A good portion of turkeys will be fried in the coming week leaving gallons of used vegetable oil behind. Instead of throwing the oil away, one man discovered a way to turn it into diesel fuel.
Norman Dunagan, Founder and CEO of Dumpster Depot, started the Greenworks initiative a year ago. He's recycled oil from local restaurants, and most recently the West Carolina State Fair. Now, he's ready to take on fried turkey oil.
"This weekend I was shopping at my local store, and saw they had 2 pallets of vegetable oil they put on hand to sell for Thanksgiving Day, and it got me thinking that if that one store had 1,000 gallons of oil on the shelf that meant every store in the area had the same," said Dunagan.
Dunagan said through research he found that 10 % of turkeys are fried during Thanksgiving.
"We think there are going to be over 1,200- 3 gallon jugs sold just in our market, so that is around a 40,000 gallon opportunity for us to recycle instead of people's option today, which is not good," said Dunagan.
The phases to the process:
1) Water is eliminated from the oil.
2) Chemicals are mixed with the oil to get the glycerin to bind with the fats.
3) Take out all the glycerin and methanol.
Dunagan said this creates a higher quality diesel fuel then you can get at the pumps.
Through this process he not only eliminates waste going to the landfills, but also cuts his company costs in half by using this fuel for his company trucks.
Dunagan said the best part is nothing is wasted.
The leftover glycerin from the process can then be used to make soap. The methanol gets put back into the new batches of biodiesel.
He said more than 90% of fuel is yielded from each batch, and that's good news for the upcoming holiday.
Dunagan is setting up drop off sites in the Augusta- Aiken area to collect leftover oil from turkeys. To find out locations, visit DumpsterDepot.com in the coming week.
1336 Augusta West Parkway
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