Biodiesel/Biohydraulic Fluids Team

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Team ID: 
College / Administrative Unit: 
Agricultural Sciences, College of
Earth and Mineral Sciences, College of
Engineering, College of
Finance and Business
Science, Eberly College of
Date Started: 
May 2002
To lead the Commonwealth in the use of biodiesel as a viable fuel.

Prompted by the desire to decrease the environmental cost of hydraulic oil spills and leaks, the Environmental Health and Safety and College of Agriculture Farm Operations units desired to switch agricultural equipment to environmentally friendly hydraulic oils.
Following this, the group became interested in Penn State’s leading the state in the use of biodiesel as a viable fuel. As this project progressed, the group collectively planned the re-use of the used vegetable oil from the dining halls as biodiesel fuel.

Team members from Chemical Engineering investigated various biohydraulic fluids. These team members worked with industry to develop an oil that provided the desired characteristics while meeting the environmental requirements of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Penn State University. This oil was piloted in equipment at Farm Operations, and a year later was adopted by the equipment also at the Office of Physical Plant.
Now, as a result of the success with the equipment, the group pursued the changeover of the elevators at Penn State to biohydraulic oil. These elevators are also using biohydraulic oil at this time.

Biodiesel production has begun on a pilot basis, and when a suitable place is found for production, all of the used vegetable oil from the dining halls and hospitality locations will be processed into biodiesel. This fuel will be used in diesel powered OPP vehicles, landscape equipment, and university farm equipment.

Contact Person: 
Glen Cauffman
  • Glen Cauffman, Co-Leader
  • Lysa Holland, Co-Leader
  • Andre Boehman, Member
  • Ryan Johnson, Member
  • Wally Lloyd, Member
  • Michele Newhard, Member
  • Joe Perez, Member
  • Jim Purdum, Member
  • Tom Richard, Member
  • Doug Schaufler, Member
  • Jeff Spackman, Member
  • Lisa Wandel, Member