Don't lump biodiesel in with the other biofuels Kemper mentioned in his blog on ethanols. As you'll be reading in Karyn's blogs tomorrow, biodiesel is a fuel of a different breed.
The following facts have been reprinted from the website of Fry-O-Diesel, a plant in north Philadelphia that not only produces biodiesel from waste greases, but has also invented patent-pending technology to turn trap-grease (a sludgy amalgam of fats trapped in the sewer) into pure fuel.
- Biodiesel is a clean-burning, renewable fuel made from animal or vegetable fats, greases, and oils. Biodiesel can be used in most conventional diesel engines with NO modification.
- Since biodiesel is produced from oil and grease feedstocks, it can be produced on a long-term, renewable basis.
- With even 2% biodiesel added, fuel burns more efficiently and even improves the efficiency of retrofit technologies like diesel oxidation catalysts and particulate filters by inhibiting the accumulation of ash.
- Biodiesel is significantly less toxic than petroleum diesel, and is more biodegradable than petrodiesel, reducing the negative impacts of spills.
- Biodiesel is four times as efficient as diesel fuel in utilizing fossil energy. Biodiesel yields around 3.2 units of fuel for every unit of fossil energy consumed in the lifecycle. By contrast, petroleum diesels life cycle yields on only 0.83 units of fuel product per unit of fossil energy consumed –Biodiesel Lifecycle Inventory Study, DOE & USDA, 1998
- An estimated 6 million gallons of yellow grease are generated each year by restaurants and food service companies in the Philadelphia area.
- An estimated 10 million gallons of trap grease are generated each year in the Philadelphia area. Trap grease does not have a value in the market place – it is incinerated or dumped in landfills.
- Restaurants must pay for both yellow grease and trap grease removal. Some refuse to comply with city codes and dispose of the waste illegally, in dumpsters and down sewer lines.