KU Biodiesel Initiative, KU Athletics Team Up for Clean, Green Fun Zone

Sept. 2, 2009

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Engineers from the University of Kansas Biodiesel Initiative have teamed up with Kansas Athletics to power inflatables at the Hy-Vee Hawk Zone at Memorial Stadium with biofuel generators using cooking oil from Mrs. E’s cafeteria on campus. The clean, green fun begins before the Jayhawks’ first football game this Saturday at 6 p.m. vs. Northern Colorado.

“This is a great opportunity for people to see how biofuels can be used in real-world applications,” said Susan Williams, professor of chemical and petroleum engineering. “We were able to take money donated to the KU Biodiesel Initiative and put it back into our research and into the community.”

Kansas Athletics donated about $1,800 from program sales during the 2008 football season to the KU Biodiesel Initiative, which used the funds to help cover the cost of the generators that will power the giant inflatable Jayhawk, bounce house and slide that are always a hit with youngsters before every KU football game.

“We are delighted to partner with the KU Biodiesel Initiative,” said KU Athletics Director Lew Perkins. “This is a perfect example of how Kansas Athletics can work together with KU’s academic units to do positive work.”

The fuel used to power the generators will have fewer emissions and fumes than previous generators, making the area greener and safer for all involved. The covered generators also will be quieter than older models.

The Hy-Vee Hawk Zone is an interactive family area located just south of the Anderson Family Football Complex. With the assistance of KU student-athletes, the Zone includes inflatable games, free face painting, Future Jayhawks photographs, and other fun activities. The Hawk Zone opens two hours prior to kickoff and begins to close 30 minutes prior to kickoff.

Tickets for Saturday’s 6 p.m. game are available at kuathletics.com or by calling 800-34-HAWKS.

For more information about the KU Biodiesel Initiative, visit kuenergycouncil.ku.edu.