Mini-Refinery Converts Fats, Oils and Grease into Biodiesel

BioFuelBox mini-refinery from BioFuelBox Corp.

The BioFuelBox mini-refinery from BioFuelBox Corp. converts fats, oils and grease from wastewater treatment plants into ASTM standard, low-sulfur premium B100 biodiesel. The FOG can come from grease trap waste delivered by pumpers, from scum in the clarification process or from algae in settling ponds.

There is no cost to the operator for the completely outsourced, on-site service. “We provide a service that includes all capital equipment, labor and energy,” says Richard Reddy, vice president of marketing. “We basically drop a micro-refinery and a team of our people on site to convert this waste into biodiesel — at no cost to the treatment plant.”

“We can sell that biodiesel back to the municipality at a discount. We are helping them get rid of a waste problem, and we are saving them money on what they normally pay for petroleum-derived diesel fuel. As a result, they are not only helping the environment by reducing waste, but are reducing carbon emissions by running the biodiesel in their vehicles.”

Should municipalities decide not to use the biodiesel, BioFuelBox will sell it on the open market, sharing some of the profits with the treatment plant. The mini-refinery requires a total staff of five, which BioFuelBox provides. Storage requirements vary. Municipalities that use the fuel might need several tanks to do it before transfer to a fueling depot. If the fuel is sold, two or three 20,000-gallon tanks might be needed, and the company provides them.

Reddy says it takes about two weeks to get a system operational. A complete micro-refinery would occupy a 40- by 60-foot site. The plant consists of three 10-foot-square skids delivered by flatbed trucks.

“One of the great things about making energy from waste is that it allows you to be very competitive as the price of oil goes up and down,” Reddy says. The system also works well with anaerobic digesters.

“We don’t take all the material that the digester takes — just the lipid material,” says Reddy. “And while you can put FOG into digesters, we’re producing seven times the amount of energy from that same gallon of waste. Working in harmony with the digester is a very important part of what we do. We can work in synergy. Some of our byproducts can go into a digester as well, creating energy that can offset electricity at the plant.” For information, call 888/383-5269 or visit


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