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The Illinois Biodiesel Initiative (IBI) is a student-run organization, supported by iSEE, that is committed to reducing emissions and promoting sustainability on campus. The group primarily does this through the production of biodiesel, taking waste vegetable oil from the dining halls and converting it to biodiesel using a large reactor system in Roger Adams Laboratory.

The students also take the glycerol byproduct from the reaction and turn it into soap, which is then sold back to the dining halls. Several side projects have also been started involving biodiesel and sustainability. Students can join any of the four subgroups: Production/testing; Soap (production or research); Finance; and Special Projects. IBI is always looking for new members. and all grade levels as well as graduate students can join!

Contact Us

The best way to reach the IBI team is via message on its Facebook page, but you can also try by emailing For more information on being involved, subscribe to a subgroup newsletter. Just send us an email with the names of each of our four subgroups (see below) you would like to get updates from. You can also email us to unsubscribe from any of the subgroup newsletters as well as the general newsletter.


Expand to view descriptions of our working areas and the student leaders (with contact info) in those areas.

Production & Testing
The P&T subgroup is responsible for converting waste vegetable oil from the dining halls into biodiesel. This occurs primarily with our reactor located in Roger Adams Laboratory. Members help with figuring out logistics involving the production and sale of biodiesel as well as testing of the biodiesel to ensure it meets American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards.

Group Leaders:

The soap subgroup takes the glycerin byproduct of the biodiesel reaction performed by production and testing and converts it into soap. IBI has opportunities to be involved in the lab, working with soap chemistry, and other opportunities to work on scaling up soap production and designing the system.

Group Leaders:

Special Projects
The Special Projects group works on additional projects that are not related to biodiesel or soap, but are tied to IBI’s goal of promoting sustainability on campus. Past projects have included troubleshooting a methanol recovery unit, design of a reactor system to produce biodiesel from algae, and fixing up a biodiesel-run go-kart. The soap subgroup originally evolved from a special projects topic. We also welcome new ideas for projects!

Group Leaders:

The Finance subgroup works on allocating funds for IBI endeavors and finding new funding sources.

Group Leader: