies as well as other majors such as Environmental Studies, Technology Studies, Natural Sciences, and Business.

Challenge Area: EPA-G2007-P3-Z3-Energy

Supplemental Keywords:

Biodiesel, Exhaust, Emissions, Sustainability, Community, Waste Grease,, RFA, Scientific Discipline, Sustainable Industry/Business, POLLUTION PREVENTION, Environmental Chemistry, Sustainable Environment, Energy, Technology for Sustainable Environment, Engineering, Environmental Engineering, sustainable development, environmental sustainability, alternative materials, biomass, energy efficiency, energy technology, alternative fuel, biodiesel fuel, alternative energy source

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report