Biodiesel Production Program

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Biodiesel Program (made possible through EECBG grant funds)

Biodiesel production program (funds obtained through grant – EECBG program funds)
To reduce fossil fuel consumption and fossil fuel emissions

You can be a part of it by donating used Cooking Oil (not grease, but Cooking Oil) in sealed plastic containers (such as a milk carton) and either taking it to the Smyrna Recycling Center or having it at curbside on recycling day (same day as your sanitation collection day).

The Biodiesel Program has three integrated goals, to 1) Reduce the City’s consumption of fossil fuel (diesel); 2) Reduce the City’s fuel costs; and 3) Reduce green house fossil fuel emissions from the City’s service fleet. An objective of the Biodiesel Program is to reduce fossil fuel (diesel) consumption of service vehicles by 25% by 2020, fossil fuel (diesel) emissions by 25% by 2025 and save approximately $25,000 per year (savings must be adjusted with emerging conditions).

The City of Smyrna has planned to have the proposed biodiesel processing plant fully operational by January 2012. Once the processing plant is operational, the City plans to slowly introduce B20 biodiesel into the service fleet. Once the service fleet is operational on B20, the City plans to make a portion of the service fleet fully operational on B100 biodiesel. Based on success and budget ability, the City would then look to using savings from the use of biodiesel to perhaps expand the program and add additional processing plants with a goal of getting a majority of the service fleet operating on B100 biodiesel.

The funds will be used to expand an existing Public Works building to create an area for two 55-gallon biodiesel processing plants with assorted storage tanks and containers. In addition to the facility improvements, funds will be used for associated start-up costs such as collection containers and drums. General public participation by local restaurants will be vital to the success of the program but citizens will be able to participate in the program.

Besides reducing fuel consumption costs and fossil fuel emissions, the proposed program will enhance the maintenance of the City’s service vehicles, extend the life of service vehicles, reduce the City’s purchase of diesel fuel, provide the City with an alternative fuel source, provide the City the opportunity to produce fuel during fuel shortages, reduce the City’s dependence on foreign oil, and improve the operation of the City sewer system by reducing the amount of cooking oil getting into the system.

The Biodiesel Program in Smyrna is modeled after the program implemented by the City of Hoover, Alabama. The program is operated in-house, by City of Smyrna employees. Public Works oversees the construction and maintenance of the building addition, assembly/operation of the processing plants, collection of the cooking oils and production of the biodiesel. The program is operated with existing staff and no additional staff will be hired for the implementation of the program.

The City of Smyrna is targeting the conversion of the City’s service fleet from diesel fuel to biodiesel. With two 55-gallon biodiesel processors, the City estimates the maximum production of biodiesel to be 2,200 gallons of biodiesel per month or 26,400 gallons per year. From April 2008 to March 2009, the City of Smyrna consumed 95,618 gallons of diesel fuel (analysis period used in grant application/program planning). At maximum production of biodiesel, the City would have the ability to reduce diesel fuel consumption by approximately 27% per year at a savings of approximately $32,000 (at Jan 2010 rates).

The use of biodiesel results in the substantial reduction of unburned hydrocarbons. Emissions of nitrogen oxides are either slightly reduced or slightly increased depending on the duty cycle of the engine and testing methods used. Based on engine testing, using the most stringent emissions testing protocol required by EPA for certification of fuels or fuel additives in the U.S., the overall ozone (smog) forming potential of the hydrocarbon exhaust emissions from biodiesel is nearly 50 percent less than that measured for diesel fuel. Savings per gallon: $1.21 per gallon or more (estimate at approximate time of Jan 2010 rates). 

The grant is managed by the City of Smyrna’s Community Development Department.