- July 15, 2011
- 12:01 am
- Jessica Reynolds
Loyola educates Chicago Park District on biodiesel
After receiving guidance from Loyola’s biodiesel program, the Chicago Park District transformed cooking grease from this year’s Taste of Chicago into biodiesel fuel that will be used to run many of the park district’s light-duty trucks and lawnmowers.
In March 2009, Kyle Powers, who spearheads the park district’s biodiesel initiative, and some of his colleagues enrolled in the small-scale biodiesel production continuum education class offered by Loyola’s Center for Urban Environmental Research and Policy (CUERP). In June 2010, after Powers spent more than a year leveraging the Chicago park district’s assets and economic funds, a pre-engineered biodiesel processor was installed at a park district facility.
Because the Chicago Park District does not staff its biodiesel facility internally, Indigenous Energy, an Oak Park-based company that focuses on reducing CO2 emissions, operates the processor. Pete Probst, who heads Indigenous Energy, has also participated in Loyola’s small-scale biodiesel production continuum course.
Zach Waickman, Loyola’s biodiesel lab manager, says that, in addition to teaching Powers and Probst how to recycle cooking oil, Loyola’s biodiesel program has advised the park district and Indigenous Energy on legal hurdles, fuel testing, and industrial contracts.
According to Waickman, Powers is interested in having a Loyola student intern at the park district’s biodiesel facility once it’s fully up and running.
To learn more about Loyola’s biodiesel program, visit LUC.edu/biodiesel.