Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Stealing Grease

Thieves are stealing restaurant grease because they can get $3 per gallon for this product that is converted into biodiesel fuel.  Fairfax County, Virginia had eight grease/oil-theft reports in an eight-day stretch this month. 

One industry group, the National Renderers Association, estimates that 190 million pounds of used cooking oil — about 25 million gallons — is stolen each year. For comparison, the Exxon Valdez spilled about 11 million gallons of crude oil into Alaska’s Prince William Sound.

Canola oil bubbles and sizzles at 350 degrees for a week before a restaurant dumps it into a  bin and lugs it outside. Bacon grease and charbroiled burger fat are scraped in as well.   Workers then cook it and spin it through a centrifuge at 40,000 revolutions per minute to remove the solids. Recyclers sell the cleaned-up grease as an ingredient in livestock feed or for biodiesel production. (Wash Post, 6/26/2012)

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