CHICO, CA - Springboard Biodiesel, a clean-tech manufacturer based in Chico, Calif., announced that more than 50 universities and school systems in the United States now own and operate the company's BioPro biodiesel processor.

The latest customer is Arkansas State University, which purchased the BioPro 190 -- a fully automated machine that converts 50 gallons of vegetable or animal oil into ASTM-grade biodiesel for approximately 95 cents a gallon. 

"Now, more than ever, universities, colleges and high school systems across the U.S. are looking for ways to save money and reduce their carbon footprint," said Springboard Biodiesel CEO Mark Roberts. "Making biodiesel out of cooking oil collected from a school's cafeterias and restaurants gives any college, university or high school system the opportunity to make ASTM-grade biodiesel in a fully automated machine for only 95 cents a gallon." 

Biodiesel is a diesel-replacement fuel that will run in any diesel engine without the need to convert the engine. It can be made from any vegetable or animal oil.  

"Safety was a very important consideration when we chose to purchase a BioPro," said Dr. Kevin Humphrey, the director for agricultural education at Arkansas State University. "After all, students are the ones who will be working with this equipment, so we are obviously very safety conscious." 

Humphrey, who first saw the BioPro in use at Truman State University in Missouri, plans to use the equipment to convert crop oils, some of which will be grown at the university farm. Three crops the university will work with are soybean, canola and camelina. Cooking oils from the college cafeterias will also be collected and converted. The plan is to run the finished biodiesel in tractors, on-campus utility trucks and diesel irrigation motors.  

"We're really excited about our biodiesel and biofuels program here. It's an area of growing interest for our college and our region," said Humphrey. "Ultimately we want our farm to be self-sustaining." 

To watch a video about the BioPro 190, click here.

Springboard Biodiesel manufactures and markets the BioPro and SpringPro lines of small-scale biodiesel processing equipment and continues to develop a portfolio of feedstock-independent, small-scale production systems.