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Renewable fuels are made from decaying biomass, such as algae and recycled cooking grease. People have been using renewable fuels for a millennium in the form of wood and carbon to cook food, heat homes, and even power steam engines.

From heating homes to offering an efficient alternative to gas for vehicles, biofuels are highly resourceful. Yet, many people are unaware of their many applications. At SeQuential, we collect cooking grease from various facilities along the West Coast and across the United States which is then turned into renewable fuel by our parent company, Neste. Here, we explore 5 uses for renewable fuel and biofuels in general, explaining why they are a practical and sustainable alternative to fossil fuels.

Uses for renewable fuels

1. Renewable Fuel

Renewable fuel is increasingly getting attention for its many uses. It is made by refining used home cooking oil and waste cooking grease from restaurants in a process called transesterification. As a big advantage, renewable fuel emits fewer greenhouse gases than fossil fuels. It can be used alone but is typically mixed with petroleum-based diesel. Some of its applications include:

  • Power compression-ignition engines: Found in transportation and industrial vehicles, renewable fuel can be used to fuel compression-ignition engines in cars, buses, boats, tractors, forklifts, and other engines that require diesel fuel.
  • Cleanup oil spill: The number of crude oil spills – at sea and on land – continues to increase. Since renewable fuel is an environmentally friendly lipid, it coagulates crude oil, allowing cleanup crews to skim off crude petroleum more easily from open water and shorelines.
  • Energy generation: Renewable fuel can be used to generate energy, such as electricity to power schools, hospitals, and even homes.
  • Heat generation: Non-toxic renewable fuel may be added to or replace other costly and non-renewable heating fuels in residential and commercial furnaces and boilers.
  • Paint and adhesive remover: Traditional paint and adhesive removers are often very toxic. Renewable fuel removes paint and adhesives just as well as traditional methods without the toxicity risk.
  • Solvent: Renewable fuel is a highly effective solvent and grease cleaner and is used to clean industrial-sized engines and metals or those found in home garages.

2. Ethanol

Ethanol is made from plant matter, and sugar and corn cane are popular flora used to create ethanol. It is commonly combined with petroleum and available at gas pumps across the nation. It accounts for nearly all biofuel production and consumption in the U.S.

3. Methanol

While methanol is categorized as alcohol, it can be derived from plant and animal biomass. One of its main uses is to provide fuel for vehicle engines.

4. Biogas

Landfills and decaying waste are excellent sources of biogas, a gas emitted through biomass anaerobic decomposition. Biogas is composed mainly of methane, which can be removed and used just like any other natural gas to heat homes and buildings. The main difference is that biogas is a renewable resource.

5. Hydrogen

Hydrogen is a clean biofuel produced from biomass, solar power, and wind energy. When consumed via a fuel cell, its only emission is water. This makes hydrogen exceedingly eco-friendly. It can be utilized to generate electricity for cars, homes, and in many other settings. It is also highly transportable.

Learn More About Biofuel Uses from SeQuential

If you want to invest in green energy, consider recycling used cooking oil with SeQuential. We work with organizations in the Portland, Oregon, and South El Monte, California, area, as well as businesses throughout the country. Our team collects waste cooking grease, and then our parent company, Neste, refines it and sells it to fleet managers and energy distributors that need it. This supply chain helps reduce carbon emissions and enables local economies to thrive.

Whether you’re a fleet manager who wants to reduce emissions, a retailer who wishes to offer low-carbon fuel, or a distributor who prefers to sell renewable fuel to customers, we have a solution for your needs. Contact our service team to learn more about your recycling options.

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