The Illinois Biodiesel Initiative (IBI) is committed to fostering the ability of our members to realize and implement sustainable solutions for meeting our energy demands. At IBI, student members gain practical experience as they design and develop our biodiesel production process. As a registered student organization of the University of Illinois – Urbana/Champaign, we encourage any student who is interested in sustainable energy to get involved and grow the skills necessary to take on the energy issues we face today.
The Illinois Biodiesel Initiative is a student-led research group that operates in the Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory (IBRL). As a partner of IBRL, our trusted research leads are responsible for the safe and compliant conduct of members that we bring into the lab. Our organization consists of a research and outreach division.
The research division primarily focuses on producing biodiesel from waste cooking oils from UIUC dining halls on the lab scale. Our mission is to improve our biodiesel production process with the use of more environmentally benign green solvents. We also produce soap from the glycerin side product of our biodiesel production reaction and make all samples that are displayed at our outreach events.
The outreach division focuses on planning events at UIUC to educate the public about biofuels and the research we are conducting at IBRL. Our biggest event of the year is Engineering Open House in March/April, however we have plans for other events such as Environmental Quad Day. The outreach team is also in charge of making posters that we display related to biofuels and coming up with ideas for interesting demonstrations with our biodiesel and soap.
The Student Sustainability Committee has provided the Illinois Biodiesel Initiative with funds for improving the quality of their biodiesel and scaling up the reaction.