Alternative Energy

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Alternative energy news, and information about renewable energy technologies.

Oct 24

Recycling Waste Vegetable Oil – Easy?

Posted in Biofuels | Environment and Sustainability | Transportation

Vegetable WasteIt’s almost too good to be true. Restaurants produce a large amount of waste vegetable oils. Currently they have to sell this grease to oil-recycling companies and are charged a pick-up fee for the service. These companies in turn recycle the grease and re-sell it on the commercial market for a profit. It is therefore relatively easy to find a free source for bio-waste from local restaurants. They would gladly have someone recycle their waste for free. This gives the small-scale biofuel user a great opportunity to decrease their fuel expenses while saving the environment – or does it?

One of the most popular myths about biofuel is that producing biodiesel at home is easy, and that anyone can do it. The dangers of making fuel at home should be obvious. The process involves working with large quanties of toxic and flammable fluids. Extensive technical experience and safety research are a must. Producing biofuel takes a great deal of dedication and labor. The truth is, producing home biofuel is not easy – it is complicated and extremely dangerous.

Not to mention that there are no universal production standards for small biofuel manufacturers. Home-brew operations produce biofuels with a wide variety of toxicity levels and waste by-products. These low standards are partially the result of shortcuts, irresponsibility and the use of mis-guided instruction from online sources. The online community has created many myths and misinformation about biofuel production techniques and procedures. Anyone who is considering saving money by making their own fuel should take a close look at the actual financial costs and careful dedication that are required in order to meet environmental safety regulations.

» Source: Biofuels

  • kevin blackburn

    this is the first time that i have heard of adding the methanol and “ly” what is the reason for that and what if you dont add it and run off of only vegetable oil?

  • Max Kennedy

    Lye, sodium hydroxide, and methanol remove some of the components in natural oils that can cause problems with valves sticking, oils gelling or cystallisation products forming in cold temperatures. The byproduct is glycerine and can be a pain to get rid of. The biodiesel, which is now what you have left, behaves more like regular diesel for those that don’t want to go to the trouble of dual tanks and dual fuel in cold weather.

  • Alan Lewis

    Yes, this is too good to be true. I’ve been hearing this for years, however, “free” vegetable oil is much harder to find than everyone makes it sound. I’ve been to many restaurants. They all have companies the come by any pick up the oil for free. Some even get paid a little. Maybe Southern California is the wrong place to look. There are several bio-diesel plants around and I imagine they are sucking up all the WVO.

    What might be helpful is to start listing the places that do the recycling so that you can buy it from them at a low cost.

  • jeff fennie

    I own 4 quick serve restaurants. My problem is the small recyclers who have picked up the waste have not been dependable. When they get tired of it and quit I get charged a fee to go back to big recyclers. Around a 150 fee. So I am very leary. I am getting to point of doing something myself though. We are switching to 0 trans fat and I am told this is much easier to work with.

  • jose gonzalez

    I own a restaurant in Pleasantville, NJ. I’m currently paying for oil pick up. Does anyone have info on how i could get this oil pick up for free?

  • Jose Rodriguez

    Hello Jose Gonzalez, I may be interested in your oil. email me

  • jose gonzalez

    Jose Rodriguez these email does not work.

  • Steve Watton

    The addition of lye and methanol is what’s needed to convert Waste Vegetable Oil (VO) into biodiesel.

    Some people convert their diesel autos so that they can run on WVO, which is a wonderful way of recycling. It costs a grand or so to convert an existing diesel car to run on WVO, but then you can essentially get free fuel as long as restaurants are paying to throw the stuff out. They’ll happily give it to you instead of paying the pickup fee. The issue of getting charged to go back to the recyclers just means you’re getting gouged. A company that is going to take your junk and turn it into something that makes them money should be picking it up for free: charging an initiation fee for the service is bull.

    Turning the WVO into biodiesel does make it more useful for normal diesel engines. It is – as Max said – better suited for diesel engines, largely because it’s less viscous and more volatile. But it comes with the disadvantages cited in the article. There’s a non-trivial processing that has to happen, and it involves doing chemistry that the average Joe shouldn’t take lightly. I have a Ph.D. in chemistry, and I absolutely agree with the idea that the hazards should be taken very seriously. Nevertheless, if done right, the biodiesel conversion CAN be done safely and effectively.

    It’s also true that the process does generate waste – particularly the glycerol that’s created in the process. However, glycerol has an awful lot of uses (it can be converted to fuels like ethanol and methanol, for example), and if biodiesel were to really take off, some smart person would recognize the potential of collecting the waste glycerol and using it for something useful. They might even be able to charge a few bucks for pickup, but that would still make the biodiesel a cheap fuel.

    There are substantial hurdles, and I agree that websites that make it sound trivial to cook up a batch in your garage are walking the line on safety. But I still think that biodiesel has a role to play in the fuel future, and until Exxon decides to corner the market and buy all of the VWO ouso that they can corner the market on biodiesel, people CAN take advantage of almost free fuel that’s out there for the taking.

    Of course, once Exxon starts making biodiesel, Detroit might actually start making cars with diesel engines. Until then, the biggest hurdle for the average person is finding a car or truck that actually has a diesel engine. They’re extremely common in Europe, but not here…

  • Lee Lewis

    Please email me the contact info to learn more about that slick little conversion machine. I would like to get into making bio-diesel. My email is


  • Bob Barnes

    I found this website called that created a system to make diesel fuel, in five minutes where there are no dangerous chemicals and no by-products to ge rid off.

  • NBF Waste Oil Disposal

    if you are in NJ and looking for free, reliable used cooking oil disposal please contact me very interested in your oil.

  • Philip Freedman

    I live in Edgewater, NJ. Personal use, need to dispose of about 2 gallons of cooking oil per month. Are there locations near me?

    Thank you for this vital service!


  • Andreas

    I am currently collecting and Re-using old Vegetable Oil..! But I’ve been told that there is a process that enables you to turn Solid/Semi-Solid Veg Oil into Liquid Veg Oil…!! is this Right and if so how is it done??

    Regards, Andreas

  • 427L88

    I’m thankful to have a good brewer as a partner, I’m the oil hunter.

    Brewing your own bio is not that hazardous except for the methohydroxide, which is volatile. Careful titration is key, and even more important is sourcing GOOD oil. Smaller restaurants/pubs w/o grease traps will often throw the cleaning solutions they use on the fryers in the WVO, and its awful to try and get that soap out of the bio.

    Its a very simple process, and you can get started for less than $1000 if you’re resourceful.

    My E300 MBz runs BETTER on B100 than any other mix, and surprisingly(?) gets better fuel mileage.

    We formed the Western NY BioDiesel Coop to be able to pay restaurateur’s for their good oil. Yes, we ask they don’t throw cleaners in the grease barrel, but for that inconvenience, they get a check and a clean WVO pickup area. And if they have a suitable diesel vehicle, they can become a member of the coop and buy fuel at cost.

    Its preferred to keep the brewing ” at home”, I believe, due to road fuel tax issues, etc. Last year NYS passed a tax free exemption for all alternatives, so at least the tax state is with the program.

    Unfortunately, at the national level, WE THE PEOPLE don’t have as much of a voice as THEY THE CORPORATIONS, but with a strong grass roots following, biofuels CAN become on eof the alternative in our energy mix.

    Restaurateur/ biodiesel coop partnerships, or individual partnerships with biodieslers are what makes the whole thing possible. Treat your restaurant owners well, and they’ll provide you with all the WVO you need.

    Up here in WNY, we have to be careful of year round restaurants, as they still produce WVO and it needs to be serviced, so don’t bite off more than you can chew. In NJ, you ‘ll be able to run B100 ten months out of the year I presume. Its good until around 28 or so, roughly.

    Point is, if biodieselers treat their sources of WVO properly, we’ll be getting the lion’s share of good WVO, not the WMX’s of the world.

  • dale ferguson

    I have a pizza shop in western Wayne County Michigan. I have about 60 gallons of oil I need removed from the store. Contact me if interested

  • Sam

    I am a Deli owner and have some 20 Gallons of Used Vegetable oil in Bayonne.

    If you are interested please send email at

    Pickup or drop off.

  • benny bejarano

    I pick up your oil for free. If you are interested
    please contact me at –

  • 427L88

    For the record, the large recyclers here in WNY are paying some $/lb which seems to be around 8c-11c/gal. The WNY Bio Partnernship pays 25c/gal for good oil.

  • Kris

    I run a cooking oil management program in South Jersey, Delaware and the surrounding area. My company will supply waste tanks and offer free removal. We also have pump systems for larger restaurants/cooking facilities that pump the used oil diretly to the tank. Very cost efficient, safer than manually dumping into a tank and less messy. Contact me anytime for more information. Use a realiable service for your collection. The DEP is going to begin regulating bio-fuel manufacturing and may begin holding the supplier of the used oil responsible if it gets into the hands of inexperienced “home recyclers”. It can be dangerous for the recycler and their surrounding community. We have a fully licensed facility with experience engineers on staff. Email me for more information.

  • Kris

    My email address is (Omitted from previous email.)
    Kris – Monarch Environmental Bios

  • Keegan jarvis

    I’ve been looking into buying a machine (ba 100- from sweet home biofuel products.) It is my understanding that you supply it with the amount of ingredients; per its owners manual and let it do it’s thing. Evidently the glycerol: stays at the top or falls to the bottom (can’t remember)? At any rate; the fuel is separated from the glycerol. Does it react with plastic or metal containers. Does glycerol pose any known health hazard other than the potential explosive action? What does one do with the glycerol left over? How much glycerol would result from making 100 gallons of cooking oil based fuel. I’ve heard stories from quite a few smart guys! (ie. bury it, put it in a drum full of water, shoot a big consumer firework at it and watch the fire, use it as vegetation killer, leave it out side in freezing weather) All of these seem ill-advised; put lightly! Can anything safely be added to neutralize it? How explosive is this stuff really? Some would say its like PETN. Others swear it takes over 200 degrees Fahrenheit or an open flame to imitate it? Is it like all other explosive liquids; dependent on oxygen and must be tightly packed in a manufactured device to created a explosive effect? What hazard class division does glycerol fall under?

    Please e-mail response directly to me keegan Jarvis ratroket127[AT]

    Thanks for the knowledge!

  • Blurple Suburban

    We have a 1994 Diesel GMC 4×4 Suburban that runs on WVO, and we love it. I wish that I could get more oil in our area, but there are already big companies taking it all and shipping it to Seattle or to California for bio-diesel.

    If anyone knows of oil in Spokane, WA. Let me know, we are willing to pay for it. We process all our own oil, so it doesn’t matter how it comes.


  • Jim

    I am a small recycler located in Delaware. I have several restaurants that I currently service in New Jersey. I anyone needs their good vegetable oil picked up, send me an email. I also clean the WVO storage area’s monthly and Swap out barrels each time I pickup. Pickup is done weekly for most customers or Bi-Weekly for those that don’t produce must oil.

    Contact me at birneyj[AT]

  • Pat Kinghorn

    Saybolt is a petroleum testing lab, cargo surveyor, and tank calibrator. In Philly we can locally complete about 100 ASTM, UOP, API, IP test methods. Our company is in 200 locations around the world and we have regional centers of excellence in the NY harbor, Houston, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Rotterdam, Saudi, Singapore, that can run several hundred more analyzes than we do locally. We are ISO certified, have a robust quality system, and are audited locally by big oil and others, etc. For the most part, the tank cleaner’s stuff we can bang out locally FAST.
    Tel 610-583-4460

  • mike

    Every month i have 100 gallons waste vegetable oil.
    Manhatten 112 street.
    Contact me, if interested.
    Thanks Mike

  • Doug

    I am looking for a service provider to collect approximately 20 gallons per week of waste cooking oil in northern New Jersey. If you provide waste cooking oil collection services, please reply with information including:
    1. Price per gallon of used cooking oil.
    2. Collection schedule and frequency.
    3. End use.

  • Kris

    Monarch is currently operating in the following areas:
    Southern New Jersey (Princeton and south), South Eastern PA, and Delaware. If your business is in any of these areas, we are very interested in working with you. To answer Doug’s questions:
    1. We do not charge for removal. All service is free.
    2. Collection varies on area, but on average collection is every 3-4 weeks unless you need an additional pick up in between which is also at no charge.
    3. We are recycling the used oil in bio-diesel fuel and have a B20 blend that is working very well in our own vehicles and equipment. B20 is clean burning and has proven environmental benefits over 100% petroleum diesel.

    In addition, we also have pump systems available, which pumps the used oil directly from a fryer into a sealed collection tank. These are also provided at no charge.

    If you would like to schedule service or discuss our services in greater detail, please contact me at my email directly. or call me at 609-425-5906.

  • Hopkins

    I own a restaurant in Stone Mountain Georgia and would like to know if there are any companies that pick up oil free.

  • dan

    I am able and willing to pick up oil in all of the NJ / NY / and PA areas… we are a dedicated and responsible team and would welcome the opportunity to further discuss and establish a stress free and easy method of us relieving and business or personal cooking oil… If we can be of service please email at dan.paez7[AT]

  • Andrew Davison

    We are a Medium sized biofuel producer in Massachusetts. We service, RI, MA and S. NH. If anyone is interested in getting rid of their WVO we will arrange pickups and pay you for your oil. Feel free to contact us with any questions.

  • Adam

    I have a few thousand pounds of used cooking oil that I need picked up in northern new jersey. Please contact me at adam[AT]

  • Claudia

    I’m in Venice Beach, Ca and I have 20 gallons a month of used cooking oil, and I’m looking for someone or a company to collect it.

    If you provide waste cooking oil collection services, please reply with information including collection method and frequency.

    Thank you.

  • Jeffrey

    Stay tuned!! Finally a new technology that is installed at a restaurant, that will burn the cooking oil and covert it to power. It is developed by a company out of Dallas Texas and the hipe is that, all the fast chain restaurants are getting ready for this product is excited to implement. The company is called Perfectly green corp.

  • Chris

    You are correct about the dangers of this process. But with the current tax incentives from the government, any company that produces enough WVO is passing up an incredible opportunity to cut their costs. Whether it be using Independence Energy’s Processors to power their vehicles, use the biodiesel in their oil heating system or to power their diesel cars, the numbers can’t be argued with. Contact me with any questions please.

  • Lisa

    Does anyone know of restaurants, etc. in the Tampa Bay, FLorida area looking to get rid of WVO?

    Would love to get it for free…

    Please email at magnegascuva[AT]

    Thank you.

  • Garett Cormier

    Hi, I am looking to get rid of veg oil from my restaurant. We are located in Plymouth Ma. Does anyone know of a company that takes these oils?

    Thanks Garrett- Garcom01[AT]

  • Bill

    We are a non-profit organization that accept waste oil donations in Massachusetts. We will collect the oil for free and provide restaurants with tax deduction forms documenting the full value of the oil (restaurants can receive a $5,000 deduction). All proceeds are used to fund education programs in the state of MA. Contact us for details.

  • Pagano Biofuels LLC

    Small biofuel producer looking for wvo in south jersey area. contact for pickups mike 888-925-2240

  • Colin Henderson

    We collect from the whole of Scotland. Please call 0141 886 1010.

  • Shelly

    Here’s a good example of a successful vegetable oil recycling program at Boston University:

    “Recycle That Cooking Oil”
    Pilot program hopes to connect Fryolators to boiler rooms

  • Tom Leigh

    If anyone needs there cooking oil disposed of just let me know, you can contact me at 301-752-5818 or my email, wolfspider38 [AT]

  • Southern Grease Recycling

    Southern Grease REcycling (SGI) provides cooking oil and grease trap recycling services for biofuel usage in the Atlanta, GA area. 404-419-6887

  • tim wade

    Why have the blogs on bio-diesel died down?
    Has interest died along with the industry?
    I have a ready Mix company and want to buy 15,000 gal a week after testing bio in some of my older trucks.

    Where is the beef?

    who would i call to start off with 3000 gallons a week of wvo? cleaned or uncleaned OK

    Dallas area


  • Industrial Biofuel

    You guys should check out Industrial Biofuel. Their website is They recycle used cooking oil.

  • Macon A Change, Inc.

    We are a Non-Profit corporation in the Macon GA area willing to pick up WVO free of charge and once processed we are also wanting to sell the bio-diesel at little more than production cost. As a non-profit any and all proceeds will go into expanding our operation as well as grants and donations to school systems for a better education in GA. If you would be interested in helping us in any way including but not limited to, donating wvo, using our bio-diesel, donating to our cause, or any advice you might have feel free to contact us at Info[AT]


  • D. Nilsson

    I am looking for used cooking oil in the Houston, Tx area. I am very dependable and honest. Please contact me with small or large amounts. God bless!!

  • Barry

    Looking for a vegetable/salad oil recycler near Lexington, KY. We have the uncooked, clean stuff available and want to start collecting it for reuse. Probably 300-500 gallons/month. Anyone in the area interested??

  • Rob

    We may be interested in your oil in Lexington. Please email me at stro1[AT] and we can talk about.

    We are also looking for WVO in the Southern New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware Areas.

  • Jose gonzalez

    Have a restaurant in pleasantville, nj. anyone interested in picking up my oil? feel free to contact me@ 6098132245

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