Waste Oil Collection Service
Alternative Feedstock for Biodiesel and how we process it
While the majority of U.S. biodiesel is still produced from soybean and canola oil, the role of alternative feedstock has increased steadily over the past decade. The term “alternative feedstock” includes waste oils such as yellow and brown greases, crude corn oil from ethanol production, and fats derived from animal byproduct rendering. As a percentage of the total feedstock pool, alternative feedstock represents an average 39 percent of the feedstock used in U.S. biodiesel production from 2010-’17. Yellow grease (YG) and crude corn oil (CCO) have emerged as the clear leaders in alternative feedstock use, with their volumes increasing significantly since 2011. While both feedstock have their own processing challenges, they have two things in common catapulting them to the front of the pack. Both YG and CCO are readily available in large quantities, and they represent feedstock with low carbon intensity, meaning there is less carbon dioxide emitted in producing the fuel compared to other feedstock sources.
The processing issues associated with yellow grease, including high levels of free fatty acids (FFA) and water/solids contamination have been known for many years. Eslinger process engineers have designed our processing facility to handle these characteristics with technologies able to process FFA inputs of up to 100% with any level of contamination. For us, the biggest drivers for this type of feedstock are: availability in large quantities, diversion from landfills and water treatment plants and favorable carbon intensity value assigned to YG and WVO biodiesel in California’s low carbon fuel standard (LCFS).
Brown grease is another alternative feedstock derived mainly from grease trap waste, which can contain up to 90 percent water. Obtaining brown grease in substantial quantity means we first needed to set up dewatering and filtration equipment for recovering the feedstock. From there our feedstock goes through a solid catalyst acid esterification process and then on to enzyme transesterification, coalescent separation and finally, distillation. With tightening laws for disposal of grease trap waste in California, we will pre-process our feedstock on-site and use any excess brown grease we collect in an anaerobic digester planned for 2019. We also expect to double our biodiesel production capacity to 10 million gallons that year.
Most alternative feedstock possess some level of contamination that require additional processing beyond traditional resin adsorption. Another major challenge in processing alternative feedstock is the poor cold temperature properties of the finished fuel. We have overcome those issues by installing one of the few Biodiesel Distillation columns in the country. Eslinger B-100 – D meets customer needs for very low levels of monoglycerides, exceptional cold soak filtration times, and consistent color.
A strategic partner of Eslinger Biodiesel Inc., Ameriguard Maintenance Services diverts waste oils from local landfills and converts it into a usable feedstock at the Eslinger Bio-refinery.
More information about Waste Oil Collection Services by AMS is available at this website: ameriguardsvc.com
About Ameriguard Maintenance Services (AMS):
4681 E Vine Ave, Fresno, CA 93725
Established by Michael Bessonov in 2003, the company’s business model centers around the collection of recyclable fats oil and grease (FOG) and expired food waste from restaurants and major food processors. The company grew from 8 heavy-duty transport vehicles to 24 trucks and 28 employees today. AMS trucks have a maximum capacity of 8,000 gallons each, transporting over 12MM gallons of WVO per year. The collection company now operates with over 1200 accounts in California, Nevada and Arizona.
In 2008 AMS began developing a pre-process system that up-grades the quality the recyclable products for use in the biodiesel refining process. The expanded pre-treatment facility now has an annual capacity of 10 million gallons. The advanced enzyme and distillation processes on-site at the Eslinger Biodiesel plant transforms multiple feedstock provided by AMS into the highest
quality-certified biodiesel product on the market today.
AMS will soon be adding additional vehicles to transport crude glycerol – a byproduct from other biodiesel facilities – to the EBI plant for refining to a technical grade glycerin product for the plastics and paint industries. The capacity of the glycerin purification unit will reach 5 MM gallons when Phase 2 construction is completed. Pick up services are available by contacting AMS directly. Feedstock for the biodiesel and glycerin refining processes can also be received at our transfer station by tote, truck or rail car.