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benefits, case studies, testimonials

Biodiesel for Municipalities

Cease the Grease

Discover how municipalities across the world are using Springboard Biodiesel processors to generate their own clean biofuel.

Case Study

Daphne Utilities, Alabama

Daphne Utilities General Manager Rob McElroy writes:“One of the greatest benefits biodiesel provides however is its ability to connect with the customer and get them excited about recycling used cooking oil so that the sewers and treatment plant processes are improved. This fact simply cannot be overstated: The customer holds the power to improve the sewer system. Getting him to want to do so is the responsibility of every utility.”

Daphne, AL is a town with a population of 25,000 people and growing. There are approximately 2 people per household, so their utility department has a customer base of approximately 10,000. Back in 2004, Daphne Utilities (see Testimonial) started to get fed up with the amount of maintenance money the town was spending on keeping the sewage system clean from FOGs (fats, oils and grease).

The results are impressive; they collect 300-500 gallons per month. (Sewer spills and grease blockages in the sewer system drop by 40% over the next four years.) Daphne Utilities did a study and determined that if each of their customers were to dump a teaspoon of used cooking grease down their drain just once a day, that would be the equivalent of one person pouring seven 55 gallon drums of cooking oil into the sewer system once per month. The two scenarios are equivalent. (If you were to see someone remove a manhole cover and dump that much cooking grease into your town’s sewage system, you might consider reporting a crime).

To address the problem head-on, Daphne Utilities launched a used cooking oil recycling program dubbed “Cease the Grease” in early 2004. The goal of the program is to directly target oil and grease in residential home use and change people’s cooking and clean up methods to limit damage to sewers.

Recycling stations are set up around the city – at gas stations, convenience stores, grocery stores, apartment complex laundry rooms and mailboxes, super stores and utility offices. Used oil containers are also distributed and cleaned after every use. Cost of jug: approximately $1.

But now Daphne has all this used cooking oilIt starts to build up until, in 2005, they discover biodiesel. They experiment with a lot of methods of making it until they hear about Springboard Biodiesel’s fully-automated BioPro biodiesel processor.

They purchased a machine in 2007. The rest is well-documented history:

  • Now they make 400 to 500 gallons per month.
  • According to Daphne Utilities, when diesel is at $3.00/gallon, they save $15,000 per year.
  • They use the glycerin in their anaerobic digester and they make soap out of the by-product which they distribute to their citizens to build awareness and remind people to “Cease the Grease”.
  • They’ve subsequently saved the city hundreds of thousands of dollars in sewer repair and maintenance costs.
  • They burn B20 in their utility fleet thereby diminishing diesel particulate matter in the air.

    Daphne Utilities General Manager Rob McElroy writes:
    “One of the greatest benefits biodiesel provides however is its ability to connect with the customer and get them excited about recycling used cooking oil so that the sewers and treatment plant processes are improved. This fact simply cannot be overstated: the customer holds the power to improve the sewer system. Getting him to want to do so is the responsibility of every utility.”‍

Case Study

Richard Tolleson of Hawaii Reserves

Hawaii Reserves

Fleet and Equipment Manager Richard Tolleson of Hawaii Reserves writes:

We work for a land management company. We manage 6,000 acres of farm land, commercial and residential properties, a shopping center, and much municipal infrastructure. I manage the fleet and equipment department; my worker Dan Clark (pictured with the BioPro 380) is a biochemistry grad who works wonders with the 380. In our 100+ batches, we’ve never lost one. We fuel backhoes, five different power-stroke F series Fords, a number of Kubota diesel mowers, forklifts, a mini-excavator, generators, pumps, and many other pieces of diesel equipment. We’ve developed a fine vac truck (we call it our Lipo-Sucker) and some great methodology for WVO collection. We also make about 1/3 of our batches from pork and chicken fats derived from large commercial kitchens nearby at the Polynesian Cultural Center and the Brigham Young University Hawaii Campus. We are located on Oahu’s windward side, about 30 miles North of Honolulu."

Case Study

Alachua County, Florida

The Hazardous Waste Department of Alachua County collects used cooking oil from businesses and residents. They own a BioPro 380 and they have been using it to convert that oil and fuel a Caterpillar XQ20P2 generator.

It’s a 22.5 KVA, 18 kilowatt generator made in 2004. They have been running the generator for about 5 years on straight biodiesel and that generator supplies power to an entire municipal building which runs AC and runs the BioPro, amongst other draws. Our contact at Alachua County says that the generator uses “less than 20 gallons per work day”. They never had to do anything to the generator to run it on bio. They love the program. They’ve made thousands of gallons of biodiesel in their BioPro 380.

Case Study

Florence Gas & Water

All the biodiesel we produce is blended and used in spreader trucks that land apply biosolids from the City of Florence, Alabama’s wastewater treatment plant. In addition, we have a waste oil collection program where our Recycling Department collects waste oil, curbside, from our residences. This program has been great for our city. We keep waste oil out of our sewer system which can cause clogs and overflows, and we use a recycled product to fuel vehicles that land apply a recycled product. It has been a “win win” situation for us!!"-Michael Doyle, Manager City of Florence Gas & Water / Wastewater Department