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Projects Updates for Environment-Enhancing Energy Paradigm for Food Waste to Biofuel and Biomaterial

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  1. Archived Info - Previous Project Description

    A student research team, under Dr. Yuanhui Zhang, will expand the Environment-Enhancing Energy (E2E) research program to campus application by augmenting wet food waste produced through the dining halls. They will first survey dining services food waste and make their findings available to campus affiliates. Next, they will take dining waste and convert it into biofuel and asphalt. This process will reduce UIUC’s food waste, advancing the Illinois Climate Action Plan efforts. Likewise, the project will bring awareness to food waste at a local level. In December 2017, this project received $10,000 from the Student Sustainability Committee to kickstart the project.

  2. Archived Info - Previous Project Description

    A student research team, under Dr. Yuanhui Zhang, will expand the Environment-Enhancing Energy (E2E) research program to campus application by augmenting wet food waste produced through the dining halls. They will first survey dining services food waste and make their findings available to campus affiliates. Next, they will take dining waste and convert it into biofuel and asphalt. This process will reduce UIUC’s food waste, advancing the Illinois Climate Action Plan efforts. Likewise, the project will bring awareness to food waste at a local level. In December 2017, this project received $10,000 from the Student Sustainability Committee to kickstart the project.

  3. iSEE Annual Report and iCAP Portal Updates Request

    Tony Mancuso, the Communications and Public Affairs Director, has requested updates on the progress of Professor Sinha and Professor Zhang's 2018 Campus as a Living Lab seed-funded projects for the iSEE website and the iSEE annual report.

    Professor Zhang sent updates for this project per Avery Maloto's request to update the iCAP Portal. Pictures were included in the update but there was an issue determining the status of the funding. 

  4. SSC funds E2E Pilot Scale

    This graduate student-led team will augment management of food waste produced through the dining halls on UIUC campus, via hydrothermal liquefaction (HTL) for biofuel production. This is an expansion of Dr. Yuanhui Zhang’s Environment-Enhancing Energy (E2E) research program focusing on Waste-to-Energy. During the Fall 2017 preliminary study, the student team proved that mixed and individual food waste can effectively convert into biocrude oil with different oil yields under different operating conditions. This SSC grant supports the team’s efforts to pilot the process on a larger scale, converting up to one ton of food waste to biocrude oil per day. For outreach, the team will offer tours, display a mobile demonstration, publish their results on campus media, and engage undergraduate students in the research process.   

  5. Final Report submitted to SSC - E2E

     

    The project began in the start of spring 2018 semester and had four phases, each phase consisting of 2 months approximately. The first phase consisted of analyzing the feedstock sources from the dining hall for their energy content at laboratory scale in batch reactions and potential economical returns. In doing so, our team determined which food category had the greatest conceivable benefit to campus, based on quantifying the available waste and value recovery using HTL. The second phase of this project will consist of converting the oil phase of the laboratory HTL process into a refined product for the sustainability project. During this phase, the biooil was modified via chemical treatment to refine the petroleum alternative into a usable product that can substitute a campus cost. This portion of the work was essential to validating food waste HTL processing, as our projects can specifically improve UIUC sustainability. The following weeks focused on preparing a larger scale assessment for expanding the HTL scope of feedstocks for further energy recovery using waste at larger scale, as well as determining the potential impacts on campus with sizable amounts of food waste.

     

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