Locally-Sourced Waste Grease Biodiesel: The New San Francisco Treat?

san francisco skyline photo

photo: Trey Ratcliff

What is a city to do for it 1500 vehicle strong diesel-powered transportation fleet after already converting them all to run on biodiesel? Reduce the distance that biodiesel travels from point of manufacture to the filling station, obviously.

Though San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom has only just announced the project and it still needs to go through additional approval steps, the city of San Francisco and Darling International have indicated that they hope to build a biodiesel processing facility near Pier 92 on the city's waterfront.
The 7.5-10 million gallon per year facility would used locally-sourced recycled fats, waste grease and tallow to produce biodiesel, albeit in relatively small quantities for a commercial plant.

Fuel's Fuel Miles Reduced
Though now actual purchase agreement has been signed, the biodiesel would presumably be bought by the city. A city spokesperson indicated that rather than ship its fuel from the Midwest, "We want to buy locally produced biodiesel and cut out the thousands of miles it takes to have it transported to the city."

Zero Waste by 2020
Mayor Newsom added:

This facility will serve as a model for cities throughout the world who aim to reduce their carbon footprint and transform their grease waste into useable, sustainable energy. Turning waste generated by local restaurants and other businesses into a sustainable fuel source is yet another major step in reaching our goals of carbon neutrality for City Government by 2020, zero emission public transit by 2020, a 75% recycling rate by 2010, and zero waste in 2020.

As to why a waterfront location for this facility: Darling International already operates a rendering facility on Port Commission property. Under this proposal, Darling would be upgrading part of its facilities to be able to process biodiesel, as well as make "site beautification and other environmental improvements."

:: San Francisco Mayor's Office and :: Greentech Media
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