Biodiesel Review published by Utah Biodiesel Supply
August 2011
Traveling With Biodiesel  
The summer of 2011 is drawing to a close and with it has come Biodiesel powered vacations, Biodiesel conferences, high fuel prices, and some great success stories of Biodiesel in vehicles with DPF filters still installed! Grab a chair and some popcorn, it's time for Biodiesel Review!
In This Issue
Waste Veggie Oil Prices & Biodiesel
New Products At Utah Biodiesel Supply
Collective Biofuels Conference Report
Diesel Engine Updates
Waste Vegetable Oil Pricing & Biodiesel

-by Graydon Blair, Utah Biodiesel Supply 


At the start of 2011 the US Federal Government reinstated the dollar per gallon tax credit for commercial Biodiesel producers. The EPA also released a policy called RFS 2 as well. Combined, these two events have created incredible demand for waste vegetable oil in the commercial arena causing the value of waste vegetable oil on the commercial market to sky-rocket. 


How Much Is Waste Vegetable Oil Really Worth?

Glad you asked...according to the latest data from the USDA National Weekly Round-up Report, waste vegetable oil, commonly referred to as "Yellow Grease" in the industry, is worth $0.44 per pound. WVO weighs about 7.5 pounds per gallon which puts the price of WVO right at $3.30 per gallon (and no, that's not a typo--it really is that high).


Why WVO Is Worth So Much

We believe that the main reason WVO is currently selling so high is because Biodiesel plants are willing to pay top dollar for WVO because they're selling every drop they can fast as they can make it plus they're getting a dollar per gallon from the US Federal Government and in some cases are netting upwards of an additional $2.12 per gallon from something called a RIN (Renewable Information Number--from the EPA RFS2 Policy). 


So before they've even sold a drop of fuel, it's possible for a Biodiesel plant to make $3.12 per gallon IN ADDITION to what they will sell the Biodiesel for on the open market. 


So How Might This Effect Homebrewers?

With WVO prices so high, many commercial oil collectors are now starting to pay restaurants for their oil. Because this is happening it can mean that the restaurants you collect oil from may be getting solicited by other companies willing to pay them for the good stuff. 


With the economy in tough times and restaurants looking to make an extra buck wherever they can, you may soon find yourself in a very tricky situation of convincing a restaurant to stay with you vs giving their oil to another oil collector.


How To Keep Your Restaurants Giving You Their Oil

It's all about the value proposition you bring to the table. In other words, you have to answer the question "Why should I give my oil to you and not someone else?" better than anyone else.


Here's a few idea's you can use to build your own value proposition that I've garnered from those I speak to day in and day out.

1. Educate a restaurant on where the oil goes

- This could be as simple as showing that when the oil is given to you it stays in their community vs being sold out of state and in some cases out of the country. 

- Share with them how you use the oil to make Biodiesel and how Biodiesel benefits their community by improving the environment, the air we breath, the reduction in foreign oil, and on and on and on (see where I'm going?)

- We've even used flyers and brochures (see our example here)


2. Give the restaurant something in return

- Eat at their restaurant regularly (and make sure they're aware that you do!) Bring your friends & family there as well. 

- Make soap out of your Biodiesel glycerin or even from some of the oil you collect and give it to the restaurant to use

- Create a decal for the restaurant to display that indicates that their oil is being used responsibly and benefiting the community

- Advertise the restaurant on your website or any way you can. (I even knew one Biodieseler that would make up magnetic signs with the restaurants name and would put them on the back of his tailgate under a decal that said, "This truck powered by grease from...." The restaurants LOVED it! Free advertising!

- Let them know that you appreciate them and that they're helping to keep the oil in their community. 

- Power wash the back of their restaurant on a regular basis to keep it clean. You wouldn't believe how many restaurants will LOVE this type of service and will forgo being paid by another collector simply because you're willing to do this


3. Be Professional

- Treat the oil collection like a business. 

- Be punctual, be clean, and be polite to the restaurant staff & patrons. 

- Keep on top of your collection barrels. Don't ever let them get too full and if they call you to come & get the oil, do it as soon as possible!

- Remember, you may be competing with several other companies or individuals that want that restaurants oil. Doing everything you can to keep your restaurant happy can mean the difference between getting oil regularly and coming up empty handed


Dealing With Oil Theft

With the value of waste vegetable oil being so high, we're also seeing a rise in oil theft among home brewers and commercial oil collectors. Thieves know it's worth money and are going to great lengths to get it. 




To combat this, be sure your oil collection container is secured in the best way possible. This could include adding a locking lid to your oil collection drum; chaining the drum to a post (yes, people really do steal drums), or just asking the restaurant staff to be on the lookout for potential thieves.




Another way to combat theft is to collect the oil from your drums more often. Keep the drum from getting as full as the rest of the surrounding drums and thieves may just "move on to greener pastures" (or drums that have more oil in them).  



Also consider locating your drums in difficult to access areas such as behind chained fences or in an area that may be difficult for a thief to get to.


Some collectors have even been able to get the restaurants to put the oil back in cubies (5 gallon carboys) and keep them in the restaurant for pickup. While this might mean more work for the Biodieseler to pick up the oil more often, it means that when they get to the restaurant, the oil is there.


If you do have theft going on in your containers, an easy way to figure out who's doing it is to purchase and mount a motion activated camera near your collection barrel. Then, if theft occurs, pull the photos off the camera and see if you've caught your thief. Just be sure to secure the camera well enough that the thief doesn't haul off your camera too.


We've heard that you can pick up a wild-life motion activated camera fairly inexpensively from a local hunting outlet such as Cabella's. Hopefully, you'll never have to deal with theft, but, if it does occur, you're now armed with some tips & tricks for preventing it.


As the price of waste vegetable oil goes up, so will the demand for the oil. Hopefully, you'll now be ready to deal with it should you end up competing with another collector. Just remember to keep offering value to your oil sources, keep it professional, and work at it and the oil will hopefully continue to flow!

New Products At Utah Biodiesel Supply

Check out the latest crop of cool,  

new products recently released!

 Mini-Scan Biodiesel & Feedstock Analyzer  

This cool, new analyzer will read Total Glycerin, Free Fatty Acid Percentage, and Total Acid Number in oil feedstocks and Biodiesel extremely accurately. It can be used as a quality control device to monitor incoming oil, in process Biodiesel production, and finished Biodiesel prior to it being used.

It's accurate to ASTM levels so it can be used in commercial environments with great confidence! Similar to the SafTest we've carried in the past, this device uses Spectrometry and enzymes to accurately read quality control levels. 

 Click Here to Learn More!  

 Heavy Duty Drum Funnels 

Heavy Duty Drum Funnels  

If you've ever had to pour large amounts of oil or glycerin into a drum, you'll love this funnel! Made from heavy duty 14 gauge steel and a super wide 23" opening, they're great at keeping spills to a minimum!



They're available with a heavy duty straining grate and breather tube welded right into the funnel so filtering really dirty oil becomes a breeze!



Made from the same heavy duty steel as our popular drum cones, these funnels have a 2" bung welded to the bottom allowing them to screw right into any standard 2" fitting. 55 Gallon metal & poly drums fit great!


Pick One Up Today!   

Save $200 On Centrifuges!

 We've received word from WVO Designs that the price on all the Raw Power Centrifuges will be going up by $200 on Monday, August 20th, 2011.


Pick one up before Monday, August 20th  

and save a cool $200!


Get Your Centrifuge Today! 

Collective Biofuels Conference Report

2011 Collective Biofuels Conference 

We just returned from the 2011 Collective Biofuels Conference in beautiful Duncan, British Columbia located on Vancouver Island in Canada.


The conference was well attended with participants from all over the United States, Canada, and even one from Iceland! This is the 5th year that the conference has occurred and the first year that it's ever been out of the United States and what a year it was! We had a great time, got to rub shoulders with some of the Biodiesel small scale giants, met new Biodiesel enthusiasts and finally put faces to long time friends.



Along the way we also picked up an incredible amount of knowledge that we'll be sharing with you in our regular newsletters. One of the most exciting developments shared was the success story of a 2009 Volkswagen TDI that had been running B100 Biodiesel in it over 30,000 and had had absolutely NO fuel related issues and a DPF that had generated only THREE TIMES since it was new (more on that later).

We heard the latest on algae based Biodiesel, details on RIN's & WVO values (see our earlier article), as well as the trials and successes of several other small scale Biodiesel production outfits; both on a personal scale and commercial scale.

While there, we put on a workshop for Biodiesel 101. We covered making a mini-batch, titrating waste vegetable oil, and testing Biodiesel with a 3/27 test and a basic soap shake-em up test.

Graydon Blair, Utah Biodiesel Supply

You can download our presentation file here:
Titrating WVO & Making a mini batch of Biodiesel

We also had a chance to see an incredible Biodiesel production setup run by the Cowichan Biodiesel Coop which included their production facility as well as their card-lock distribution pump (they even had an SVO Pump!! Very cool!)


If you missed the conference, don't fret. Video was shot of every speaker that presented which we'll be uploading to the Utah Biodiesel Supply YouTube channel (just as soon as we get all the video files edited). We're also teaming up with the past conference organizers and will be bringing you past conference video as well (also to be uploaded to our YouTube Channel).

Many of the presentations will be made available through the conference website at so pop on over and bookmark the site for future reference.

As with all the past conferences we've attended, we always bring along our camera and shoot a ton of pictures. This year was no different and our camera was loaded to the gills by the time we came home.

You can see all the photo's we took here:

Watch for some great articles coming up soon based on information we learned at this incredible conference!

Diesel Engine Updates

2011 Heavy-Duty Hurt Locker just released the results of the ultimate diesel pickup comparison test between Ford, Chevy, & Dodge. Tests were performed with a 2011 Ford F-350 Power Stroke, a 2011.5 Dodge 3500 High Output Cummins, and a 2012 GMC Sierra Duramax.


These trucks have massive amounts of horse power, torque, and trailer pulling capability. Pit them against each other on some of the toughest terrain in the United States and you'll get to see some of the most amazing feats ever performed by Heavy-duty pickup trucks! We're talking semi-truck amazing feats!


Add to that the fact that the Ford and the GMC are both B20 compatible right from the factory (Dodge is too--unofficially of course), and you've got some incredible diesel powered Biodiesel eating rigs that are up to the toughest challenges you can throw their way. Check out the story!


2009 VW TDI Jetta w/ DPF Biodiesel Success Story

While at the CBC conference, Dan Freeman of Dr. Dan's Biodiesel, shared a story about a bone-stock 2009 VW TDI Jetta with a diesel particulate filter still installed that had been running on 100% Biodiesel it's whole life; which was just over 30,000 miles. 


Plugging into the onboard computer, he was able to show that it had only regenerated the diesel particulate filter THREE TIMES over the 30,000 miles! Oil tests showed no signs of Biodiesel dilution and the car wasn't throwing any error codes or having any problems at all.


The secret? Dan attributes the success to using clean, well filtered Biodiesel and driving the diesel like it was meant to be driven. That means driving it over long distances, letting the engine reach full operating temperature, and running under load. He also said that the VW had had regular maintenance including fuel filters and regular oil changes. 


His belief is that if you regularly maintain your diesel, feed it good, well reacted, clean, filtered Biodiesel, and drive it like it was MEANT to be driven (bringing it up to full operating temperature), then Biodiesel can easily be run in diesel with DPF's installed. We thought that was great news! Be sure to watch his presentation when it comes out on our YouTube Channel in the near future! He had a short video of the very 2009 TDI running!


2008 Chevy Duramax w/ DPF Biodiesel Success Story

We have a great customer in Long Island that bought a 2008 Chevy Duramax brand new off the lot with the DPF installed. He's been feeding it a regular diet of 100% Biodiesel whenever the temperature's allow (between April to October) and a blend when it's too cold.


He's been analyzing the oil levels, the regeneration events, and taking measurements along the way. On Biodiesel he notices that it regenerates every tank and a half. His commute involves lots of stop & go traffic, so it's not exactly the ideal conditions to operate the truck under, but so far the engine has performed flawlessly. The truck has just over 30,000 miles on it and he believes 15,000 of those miles have all been on B100. 


His secret? Again, well reacted & well filtered Biodiesel (he makes his fuel in a BioPro 190 and tests along the way), well filtered, and a good maintenance regimen on the truck. He changes his oil about every 3,000 to 4,000 miles and has noticed that whether it's running on B100 or straight petro, the oil level does indeed climb. However, in tests that he's performed on his oil, the engine shows normal wear and has been operating extremely well. Watch for an article in the near future about his great setup and the success he's having!


So, it appears that there is hope for burning high blends of Biodiesel in DPF Equipped vehicles. Keep the fuel clean, make sure it's well reacted, change your oil regularly, swap out the fuel filters, and maintain the vehicle and you too might just see the same success!


Have a DPF success story? Send it in! We'd love to hear about it!!

Thanks for being a part of the Biodiesel Review family! We hope you enjoyed this issue.

Do you have a topic you'd like to see covered in future issues? We're always looking for cool topics to cover here so send in your idea! Send it to with the subject line NEWSLETTER SUGGESTION.




Graydon Blair
Utah Biodiesel Supply
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