Oil companies using food waste to make diesel

I just read an article in the NY Times (I’ll spare the URI out of deference to the delicate sensibilities of some forum participants.) about oil companies collecting waste food grease, processing it into regular diesel, identical to the dead-bacteria kind (put it that way, it doesn’t sound so hard). They collect it in the dead of night because there’s less traffic. That reminded me of an article in the LA Times years ago about the Mob taking over the used grease business. Companies process it so it can be used again (think about that over your next french fry). The fast food joints have large tanks out back. They weren’t locked up; anybody could take it, so the Mob moved in.

That reminds me of the time newsprint got so expensive people (not the Mob, just amateurs) followed around the trucks that delivered the free papers, took the whole stack for recycling. The LA city council passed an ordinance limiting it to 2.

This has been going on for quite a long time. Here’s a business in Berkeley that sells fuel at a station in town. https://biofueloasis.com/faq/used-oil-collection/

Sounds like trespassing and theft. In 2008 I had co-workers that believed they could collect all of the waste cooking oil they wanted after midnight.

A few weeks ago I was driving in an area of no fast food restaurants and kept smelling hamburgers. I’m guessing I was driving along in the vicinity of a diesel vehicle that was burning said food grease diesel.

Seems to still be mostly smaller local firms around here, but it makes sense that the oil companies would want a piece of the action. One local VW owner had a Biodiesel badge made up for the car.

Bio diesel from cooking oil is nearly as old as the diesel engine itself. I had a coworker who tried running just filtered oil in his Chevy diesel truck. After 2 rebuilds of his injection pump he stopped. Somehow this PhD candidate missed the step of using methanol to remove the fats that clog up pumps

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How old is this article? About 20 years ago the bio-diesel craze was going wild in some areas. Many diy’rs were creating bio-diesel. They go around to the fast food markets to collect the old grease. Theses places were happy to get rid of it…but then the market got a lot bigger…then these fast food places started selling it.

Personally, I put converting grease into biodiesel myself in the same category as reloading bullets or brewing my own beer.

It’s so much easier, cheaper, safer, and requires less of my time to just buy it somewhere.

To each his own, though.

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And organized crime was behind the thefts.

There is (was) a guy in my neighborhood that did the biodiesel thing. I think the most annoying part of it is paying fuel taxes on your recycled vegetable oil.

A friend at work reloads his shells. He does it because he is a small guy and wants a softer recoil on his rifle while he’s hunting.

I know several people that brew their own beer. A program manager I work with brews several different beers and never buys any. He does it to get what he likes every time. He’s a self-admitted beer snob. His beers are excellent.

Here’s the article, looks like a business opportunity:
Oil refineries see profit in turning kitchen grease into diesel - Albany Business Review (bizjournals.com)

Having spent a few years behind a fryer, no way would I steal that stuff to use again for food. We’d change grease about every 30 days and it was pretty bad by then.

The county school bus fleet has been using 15% biodiesel/diesel mix for at least 10 years, the commercial use/production of biodiesel fuel has been going on for years. The low % mix is a safer use of biodiesel, diesel fuel system parts are expensive to replace.

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States tax fuel as a way to make vehicle operators pay for the wear they put on roads in proportion to how much they drive. Why wouldn’t they want to charge road tax on biodiesel? So far they don’t charge road tax on electric cars, but that’s a political choice to encourage them, and when there are a lot more there will have to be some way to make them pay.

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Depends on the state, Here in Washington you pay $225 (if i remember correctly) as a tax when you renew your registration on an EV. $75 for a hybrid.

Almost all recycled restaurant cooking oil is used as a biofuel base stock. It doesn’t appear that any goes into cooking oil again. Well, organized crime might cut virgin cooking oil with the garbage oil, but it would still have to be processed to remove solids and water if they expected to sell it to restaurants.

There were the people who treated vegetable oil so that it could burn and there were engines that had 2 feeds: 1 for regular diesel to start the engine and get it and the vegetable oil up to temperature then draw from it. This article is about treating used vegetable oil so that it’s indistinguishable from dead-bacteria diesel by refineries who don’t care about Green-ness - in other words its become a profitable business opportunity, not a tree-hugger’s indulgence.

Horrors No! The Mob wouldn’t stoop to such evil-doing!

Biodiesel in 2020 in the US