Iowa State to Run Buses on Waste Grease

Joanna Schroeder

As a graduate of Iowa State University (ISU), I couldn’t pass up this story. Several students are launching a project to recycle used vegetable oil from campus cafeterias into biodiesel. The fuel will then power campus buses, known as CyRide.

One of the drivers of this project is Bernardo de Campo, a co-chair of the organization Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel, an organization that creates a virtual network for young scientists to work together and with the biodiesel industry. Students from various fields have collaborated to install a processor that will turn the waste grease into biodiesel. They have already produced their first batch and are now involved in a 3 week field trial to ensure they can meet the ASTM D6751 biodiesel spec.

Once the BioBus club has achieved this goal, they will start producing and donating the biodiesel to the university who will use the fuel to power one bus with a B20 blend. From there, ISU plans on expanding the B20 blend to additional buses.

Another cool element of the project? It was featured in a recent issue of U.S. News & World Report.

I know what CyRide bus I’ll be riding when I got back to ISU this fall for a football game….

Biodiesel, NBB