Skip to main content

We are often asked… What happens to all the used cooking oil collected? The simple answer… BIODIESEL, among other things.

To help our clients understand the important role we all play in the waste oil recycling process, we’ve included The Cycle For Making Biodiesel Infographic above. Let’s follow the recycling process…

    1. That awesome meal you just ate at your favorite restaurant or cafeteria was prepared in cooking oil. The restaurant that prepared that meal for you collects all the waste oil generated by your meal (as well as the meals from other patrons) into large waste oil containment bins.
    2. Once these waste oil containment bins are full, the nice folks at NYCCAG neatly pump the used cooking oil into storage tanks housed on the NYCCAG fleet of trucks.
    3. This used cooking oil is then processed by filtration systems to separate the oil from food particles, foreign particulates, and water. 1,2
    4. Once this used cooking oil is purified, a biodiesel facility will add methanol or ethanol and sodium methylate as a catalyst along with heat in a chemical reaction known as ‘transesterification’ . Based on the amount of acidic content of the sample, these acids are then esterified into biodiesel, esterified into glycerides, or removed, typically through neutralization.
    5. And so, this once used cooking oil used to prepare your meal has now been recycled to produce biodiesel and glycerol – used widely in the food and cosmetic industry. Biodiesel provisioned heaters, vehicles, and homes will use this biodiesel for fuel and the process will start all over again. 3

transesterification : alcohol + ester → different alcohol + different ester

To find out or schedule your used cooking oil collection pick up click here.

1: “Biodiesel Magazine |“. 2012. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
2: “Pre-Treatment For Oil Biodiesel Processors & Biodiesel Equipment by Biodiesel Experts International, LLC”. 2012. Retrieved May 3, 2012.