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Publication Title | MINI GRANT PROJECT SUMMARY Biodiesel

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Search Completed | Title | MINI GRANT PROJECT SUMMARY Biodiesel
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MINI GRANT PROJECT SUMMARY
Please complete the project summary and return the completed form to April Snyder, Associate Administrator for the Institute on the Environment at aprilsnyder@umn.edu. Paper copies will not be accepted. Please also attach any photos, publications, brochures, event agendas or other materials that were a result of the mini grant summary.
Date of Report Submission:
10/5/2015
Project PI & Dept/School
Michael A. Rother, Chemical Engineering, SCSE
Project Title:
Sustainable UMD Biodiesel
Grant Amount $:
$2800
Project Context & Purpose
Please include the original project purpose statement and revise for any changes that occurred in the project after the start date with a short explanation of the changes.
The project will explore the feasibility of converting food service grease waste to biodiesel, including promoting sustainability, environmental responsibility and cross-disciplinary education.
Please provide a summary of the work that was completed for the mini grant project.
Experimental and theoretical work was done to develop an economical process to convert the waste grease to biodiesel. Philip Galloway, an undergraduate researcher, conducted experiments to determine the best alcohol, catalyst and temperature for the chemical reaction. Two design groups also contributed to the laboratory work. In the end the students determined that methanol and potassium hydroxide mixed with the waste grease at 50 oC gave the best results.
An economic analysis was also performed to determine profitability. Both design groups found that the process could save the university money in the long run. However, the savings amounted to about $1000 per year, which would require a significant payback for an initial capital investment on the order of $10,000 or more. It should be pointed out that profit is not the only driving force for the project, with sustainability and education also being important considerations.
Please provide a summary of the project personnel, partnerships and collaborations that worked directly on the project or were started as a direct result of the mini grant project.
Philip Galloway, a senior chemical engineering student, worked on the project for about eight months, including the summer and fall of 2014. He was paid through the mini-grant as an undergraduate researcher.
Work Completed
Partnerships & Collaborations

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