Biodiesel: A Living Laboratory for Sustainability
Students are Producing Fuel from Waste Vegetable Oil
The Dickinson College Biodiesel Program is a student-managed production operation that creates educational opportunities for students, faculty and staff and provides the college campus with a sustainable, alternative fuel source.
Biodiesel is created via the transesterification process, which simply stated, turns waste vegetable oil (WVO), mixed with lye and methanol, into a useable renewable fuel.
The biodiesel fuel, in support of our sustainability initiative at Dickinson, is then used to power college vehicles and machinery.
Founded by two students, Jennie Bernstein ’06 and Kim Ogren ’08, the program continues to be operated by students, 3-5 interns in the Fall/Spring semesters, and 2 full-time interns during the summer. The interns are involved in a variety of biodiesel-related projects that include: production of biodiesel from used waste vegetable oil; quality testing; soap production from glycerol; education to internal and external communities on how to make biodiesel; strategic planning for the shop; and research projects.
The Biodiesel Program is under the direction of the Center for Sustainability Education (CSE). For information on how to apply for an internship or research projects, please explore the CSE Internship Program.
The Dickinson College Biodiesel Shop is located on the south side of our facilities management building off Orange Street, in Carlisle, PA.