Baltimore/Washington airport concessions agree initiative to recycle waste cooking oil into biodiesel
Fri 13 Dec 2013 – North American airport concessions developer Airmall USA is to partner with Greenlight Biofuels on a waste cooking oil recycling initiative at Baltimore/Washington International Airport. Greenlight will collect the waste oil from tenants in the airport’s concession programme and recycle it into biodiesel, a fuel alternative the company claims can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 78 per cent. On average, every 100 gallons of processed oil is equivalent to 70 gallons of biodiesel, which can offset up to 1,212 pounds (550kg) of carbon emissions. The UK’s Heathrow Airport has been recycling all used cooking oil produced at the airport for some years now, with over 85 per cent being recycled as biodiesel, as part of its target to recycle 70 per cent of all waste generated.
As well as Baltimore/Washington, Airmall manages retail, food and beverage operations at Pittsburgh, Cleveland and Boston Logan airports. “We’re pleased to partner with Greenlight to implement a responsible alternative for disposing of waste cooking oil from airport tenants,” said Airmall Maryland Vice President Brett Kelly.
Greenlight Biofuels is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Greenlight Energy Resources, a renewable energy business with divisions covering biodiesel, wind, solar and wave. With offices in Maryland and Virginia, Greenlight Biofuels collects waste cooking oil from fast-food outlets, restaurants, cafeterias and hotels and taken to one of five facilities. Contaminants are removed before conversion into yellow grease and then through a transesterification chemical process into biodiesel.
Heathrow catering companies serve 76,500 people who work at the airport plus a further 180,000 passengers who pass through each day and the cooking oil used to prepare food needs to be disposed of appropriately to make sure it does not block pipes or pollute water courses. In 2009, 57,000 litres of used cooking oil was collected from Heathrow’s catering companies, which was sent off-site for conversion to biodiesel at a specialist facility before being added to the national vehicle fuel supply. The airport says it is looking at ways to re-use the biodiesel at Heathrow and help close the loop between the waste it produces and the fuel it uses.