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Biofuels Technology Initiative

Raised toward our $2,000 Goal
36 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on April 30, at 11:59 PM PDT
Project Owners

Biofuels Technology Initiative

THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR GENEROUS DONORS!!! We surpassed our initial goal of $2,000 with 2 weeks to spare, so we have created a new stretch goal of $3,500! The extra funds will subsidize costs of extra chemicals, cooking oil transportation licensing, and personal protective equipment like goggles and lab coats! Please continue to support us and a greener UC Berkeley by sharing or donating today!




Who We Are

The Biofuels Technology Club at UC Berkeley started out as a class project in which six classmates designed a proposal to promote sustainability within the campus community. The proposal was entered into the “Big Ideas @ Berkeley” competitions in 2014 and 2015 and won second prize both times. After receiving funding from this competition, the club has grown to host over forty multidisciplinary students participating in research and scale-up aspects of the project. The club hopes to raise awareness about the benefits of recycling cooking oil into biodiesel.

The club has continued to conduct extensive research on the transesterification process used to produce biodiesel, and is currently refining its own production process by reducing wasteful byproducts and necessary reagents. In addition, the scale-up team is currently constructing and testing a 50-gallon-per-week reactor pilot plant at the Richmond Field Station that will, once further scaled up in the long run, convert all waste cooking oil produced on campus into usable biofuel. As a club, it provides a unique hands-on learning opportunity for engineering students to design a process, build a refinery from scratch, and overcome all the logistical obstacles along the way.

By recycling waste oil from dining halls, UC Berkeley’s waste stream is reduced, as well as campus dependence on non-renewable energy. It is becoming increasingly important to save on carbon emissions, and we need to do everything we can to serve as an example and teach students to be mindful of waste and what we can do to reduce it. Biofuel is a much more sustainable fuel choice than fossil fuels, reducing net CO2 by 78% and greenhouse gas emissions in general by 57-86% per volume burned. We project that our pilot plant will be operational by the end of the academic year, at which point ASTM testing will confirm the credibility of BTC’s biodiesel. We will also cut current disposal/recycling costs for the university once implemented. Ultimately, the goal is to utilize the biodiesel produced “in-house” as fuel for vehicles on campus, teach students along the way, and make a more sustainable and self-sufficient UC Berkeley!

How You Can Help

By making a donation today you can be a big part of our new and exciting initiative to reduce waste produced in our dining halls and further Berkeley’s commitment to sustainability! The funds will enable us to produce quality fuel and give us credibility when sharing (and eventually selling!) our fuel with future partners. Once our process is refined, we hope to share our story and successes with students across multiple college campuses, so that we can all work towards a sustainable future together. Thank you for your support!

With specific questions please contact our Lead of Finance: Austin Li -


Learn More

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Our way
of Thanking You


Biofuels Technology Donor Wall

Your name will be listed on the BTC Donor Wall here on the crowdfunding page, and later on our personal website.

9 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: May 2018


Shout out on Social Media

In addition to listing your name on our donor wall, we will thank you personally via our official Facebook account.

4 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: April 2018


Handwritten Thank You Card

In addition to listing your name on our donor wall and a shout-out on social media, we will send you a handwritten thank you note from our team.

1 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: May 2018


“Fueling Forward” Reception

In addition to all previously listed perks, you will be invited to attend our end-of-year reception, in which team members, alumni, and donors have the opportunity to connect. We will be presenting about our club history, our progress, and future goals; as well as recognizing our donors whose generosity has made all of this possible.

4 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: May 2018


RFS Plant Site Tour

In addition to all previously listed perks, you will receive a tour of our pilot plant production facility at the Richmond Field Station.

1 of Unlimited Claimed
Estimated Delivery: May 2018
Our Crowdfunding Groups