Circular Economy of Biodiesel

From the kitchen to the pump 

In our journey toward a lower carbon future, the concept of a circular economy has gained significant momentum as a favorable alternative to the more common linear economy. This economic model emphasizes the importance of resource efficiency, waste reduction and the regeneration of products and materials at the end of their life cycle. Discover how Chevron, Sheetz and Restaurant Technologies (RT) collaborate to establish a circular economy by converting used cooking oil (UCO) into biofuels.

Here are some key highlights from the video. 

Meet the experts

 Andy McConnell

 Jason Lawrence

 Ron Cardwell
Host/Restaurant Technologies

 Diana Geseking
Restaurant Technologies

Q: How does used cooking oil become biodiesel and what are some of the benefits? 

A: Jason Lawrence: It’s the consumers’ consumption of french fries and other fried foods that provides the feedstock of used cooking oil or UCO. We take the UCO to eventually produce biodiesel. Biodiesel is made from a variety of feedstocks like the UCO, which we get from companies like RT.

Those feedstocks are run through our processing facilities including pre-treatment and undergo a transesterification process to become biodiesel. The finished product, biodiesel, can be used as a blend stock, meaning it is blended with traditional petroleum diesel or renewable diesel or is used at 100%. This fuel has a much lower carbon intensity than traditional fuels. The adoption and use of biodiesel can result in improved air quality and less pollution.

Q: Why did Sheetz choose to work with Restaurant Technologies for the handling of the used cooking oil from the fryers and other food preparation equipment instead of throwing it away?

A: Andy McConnell: UCO is essentially a waste product. By choosing to sell it to Restaurant Technologies (RT) we have prevented it from going into a landfill, which is what would have happened if we threw the used oil out. Not only does the selling of the product to RT reduce the amount reaching landfills in the communities we service, but our relationship with RT takes it a step further and turns what would have been a waste product into a component in the production of renewable fuels.

Q: How does a service provider like Restaurant Technologies fit into the world of renewable fuels?

A: Diana Geseking: The core of Restaurant Technologies business speaks to sustainability. In 2023, we converted more than 314 million pounds of waste oil into renewable diesel or biodiesel, with Chevron and Sheetz playing a significant part in that. 

The importance of collective work

The synergistic arrangement between Chevron, Sheetz and RT in their respective roles provides the opportunity to create a circular supply chain configuration between three different companies. Consumers’ consumption of french fries and other fried foods creates used cooking oil help drive this relationship.

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