The Alternative Energy Club is a student led initiative at Vanderbilt University which seeks to raise awareness about alternative energy sources while also allowing its members to gain hands-on experience with biodiesel production.

Watch a tour of our biodiesel production facility by clicking the image to the right!

Our Process

Starting with waste vegetable oil collected from campus dining halls, we generate biodiesel in 120 gallon batches at our on-campus facility. This biodiesel is used by Vanderbilt Plant Operations to fuel various vehicles throughout campus.


The only byproduct of our environmentally friendly process is glycerin. We add a natural scent and color to the glycerin to make EcoSuds, a handsoap that can be found in bathrooms across campus.

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About AEC

The Alternative Energy Club (AEC) at Vanderbilt University is a student-led, university-wide initiative. Our organization seeks to both educate students about diverse alternative energy resources (including biodiesel, wind, and solar power) and provide career enhancement opportunities. Formerly known as the Vanderbilt Biodiesel Initiative, the Alternative Energy Club builds upon the foundations of an already well-established organization by expanding VBI’s portfolio. Participation in the AEC provides all members with the unique opportunity to not only learn about renewable energy, but to also gain invaluable hands-on experience.

The AEC continues to operate a self-sufficient, sustainable, student-run biodiesel production system that converts local waste vegetable oil into from campus dining facilities into environmentally responsible biodiesel fuel that can be used in any diesel-fueled engine. The fuel is currently used to power vehicles such as plant operations trucks and landscaping machinery. The goal is to curb the consumption of petroleum-based fuel by the Vanderbilt community with a system that is economically and environmentally sustainable. Also, the initiative aims to educate others about the viability of biodiesel as an effective alternative fuel. Read more »