What’s in My Diesel?
Not many people are aware that diesel fuel sold at the pump today contains a 5% blend of biodiesel.
But what is biodiesel anyway and where does it come from? This article will cover an often-unseen side of what goes into biodiesel, waste fryer oil.
Biodiesel is diesel fuel that is created out of plant or animal fats. The feedstock oils and fats that get converted into biodiesel are sourced from either virgin or recycled sources, like restaurants disposing of their waste fryer oil (WVO). That’s right, the cooking oil used to make your French fries will also be recycled into diesel fuel.
The WVO is taken from the fryers and dumped into a recycling container typically located behind the restaurant. Along with the oil, these containers usually have a high amount of garbage, water, and food waste that can impact biodiesel production and will have to be filtered out.
Depending on the volume usage of the restaurant, this WVO can sit untouched for weeks or months waiting to be collected. The smell of rotting oil in the summer is impressive.
Collection trucks running a route will pick up the raw WVO and bring it back to a processing facility. The processing facility is responsible for removing all the contaminates. Often there are several types of oils and fats commingled together, all with different properties that impact filtering and production.
Grease traps that prevent oils from entering the sewer system are also a source for biodiesel production, although this material needs a lot more processing to become fuel.
As different types of oils and greases are collected from various sources, they are brought back to a processing facility. The water and food will be filtered out and the quality of the oil checked to ensure it meets standards to be converted into biodiesel. The filtered oil is then shipped to a biodiesel plant where it will be used as the base feedstock to make biodiesel.
Today’s diesel fuel needs ongoing maintenance to maintain quality. There are so many variables that can impact diesel fuel performance and certainly biodiesel is one of them.
Contact FuelGuard today at 904-349-2347 to discuss your Fuel Quality Plan.
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