REV Biodiesel concludes used fryer oil drive from holiday months

By Bryan Sims | January 31, 2012

Gilbert, Ariz.-based biodiesel producer REV Biodiesel generated more than 10,800 pounds (more than 1,000 gallons) of used cooking oil from kitchens throughout Arizona’s East Valley over the span of its recently concluded annual Holiday Waste Grease and Oil Recycling Drive, which began Nov. 18 and continued through Jan. 13. During that time, the public could dispose their used cooking oil at any of nine Gilbert Fire Stations spread throughout the city, five participating Mesa Fire Stations and the Temple Emanuel, whose members for the third year in a row contributed used cooking oil generated over eight days of Hanukkah celebrations.

“We have a remarkable community and this is yet another example of how the people of Gilbert and all the East Valley are committed to keeping our communities clean and environmentally friendly,” commented Gilbert Mayor John Lewis. “It’s a pleasure to be able to partner with a forward-looking business like REV Biodiesel to promote clean technology and alternative energy opportunities.”

Dan Rees, president of REV Biodiesel, told Biodiesel Magazine he too welcomed the commitment and support exhibited by the fire department in Gilbert and Mesa, as well as the Temple Emanuel, for their waste cooking oil donations.

“They’re all extremely supportive, and that was encouraging,” Rees said.

Rees said that his company has begun recycling the spent cooking oils and is converting it into biodiesel at its 30 MMgy production facility in Gilbert, adding that the company is able to achieve nearly a 100 percent conversion rate from the waste cooking oil.

Although the amount of waste cooking oil accumulated tends to spike during the holiday used cooking oil collection drive, now in its third consecutive year, REV Biodiesel regularly accepts used cooking oil donations from the public and local restaurants year-round, amassing on average 300 to 400 gallons a month. 

“It’s extremely high-quality oil because all people have done is deep fry a turkey with it,” Rees said. “We do acid esterification on the used vegetable oils collected from restaurants so we still get extremely high yields. On the low side we’re at about 97 percent yields.”

In addition to waste vegetable oil, Rees said the plant is also capable of processing some tallow. He said his company is also looking to expand using locally sourced feedstocks such as cottonseed oil, which is currently pending approval by the U.S. EPA to be a qualifying feedstock under RFS2. In fact, Rees said he talked to the National Cottonseed Products Association and wrote the organization a letter of support to the EPA to help get the feedstock approved.

“[Cotton growers] have no reason to crush the oil out of it because there’s not much of a market for it right now,” Rees said. “What better market to supply that oil as feedstock for the biodiesel market?”


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