Welcome to Bronco Biodiesel, an initiative of Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
We conduct research into, and educate people about, biofuels derived from urban waste streams. Our biofuels don't compete with food production.
in 2006 with generous support from WMU, our
mission is to foster urban sustainability and encourage the use of
To achieve this mission, we seek to:
- reclaim energy from biomass liquid waste streams
- develop sustainable alternative feedstocks for transportation biofuels
a business model for “town-gown” cooperation (to show how cities and
universities can collaborate with private business to combine
environmental clean-up with energy conversion)
- educate the public about biofuels, waste recovery, and urban energy infrastructure.
Our Projects in Brief
Biodiesel from waste trap grease
Restaurant plumbing traps intercept millions of gallons of waste food
greases a year, across the United States. Federal, state and local
environmental codes typically require these greases to be removed from
wastewater collection systems and landfilled. As a consequence, this
grease currently has no commercial use, and no monetary value.
Nonetheless, it contains virtually the same energy content as virgin
vegetable oils, and, accordingly, can be converted to biodiesel.
are in the final stages of optimizing chemical and mechanical processes
for converting trap grease into biodiesel that meets all industry and
federally-mandated quality, environmental and health standards. We have
partnered with a Kalamazoo-area waste grease hauler, to pilot our
technology and collect further data.
future home for a 100,000 gallon/year biodiesel reactor is the City of
Kalamazoo’s Wastewater Reclamation Plant, through a partnership that
will enable the city to lower utility maintenance costs, while
recovering valuable energy from greases recovered from the urban waste
Bioalcohols from wastewater algae
blooms generated by nutrient run-off and overloading have dramatically
altered coastal ecosystems and inland waterways across North America.
Through partnerships with government and private industry clean-up
initiatives, we are developing processes for converting the hundreds of
millions of tons of weedy algae biomass that grows in the United States
each year into distilled fuels that can replace petroleum products in
gasoline powered engines. This undertaking seeks to link the vital
importance of aquatic clean-up to alternative energy development.
are encouraging the use of biodiesel by local public vehicle fleets and
continuously educating the public about the benefits of biofuels. We
also offer research opportunities for Western Michigan University
We provide competitively priced ASTM quality assurance and control testing of biofuel products to industry.
Benefits of Using Waste Biomass
- Saves disposal costs
- Improves the quality of surface waters
- Protects aging wastewater treatment systems
- Possesses positive energy outputs compared to virgin biomass fuels
- Fuel products can be used in existing transportation infrastructure with no modification to vehicles or fueling system
- Improves local air quality
- Contributes to energy security and independence