Don’t be alarmed if the next time you go out to your favorite restaurant, you pass by something that looks like a gas pump out back. It’s probably not a gas pump. It may just be a BioPro automated biodiesel processor.
Chico, California, based Springboard Biodiesel makes the BioPro devices that convert waste cooking oil into biodiesel fuel. The company predicts they’ll be the only exhibitor displaying such a product at the upcoming National Restaurant show in Chicago. Most restauranteurs attending probably aren’t looking for something along the lines of a gas pump, but the BioPro 190 actually sounds like an interesting idea.
Fully automatic and compact, the BioPro 190’s 22- by 22-inch footprint makes it easy to tuck into a kitchen corner or storeroom. All you do is fill it with 50 gallons of used cooking oil, add a predetermined amount of catalyst and methanol, a bit of sulphuric acid, and walk away. A complicated process of mixing, heating, more mixing, and separation occurs next, but it’s all automatic.
Then, 48 hours later, you’re good to go with what Springboard says is high-grade fuel good enough to pour directly into your car. The company says no biodiesel car conversion kit is necessary and that it will work with any diesel-powered vehicle.
The BioPro 190 is priced at $9,995, plus shipping, and it includes a one-year warranty. Other models are also available. Materials required for processing can add substantially to the cost. More details can be found at http://www.springboardbiodiesel.com. Or look for them at the show. They’ll probably be located near an exhibitor frying egg rolls.