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Turning waste (grease) into biodiesel

Turning waste (grease) into biodiesel in Oklahoma.

We have a unique opportunity to study and build a renewable energy project. We have available to us, waste grease (bottoms) which is used vegetable oil and grease from restaurants.

This waste grease from restaurants goes to treatment companies that separate some of the grease and the remaining waste grease (bottoms) is sent to a disposal treatment plant.

We will be using the waste of the yellow grease (bottoms) to make a useful product that will help the environment.

Biodiesel is safer and cleaner fuel than petroleum diesel. Biodiesel cuts down on targeted emissions, thus reducing air pollution.

The marine industry consumes about 10 percent of the petroleum diesel in the United States. Biodiesel is less harsh on marine environment. One day soon Boaters could be using Biodiesel.

What is Biodiesel?

Biodiesel (fatty acid alkyl esters) is a cleaner-burning diesel replacement fuel made from natural, renewable sources such as new and used vegetable oils and animal fats. Just like petroleum diesel, biodiesel operates in compression-ignition engines. Blends of up to 20% biodiesel (mixed with petroleum diesel fuels) can be used in nearly all diesel equipment and are compatible with most storage and distribution equipment. These low level blends (20% and less) generally do not require any engine modifications, however, users should consult their OEM and engine warranty statement. Biodiesel can provide the same payload capacity and as diesel.

Higher blends, even pure biodiesel (100% biodiesel, or B100), can be used in many engines built since 1994 with little or no modification. Transportation and storage, however, require special management.

Using biodiesel in a conventional diesel engine substantially reduces emissions of unburned hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, sulfates, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, nitrated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and particulate matter. These reductions increase as the amount of biodiesel blended into diesel fuel increases. The best emissions reductions are seen with B100.

The use of biodiesel decreases the solid carbon fraction of particulate matter (since the oxygen in biodiesel enables more complete combustion to CO
2) and reduces the sulfate fraction (biodiesel contains less than 24 ppm sulfur), while the soluble, or hydrocarbon, fraction stays the same or increases. Therefore, biodiesel works well with new technologies such as diesel oxidation catalysts (which reduce the soluble fraction of diesel particulate but not the solid carbon fraction).

Emissions of nitrogen oxides increase with the concentration of biodiesel in the fuel. Some biodiesel produces more nitrogen oxides than others, and some additives have shown promise in modifying the increases. More R&D is needed to resolve this issue.

Biodiesel has physical properties very similar to conventional diesel. V
isit the National Biodiesel Board's " FAQ page". If you have further questions regarding biodiesel, please call the National Alternative Fuels Hotline at (800) 423-1DOE

How is Biodiesel made?

Biodiesel fuel can be made from new or used vegetable oils and animal fats, which are non-toxic, biodegradable, renewable resources. Fats and oils are chemically reacted with an alcohol (methanol is the usual choice) to produce chemical compounds known as fatty acid methyl esters. Biodiesel is the name given to these esters when they're intended for use as fuel. Glycerol (used in pharmaceuticals and cosmetics, among other markets) is produced as a co-product.

Biodiesel can be produced by a variety of esterification technologies. The oils and fats are filtered and preprocessed to remove water and contaminants. If free fatty acids are present, they can be removed or transformed into biodiesel using special pretreatment technologies. The pretreated oils and fats are then mixed with an alcohol (usually methanol) and a catalyst (usually sodium or potassium hydroxide). The oil molecules (triglycerides) are broken apart and reformed into esters and glycerol, which are then separated from each other and purified.

Approximately 55% of the biodiesel industry can use any fat or oil feedstock, including recycled cooking grease. The other half of the industry is limited to vegetable oils, the least expensive of which is soy oil. The soy industry has been the driving force behind biodiesel commercialization because of excess production capacity, product surpluses, and declining prices. Similar issues apply to the recycled grease and animal fats industry, even though these feedstocks are less expensive than soy oils.

Based on the combined resources of both industries, there is enough of the feedstocks to supply 1.9 billion gallons of biodiesel (under policies designed to encourage biodiesel use).

Alternative Fuels

Biodiesel is a completely natural, renewable fuel applicable in most any situation where conventional petroleum diesel is used. Even though "diesel" is part of its name, there are no petroleum or other fossil fuels in biodiesel. Biodiesel is 100% vegetable oil based.

Currently biodiesel is produced mainly from field crop oils throughout Europe and used widely in a range of diesel vehicles not easily found in the U.S. The fuel produced in Hawaii by Pacific Biodiesel, Inc. is made totally from recycled cooking oil and used mostly in generators of all sizes, commercial diesel equipment, vehicles, and marine vessels. Since the opening of the Maui processing plant, it has become more economical for pump trucks to deliver used restaurant oil to Pacific Biodiesel than to landfill it, resulting in a landfill diversion total of over 40 tons of used cooking oil per month.

In the past decade, biodiesel has been gaining worldwide popularity as an alternative energy source because of its many benefits. Besides the huge landfill reduction benefits, this environment-friendly fuel reduces tailpipe emissions, visible smoke and noxious odors. It operates well in a conventional diesel engine with very few or no engine modifications, and can also be used in a blend with conventional diesel while still achieving substantial reductions in emissions. Because biodiesel is non-toxic, biodegradable and non-flammable, handling and storage are safer than conventional petroleum diesel fuel. And, the cost is competetive with diesel.

Technically, biodiesel is Vegetable Oil Methyl Ester. It is formed by removing the glycerol molecule from vegetable oil in the form of glycerin (soap). Once the glycerin is removed from the oil, the remaining molecules are, to a diesel engine, similar to petroleum diesel fuel. There are some notable differences. The biodiesel molecules are very simple hydrocarbon chains, containing no sulfur, ring molecules or aromatics associated with fossil fuels. Biodiesel is made up of almost 10% oxygen, making it a naturally "oxygenated" fuel.


Power: One of the major advantages is the fact that it can be used in existing engines and fuel injection equipment (no modification required) without negative impacts to operating performance.

Fuel availability/economy: Virtually the same MPG rating as petrodiesel and the only alternative fuel for heavyweight vehicles requiring no special dispensing and storage equipment.

Storage: Readily blends and stays blended with petrodiesel so it can be stored and dispensed wherever diesel is stored or sold.

Combustibitity/Safety: Biodiesel has a very high flash point, making it one of the safest of all alternative fuels.

Production/Refining: The only alternative fuel that can boast of a zero total emissions production facility.

Lubricity: The only alternative fuel that can actually extend engine life because of its superior lubricating properties.

Environmental Impact: The only renewable alternative diesel fuel that actually reduces a major greenhouse gas components in the atmosphere . The use of biodiesel will also reduce the following emissions: carbon monoxide; ozone-forming-hydrocarbons; hazardous diesel particulate acid; rain-causing sulfur dioxide; lifecycle carbon dioxide.


Biodiesel Oklahoma

Bob Moore, P.O. Box 1683, Lawton, Oklahoma  73502

Phone 580-695-0331  Webpage



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