Clemson biosystems engineers cut campus fuel bills

By Peter Kent

Biofuels look to be a significant resource in meeting South Carolina’s energy needs. A new piece of equipment for the Biosystems Engineering program will help researchers conduct novel research on new biomass sources, such as algae and fungi that will supply biofuels of the future.

The plant will give the university the ability to potentially convert all waste oils on campus to high-grade biodiesel, enabling it to replace fuels to help meet “Clemson Net Zero” goals.  The cost savings for fuel through use of waste oils and displacement of petroleum-based fuels on campus can be up to $30,000 per year. 

The new mobile facility will be showcased at the annual biomass meeting this fall at the Pee Dee Research and Education Center, sponsored by Clemson University, the S.C. State Energy Office and the Biomass Council.

South Carolina is becoming well known in the U.S. biofuels industry. There are several manufacturers, including Ecogy Biofuels in Estill and Carolina Biofuels in Taylors as well as other smaller producers like Midlands Biofuels in Winnsboro.  Smaller, innovative, local companies not only are making biodiesel but also are participating in outreach efforts, such as designing and building pilot facilities for universities and training folks at local community colleges for green jobs.

For information: Terry Walker, 864-656-0351,