Did you know that used cooking oil from restaurant deep fryers is not really a waste product? At Green Star Biodiesel, we collect and render it, purify it and then repurpose your business’ vegetable cooking oil for a variety of products such as animal feed supplements and other innovative uses including biodiesel. In fact, some of the most environmentally friendly biodiesel feedstocks for animals are developed from used cooking oil and yellow grease. A shocking statistic released in February 2010 according to the EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standards Program Regulatory Impact Analysis revealed that biodiesel produced from waste grease results in an 86% reduction in greenhouse gases, compared to petroleum/diesel. This choice to recycle animal byproducts via our used cooking oil collection company contributes in major ways to the preservation of our environment by providing a safe disposal modality alternative to the typical incineration or typical landfill disposals.
While oilseed feedstocks originate in rural areas, used oil and grease are urban resources. The processing costs for waste oil and grease are higher per gallon than the processing costs for virgin vegetable oil. Used grease with less than 15% free fatty acids is called “yellow grease.” Used grease with more than 15% FFAs is called “brown grease”. The main challenge to biodiesel production from used cooking oils and yellow grease is the high percentage of free fatty acids in the feedstock. Fats and oils are composed of triglycerides. Research shows that in used cooking oils and yellow grease, some triglycerides break down so that the fatty acids separate from the glycerol molecule and thus turn into “free fatty acids”. Free fatty acids then react with the biodiesel and form soap as opposed to biodiesel.
A shocking average of 9 pounds of used cooking oil are generated per person per year If you take into account that the U.S. has an approximate population of 308 million, this translates into about 2.7 billion pounds of used cooking oil per year! Recent legislations have required restaurants to install grease traps in their drains in order to prevent oils and fats that may go down the drain from entering sewer pipes and creating massive problems. The grease that gets collected in the traps can then be retrieved and recycled to make biodiesel. Although we don’t know exactly how much of this is currently being used to make biodiesel, Green Star Biodiesel is attempting to make an evironmental impact in the greater Florida region.