Indiana Opens First City-Run Biodiesel Plant

John Davis

kfuelThe City of Kokomo, Indiana has opened a city-run biodiesel plant… the state’s first municipally-run biodiesel refinery.

This press release from the city says the sustainable program will use waste cooking oil to make what they are calling K-Fuel:

“I knew that if we could find a way of making our own fuel, the City would save money and reduce our use of foreign oil,” Mayor [Greg] Goodnight explained at today’s press conference. “What we created was a bio-fuel program that will immediately begin to reduce our energy and maintenance costs, and shrink the City’s carbon footprint.”

“If we only produced 55 gallons of K-FUEL a day the City would save, at today’s fuel prices, $25,000 during the first 12 months of operation. That, is good for the city’s budget and the city’s taxpayers,” Goodnight said.

“This program will eliminate about half a million pounds of carbon dioxide and several hundred pounds of diesel ash from our atmosphere every year,” stated the Mayor. “This reduces our impact on our environment, and improves the air quality of our community.”

“We call the initiative Kokomo’s Renewable Energy Partnership, and is about sustainable development,” stated Goodnight. “We are taking our first steps towards a local economy that is more diverse, competitive, and rooted in sustainable practices. We want to be a hub of the renewable energy industry.”

Paul Munoz, Kokomo’s Bio-Fuels Manager, detailed how waste cooking oil is processed into bio-diesel. “The City will collect used cooking oil from participating restaurants, businesses, and a residential collection program. At this time, we are collecting about 1500 gallons of used cooking oil from 12 participating businesses each month; and anticipate the collection of about 300 gallons from our residents in the first couple of months of operation. These amounts will increase over time, as businesses partner with the City, and as our production and collection methods improve.”

City officials say the program will also help keep sewer-clogging grease out of Kokomo’s waste water system.