Turning Used Vegetable Oil into Fuel

September 25th, 2020 |  Categories Blog
Used Vegetable Oil

It’s easy to assume that once you cook with vegetable oil, it will no longer be useful, and it’s best to properly dispose of it. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Whether you’re a home chef or run a commercial kitchen, your used vegetable oil is actually an important resource that can be transformed into SeQuential’s biodiesel, an environmentally friendly alternative to standard diesel. Here, we explain how our biodiesel from used cooking oil comes to fruition and how West Coast cooks and businesses can contribute to the cause.

It All Starts with Recycling

In 2008, SeQuential began recycling used cooking oil – for free – from kitchens of all sizes in California, Oregon, and Washington. Since then, we’ve become one of the leading producers of biodiesel, and it’s all thanks to used vegetable oil that we refine to create this green form of fuel. Our process for used cooking oil recycling differs slightly for home chefs and commercial kitchens as described below:

Home Cooking Oil Recycling

Once your used oil or grease has cooled completely, pour it into an air-tight container with a secure lid. Then, bring it to one of our West Coast drop-off locations for used cooking oil and pour it into our designated collection containers. Close the lid to our container tightly, and then you’re done.

Commercial Cooking Oil Recycling

We serve restaurants, universities, zoos, stadiums, food processors, and many other businesses that use cooking oil. First, we’ll provide your establishment with a complimentary storage container for your used oil. We’ll also arrange a pick-up schedule based on your unique grease output. On the designated dates and times, one of our trucks will come to your location, empty your container, and transport your used cooking oil to one of our refineries.

Whichever way you recycle, remember that all of our collection containers are for used cooking oil only – not solids, garbage, or other materials.

The Transformation into Biodiesel

All of the used cooking oil we collect is first strained to remove any leftover contaminants, like food particles, and water. We continue with a multi-step filtering process to ensure only pure vegetable oil remains.

Once the oil has been completely filtered, the oil, scientifically known as an ester, transforms into biodiesel through a chemical process called transesterification. During this process, the ester is combined with an alcohol, which begins a reaction that yields two substances: biodiesel fuel and glycerin. In the end, the glycerin is filtered out for use elsewhere, and the remaining biodiesel is transported to our fuel stations to be used with diesel-operated vehicles and machinery.

The Final Product: Eco-Friendly Biodiesel

SeQuential’s biodiesel is an eco-friendly alternative to petroleum diesel, with a carbon footprint up to 85% smaller. It’s also sustainable because biodiesel from used cooking oil is made completely with renewable resources. It is locally sourced from businesses along the West Coast, the production of our biodiesel is supporting the economies in the regions we serve. To learn more, contact us today.