January 13, 2011
Springboard Biodiesel, a clean-tech manufacturer located in Chico, CA, announced today that more than 50 universities and school systems in the United States now own and operate a BioPro™ biodiesel processor.
Arkansas State University topped the list when it purchased The BioPro™ 190, a fully-automated machine that converts 50 gallons of vegetable or animal oil into ASTM-grade biodiesel for approximately $0.95/gallon.
Announcing this milestone, Springboard Biodiesel's CEO Mark Roberts explained, "Now, more than ever, universities, colleges and high school systems across the US are looking for ways to save money and reduce their carbon footprint. Making biodiesel out of cooking oil collected from a school's cafeterias and restaurants gives any college, university or high school system the opportunity to make ASTM-grade biodiesel in a fully-automated machine, for only $0.95 cents a gallon." Roberts added: "From a budget perspective, that's compelling. But many of these same institutions are striving to reduce their campus greenhouse gas emissions and by converting waste cooking oil into a fuel that burns up to 90% cleaner than regular diesel, BioPro™ biodiesel production is an immediate and effective way to help institutions meet their goals."
Biodiesel is a diesel-replacement fuel that will run in any diesel engine without the need to convert the engine. It can be made from any vegetable or animal oil. Buses, trucks, tractors, generators and other engines that run on diesel fuel can easily mix biodiesel into that fuel blend, or run the biodiesel neat (B100).
"Safety was a very important consideration when we chose to purchase a BioPro™," said Dr. Kevin Humphrey, The Director for Agricultural Education at Arkansas State University. "After all, students are the ones who will be working with this equipment, so we are obviously very safety conscious." He added, "When you take into account the automation and the rugged construction of the BioPro™, then you know that safety was an important factor in its design."
Dr. Humphries, who first saw the BioPro™ in use at Truman State University in Missouri, plans to use the equipment to convert crop oils, some of which will be grown at the University farm. Three crops they will work with are Soybean, Canola and Camelina. Cooking oils from the college cafeterias will also be collected and converted. The plan is to run the finished biodiesel in diesel irrigation motors, tractors and on-campus utility trucks. "We're really excited about our biodiesel and biofuels program here. It's an area of growing interest for our college and our region," said Humphrey. "Ultimately we want our farm to be self-sustaining."