Biodiesel is Part of a Mickey Mouse Operation

John Davis

That headline is not a slap to the green fuel. Biodiesel made from what would be waste is now fueling the trains at one of America’s most beloved theme parks.
This story from Orange County (CA) Register
says Disneyland is now using the leftover grease from its restaurants to power its trains:

On Wednesday, the five Disneyland Railroad trains that circle a one-mile perimeter of the park began running on cleaner burning biodiesel made with oil that comes from the resort’s restaurants and hotels.

Park officials had tried a soybean-based biodiesel starting in 2007, but had to give up on that in November 2008 because of problems storing it underground.

So they regrouped while the trains went back to regular diesel fuel, then came up with the idea of recycling discarded cooking oil and turning into biodiesel for the trains.

“The improvement here is that it’s no longer using food for fuel. There are no soybeans grown in the Midwest to fuel our trains, just cooking oil that we’re already generating,” said Frank Dela Vara, Disney’s director of environmental affairs.

Barrels of discarded oil – which resembles maple syrup – are shipped to the Coachella Valley, mixed with a small portion of diesel fuel, then shipped back to Disneyland.

Park officials eventually want to run the Mark Twain paddlewheel steamboat, some cleaning equipment and light towers on the french-fry grease biodiesel.