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New biodiesel source in Denton

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  • New biodiesel source in Denton

    From the Denton Record-Chronicle:

    Link to article

    ‘Fry oil to fuel’

    Biodiesel Industries plans to offer alternate fuel to North Texas soon

    08:46 AM CST on Sunday, November 13, 2005

    By Cliff Despres / Staff Writer

    Oil used to make french fries already is used to make biodiesel fuel for city trucks in Denton and across North Texas, but it could soon power personal vehicles, too.

    DRC/Barron Ludlum
    Trey Stapleton of Biodiesel Industries pumps grease from a recycling bin behind Ruby’s Diner.
    Biodiesel Industries, the company that runs a new plant at the Denton city landfill to convert oil and animal fat into biodiesel, a clean-burning alternative to petroleum diesel, plans to offer it at a public gas pump here in a few weeks.

    Biodiesel costs $2.50 a gallon, about the same as regular diesel.

    But company officials say they will lower the price of biodiesel with its “fry oil to fuel” program, in which they collect used grease from 60 area restaurants. Right now, they must buy vegetable oil from farmers to supplement used grease. Getting more used grease can lower production costs, said Blake Morgan of the company.

    “Then we’ll open up the first-ever 24-hour public pump in the Dallas-Fort Worth area,” possibly in a month or two, Morgan said. “The demand is there.”

    There are only a handful of public biodiesel fuel pumps in North Texas. Carl’s Corner near Hillsboro offers Bio_Willie, made famous by singer Willie Nelson.

    State and federal legislation supports biodiesel to improve air quality by reducing toxic vehicle emissions. Morgan calls it a “steppingstone fuel” that can extend diesel supplies until new technology develops, reducing U.S. reliance on foreign energy.

    In March, the nation’s first fully renewable biodiesel manufacturing plant, which converts used frying oils into biodegradable biodiesel using power derived from landfill gases, opened at the Denton landfill. California-based Biodiesel Industries built the $3 million plant in partnership with the city.

    The plant can produce up to 3 million gallons of biodiesel, one part virgin vegetable oil, used fry oil and animal fat and four parts regular diesel.

    The company has produced 100,000 gallons so far.

    Most is sold to the city of Denton, which fuels its solid waste and landfill vehicles. Diesel engines do not have to be altered to run on biodiesel. Remaining fuel is sold to distributors in Sherman and Addison, and also is used as BioWillie at Carl’s Corner.

    “We’re having success,” said Vance Kemler, city solid waste director.

    But getting enough cooking oil to make biodiesel is a challenge, Morgan said.

    In the company’s “fry oil to fuel” program, a truck collects used grease each week from 60 restaurants, half in Denton. Together, that supplies 2,500 gallons a month, or 300,000 a year.

    However, all North Texas restaurants together produce 12 million gallons of cooking oil a year, Morgan said, and the company needs about 25 percent of that total. So he and others are trying to convince chain restaurants to participate.

    Restaurants normally ship off grease for use in animal feed or dispose of it in landfills, and they sometimes pay to do so. Others pour grease down drains.

    “We’re finding a better use for it,” and we’re picking it up for free, Morgan said.

    Once they get enough grease, company officials can sell biodiesel to the public, Morgan said, using a pump located at a yet-determined Denton gas station.

    City Council Member Perry McNeill urged chain restaurants to participate in the grease-recycling program, and said regular people could do their part, too.

    “Buy more french fries,” he said.

    CLIFF DESPRES can be reached at 940-566-6876. His e-mail address is .


    A biodiesel plant opened at the Denton city landfill in March. Here’s how it works:

    * Decomposing waste at the landfill produces methane gas.

    * The gas is extracted by specially designed boilers and an electrical generating system that will provide heat and electrical energy to power the plant.

    * A truck delivers unused vegetable oil from farms or used oil from area eateries to the plant; restaurants can get more information on how to get involved at the grease-recycling program’s Web site, .

    * The plant’s screening system removes large chunks from the oil.

    * The oil is heated up in holding tanks to remove water and particulates.

    * In other tanks, a catalyst is added to the oil that breaks it up over a few hours into 10 percent glycerine and 90 percent biodiesel fuel.

    * The biodiesel is moved to holding tanks for more polishing.

    * The fuel is then pumped to a nearby filling station for Denton city vehicles or sold to other entities.

    Source: City of Denton and Biodiesel Industries
    Last edited by K5ING; 11-13-2005, 10:59 PM.
    Jeff in Texas
    Silver 2001 Golf GL TDI 5-speed
    258,500 miles since 5/1/01 and climbing! :eek:

  • #2
    Re: New biodiesel source in Denton

    Good News

    I still eagerly await regulation of diesel to the same standard as gasoline so the consumer is protected in the event of a bad fuel purchase. The irony is that gas stations are required to have the octane rating on pumps and to cover repairs if the product causes damage. This is not necessarily the case for dino diesel much less a blended biodiesel product.


    • #3
      Re: New biodiesel source in Denton

      Ive been on B20 since May. Switched to B50 a month ago and now my latest tank was B100 which I will stay with as long as I can get it.

      I aint scared.
      2005 Golf GLS TDI Black/Black
      1987 Porsche 911 Carrera Targa


      • #4
        Re: New biodiesel source in Denton

        One of the things that has me excited about the Denton biodiesel plant is that it's a big outfit. $3M invested in a plant that can make 3 million gallons of biodiesel a year? I think the quality will be good.
        Last edited by K5ING; 11-13-2005, 10:59 PM.
        Jeff in Texas
        Silver 2001 Golf GL TDI 5-speed
        258,500 miles since 5/1/01 and climbing! :eek: