Energy Management

Facilities Management Building
411 Pioneer Drive
Rochester, MI 48309-4482
(location map)

Biomass & Bio Fuels

Oakland University Wood Chip Boiler
In 2011, OU installed a high tech, automated wood chip boiler at the Clean Energy Research Center located on the east campus at the OU INC.  This is a 1,000,000 BTU/hr KOB boiler from Austria.  This $1M installation was supplied by Fink Machine out of British Columbia, Canada, and installed by Johnson & Wood Mechanical out of Burton, Michigan.  Click here for more information.

Oakland University Bio-Energy Demonstration Stations
The Clean Energy Research Center has constructed three bioenergy demonstration sites:  bio-ethanol distillatio n, bio-diesel, and a 30HP biomass pellet mill.  The systems are utilized for both education and R&D.

1.  Multi-Feedstock Biomass Densification:  A biomass densification system is available to pelletize various solid biomass feedstocks.  The system includes a hammer mill, conveyors, a 30 HP pellet mill, and controls.   A study using various biomass feedstocks will be undertaken which will look at various biomass blends as they relate to pellet production, handling, combustion, chemical composition, and emissions issues.

   Pelletization Operation and Training Document (under development)
   Pelletization System Diagram (under development)
   Pelletization Operational Video (under development)

2.  Biodiesel Transesterification:  The bio-fuel for compression ignition, diesel engines is a vegitable oil based fuel called biodiesel.  Our multi-tank biodiesel process can concurrently run three 60 gallon batches of waste restaurant veggie oil to create Oakland University Biodiesel.  We have a LiION electric truck for waste oil collections.   For more info on biodiesel, visit
Biodiesel Operation and Training Document
Biodiesel System Diagram
Biodiesel Operational Video (coming soon)
Biodiesel Safe Handling & Use Guideline (US DOE)

3.  Ethanol Production:   The bio-fuel for spark ignition, gas engines is presently ethanol.  Our system has a 200 gallon fermentation tank coupled to a continuous distillation unit
   Ethanol System Operation and Training Document (under development)
   Ethanol System Diagram
   Ethanol System Operational Video (under development)

Make Your Own BioDiesel


Retail pump at BP station located at Will Carlton exit of I-275, just West of Flat Rock
Click here to learn how wasted vegetable oil can be transformed into a clean, renewable fuel to be used in any diesel engine.  All modern diesels can used biodiesel directly with no modifications and similar operation & performance to dinosaur diesel.  In the US, soy-based biodiesel is gaining prominence as a 20% blend (B20) to add lubricity back into diesel fuel as sulfur is phased out.  Sulfur was reduced from 5000ppm to 500ppm, and is scheduled to be scaled back to 5ppm in 2006.
BioDiesel, VW, and Diesel Forums
Where to Buy BioDiesel, Ethanol, or EV Chargers in Michigan ?