Faculty Advisor

Kasouf, Chickery J.

Project Center

Worcester Community Project Center


Founded by Ex-Prisoners and Prisoners Organizing for Community Advancement (EPOCA), the Empower Energy Cooperative, a small business, sought a profitable use for glycerin, a by-product of their existing biodiesel production business. With a new source of profit, the Worcester-based cooperative aims to continue to employ ex-prisoners, a goal based on the idea that stable employment aids in lowering the recidivism rates of ex-prisoners. Many possible applications of glycerin were investigated. In order to find the one most suitable to Empower, cost/benefit and market analyses were performed, followed by prototyping of the two highest scoring products. Fire bricks and soap (bar and liquid) were the two recommended products for Empower’s future use.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

February 2012

Project Type

Interactive Qualifying Project



Advisor Department