Loyola University Chicago

Institute of Environmental Sustainability

Zero Waste Process

Chart

Producing Truly Sustainable Fuel

Biodiesel Mind Map - Click for a larger version.

Our goal is to operate a zero waste biodiesel production process. We have developed and implemented a number of process innovations since we started producing biodiesel in 2007. This chart shows our current production process and how we implement a life-cycle design for our operations.

Students in the lab continue to research and develop innovative solutions to dealing with our byproducts, conserving/producing energy, and producing new products. Here are some of the current projects Loyola students are working on:

ProjectDescription
Algae for Fish Food Exploring the potential to grow algae in our treated wash water to simultaneously improve water quality and grow harvestable biomass that can be used as fish food in our Aquaponics Systems.
Rainwater Utilization Tracking and optimizing the rainwater system in IES with the goal of maximizing rainwater utilization and expanding its use to the Searle Biodiesel Lab.
Operations Database Designing a custom operational database that combines research, production, and finances into a single platform to improve efficiency in the lab. BONUS: We are going paperless!
Multipurpose Soap Developing a multipurpose soap that utilizes glycerin from the biodiesel production process. The second product in our BioSoap product line.
Glycerin Purification Implementing best practices and additional treatment steps to increase glycerin purity (better soaps), recover organic liquids (more biodiesel), and recover valuable nutrients (new fertilizer product in development). 
Water Remediation Testing and implementing bioremediation techniques to treat waste water generated from the biodiesel production process.