PITA Fiscal Year 2007 Projects

Environmental Technologies

Biodiesel Fuel Effectiveness in a Power/Cooling/Heating/Ventilation System for a Building
CMU’s School of Architecture, in cooperation with its Department of Mechanical Engineering, is now installing a biodiesel fueled engine generator with heat recovery equipment to provide power, cooling, heating, and ventilation for its Intelligent Workplace, the IW. The architectural features and energy supply provisions of the IW will demonstrate that energy requirements for operating a building can be reduced by a factor of 6 or more and can be met by solar and renewable energy. CTI Biofuels is commercializing technology for the production of biodiesel fuel based on technology developed at CMU. This company is producing, operating, and selling plants each of which will economically produce 5 -10 million gallon/year of fuel from a variety of raw materials.

In this proposed project four biodiesel fuels, made from different feedstocks (for example; soy, canola, palm, and used vegetable oils), provided and characterized by CTI will be tested by CMU to determine their technical, economic, and environmental performance in providing an energy supply for the IW. In evaluating the technical and economic performance the efficiency of the system will be measured at various loads. The annual cost of energy supply for power, cooling, heating, and ventilation in the IW from biodiesel fuel will be evaluated and compared with costs for conventional energy supply from campus power, chilled water, steam, and natural gas grids. Emissions of particulate matter (PM) will be measured and compared for the different fuels in a companion project proposed to PITA.