We generate about 2.9 billion gallons of oil waste every year in the United States of which the majority is disposed at a landfill or treated at a bio fuel or rendering site. It is important to keep in mind that this figure goes back to 2000. If we were to use that oil waste to replace the energetically equivalent amount of petroleum, almost 1% of US oil consumption could be offset. We can take advantage of the oil waste to create energy and heat onsite generating thousands of megawatts and BTU’s every year.
Bio-diesel production utilizes Methanol (a petroleum product) and Lye (Sodium Hydroxide, a hazardous caustic agent) to convert vegetable oil into a fuel similar to diesel fuel. Up to 25% of a bio-diesel batch is converted to glycerine. While glycerine is a common food sweetener, the glycerine produced from the biodiesel process is contaminated with methanol and lye, and must be disposed of as a hazardous waste, usually by burning. It is not financially feasible to remove the methanol and lye components from the glycerine to satisfactory levels, where the glycerine would be considered a food-grade product.