MIT to Run Shuttles on Biodiesel

John Davis

MIT logoMost people would agree, one of the smartest places in the country (and on the Earth, for that matter) is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology… better known as MIT. Well, the school is more than just smart… it’s green!

A story in MIT’s online newspaper, The Tech, says the school is already running its shuttle buses on ultra-low sulfur diesel and is now looking at switching to biodiesel:

Biodiesel@MITIn April, the Biodiesel@MIT student group won a $25,000 grant through the Ecomagination Challenge sponsored my mtvU and GE, allowing them to purchase a biodiesel processor. The processor will convert used vegetable oil from dining halls into biodiesel fuel that eliminates sulfur dioxide emissions and produces 68 percent less carbon dioxide than petroleum-based alternatives, according to the group’s Ecomagination proposal.

According to Sara A. Barnowski ’10 who worked on the biodiesel project as part of a summer UROP, the program is trying to find space on campus for the fuel processor. “We’re still hoping to get the biodiesel processor installed by the end of IAP,” she said. The current MIT shuttles will not require any modifications to run on biodiesel, Barnowski said.

Organizers had hoped to have the filling station up and running by the beginning of this school year, but red tape has delayed it a bit. They expect it will become a reality in the near future.