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Last Updated:[12-05-2010 03:03:44 EDT] Zoom in Zoom out Back to Tradenews

Used Cooking Oil-based Bio-diesel becomes a Rage in US

tradenews In the US, companies and communities alike are fashioning the new wave of energy production by converting cooking oil waste to bio-diesel not just for greening but also for profits and revenue generation. The new craze must be regarded as the realization of a country, with oil reserves and production declining dramatically, to counter the ill effects on the environment from burning hydro-carbons and likely oil price rise that may come along with global economic uptick.

The US consumes nearly a quarter of the world's oil production but just produces about 10 percent. It buys around $400bn worth of foreign oil or about the same as last year's balance of payments deficit with its trading partners.

One of the companies that has established itself in used cooking oil energy domain is Minnesota-based Restaurant Technologies (RTI), the leading provider of bulk cooking oil management services to the restaurant industry. RTI has generated $240mn revenue by collecting used cooking oil, and more than 100mn gallons of used oil have been sold to biodiesel manufacturers, animal feed and other buyers.

Likewise, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Dakota Community has recently celebrated its first anniversary of producing bio-diesel from waste soybean oil used in frying chicken, French fries and other foods. The bio-diesel is used to fuel shuttle buses that transport guests and employees among properties around the community. The success of the tribal community on implementing the bio-diesel program indicates that it made economic and environmental sense virtually practical even for small communities to engage in such initiatives.

The Dakota community extracts bio-diesel by pumping 100 gallons into the BioPro 380 processor at a time. Twenty gallons of methanol (wood alcohol) and small amounts of potassium chloride and sulphuric acid are added to the machine with minimal usage of vinegar late in the process. About 48 hours later, around 95 gallons of biodiesel and 25 gallons of glycerine are produced.

Last week, East Ridge, Tennessee has decided to utilize a self-produced new biodiesel blend to fuel its city operations fleet. It is estimated that this clean alternative to conventional fuel not only would make the air cleaner in East Ridge but also expected to provide revenue, eventually helped to lower taxes.

As per the program, the residents may pick up or drop designated or non-designated collection containers at any East Ridge Swap Center. These containers, once full with cooled used cooking oil—may be exchanged for an empty one. By switching to a biodiesel blend, the city of East Ridge is expected reduce its operating costs on civic amenities such as garbage collection, mowing, roadway maintenance, fire/rescue and street sweeping.

By Jose Roy

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