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 lead 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 is divided up into several research divisions: Production and Testing, Soap Production, Quality Control, and Special Projects.
Our Production and Testing team primarily focuses on producing biodiesel. Our biodiesel is generated by obtaining waste vegetable oil from UIUC dining halls and converting it into biodiesel using a reactor system housed in IBRL. We plan to sell the biodiesel to the UIUC Transportative and Automotive Services to aid in their goal of running a sustainable fleet.
Our Soap Production team works on producing glycerin soap from the byproduct of the biodiesel process. The byproduct of glycerol is refined and mixed with scent/color additives. We aim to sell our soap to the UIUC dining halls.
Our Quality Control team tests samples from the production teams to see if our batches meet the appropriate standards. Our biodiesel is held to ASTM standards while our soap is held to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
The Student Sustainability Committee has provided the Illinois Biodiesel Initiative with funds for improving the quality of their biodiesel and scaling up the reaction.