Multimedia Story: Waste Can Be Energy — Waste Cooking Oil Turns Into Biodiesel Fuel

People may often cook fried food, but they may not know the waste oil left can be used in trucks or can even power a facility after it is processed. Alachua County, Florida is collecting such waste oil and converts it into a resource.

Alachua County collects waste cooking oil from local events. The photo story explains the three stages of recycling waste cooking oil from Gainesville Downtown Festival and Art Show on November 16 and 17 in 2013 for biodiesel fuel: how the waste oil is generated, how it is collected and how it is converted into biodiesel fuel.

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Mike Keim, the environmental specialist from Alachua County Environmental Protection department explained how they got the idea from a high school student in an interview on December 3, 2013 in Gainesville, Florida.

The graphic below shows the amount of energy generated from a drum of waste cooking oil.

graph 1Dr. Ann C. Wilkie from the Soil and Water Science Department at the University of Florida commented on Alachua County’s effort in collecting and recycling waste cooking oil in an interview on December 6, 2013 in Gainesville, Florida.

Residents can drop waste cooking oil at Alachua County Hazardous Waste Collection Center and other five rural collection centers in Florida.

 

Alachua County picks up waste cooking oil regularly from two restaurants in Gainesville, Florida: Emiliano’s Cafe and Manuel’s Vintage Room. Marco Chavez, chef and owner of Manuel’s Vintage Room shared his experience in collecting waste cooking oil for Alachua County in an interview on December 7, 2013 in Gainesville, Florida.

Many people are discussing about how this recycling technology should be expanded to get biodiesel fuel.

Dr. Pratap Pullammanappallil from the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at the University of Florida commented on the point of view of mass production of biodiesel fuel from waste cooking oil in an interview on December 4, 2013, in Gainesville, Florida.

Dr. Ann C. Wilkie from Soil and Water Science Department at University of Florida explained it is good to keep recycling waste cooking oil in a small unit instead of producing large scale of biodiesel in an interview on December 6, 2013 in Gainesville, Florida.

The graphic below shows the results of dumping waste cooking oil down the drain according to Dr. Ann C. Wilkie.

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