Developers of biodiesel fuel refinery say it will mitigate toxic effects on school children

ST. GEORGE — Biodiesel fuel could soon be supporting Southern Utah’s economy and would also help sustain cleaner air and a healthier environment.

Such is the goal of Anderwood Ventures, a company working toward economic growth in Southern Utah through alternative fuel development and clean energy projects.

Currently, the company is working on creating premium quality biodiesel fuel from 100 percent waste material. The refinery would be established on land in the Fort Pierce area of St. George. It will release no emissions, Anderwood Ventures Vice President Woody Woodbury said, and every bit of recycled material will be used. There is no waste, he said.

Biodiesel fuel is a form of diesel fuel produced solely from vegetable oil waste or from crops and soybeans. Anderwood Ventures does not contemplate using crops or soybeans for their product but rather 100 percent vegetable oil waste material. The oil goes through a chemical process that produces biodiesel fuel and glycerin.

Robert Anderson, president of Anderwood Ventures, has been creating biodiesel fuel since he was 15 years old. He worked out of his dad’s garage and even created his own processing system.

Biodiesel fuel burns up to 86 percent cleaner than petroleum diesel does,” Anderson said.

Many people who run biodiesel fuel through their diesel engine vehicle report better fuel economy, Woodbury said. Their vehicle engine runs smoother and they are doing less maintenance on their engine.

No modifications need to be done to a diesel vehicle in order to use biodiesel fuel, Anderson said. And a lot of vehicle companies support biodiesel and will still warranty your car.

School buses and diesel exhaust

Diesel exhaust soot has many harmful side effects. According to the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, diesel exhaust contains more than 40 toxic air contaminants, and many of those toxic contaminants are known to cause cancer. We are exposed to this harmful air quality just by breathing.

Diesel exhaust can cause immediate negative health effects and can pose a health risk, particularly to children.

In 2001, a study from Natural Resources Defense Council and the Coalition for Clean Air showed that children who ride a diesel school bus may be exposed to up to four times more toxic diesel exhaust inside the bus than someone traveling directly behind a car.

“So essentially, when your kids are sitting on the school bus,” Woodbury said, “they are sitting in a giant box full of smoke and exhaust.”

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, school buses travel about 4 billion miles each year, and more than 25 million American students ride a school bus every day.

“If we can run 100 percent biodiesel in our school buses, then that’s huge,” Woodbury said. “That drops a ton of harmful effects to our kids.”

Benefits of biodiesel

Along with cutting our health risks, biodiesel has many other benefits. By collecting trap grease, which would normally go to the landfill, Anderwood Ventures is able to recycle used oil and use it for economic benefit and help save the environment.

Unprocessed greases are considered a nonhazardous waste, Woodbury said. When you process that used grease, 80 percent is water, the water can then be recycled to nutrient-rich water that can be added back into Washington County’s water system.

Processing 50 million gallons, that’s a lot of water we can put right back into Southern Utah, especially since we have such a huge need for water,” Woodbury said.

Anderwood Ventures plans to gather used oil from a 300-mile radius, starting in Washington County. They will collect trap grease and fry oil from local restaurants and even casinos.

“If we were able to collect everything in 300 miles, we would be able to build a 100-million-gallon plant,” Anderson said.

Restaurants are required to dispose of the grease and oil properly, but ultimately the grease ends up in the landfill. According to Sewer Smart, disposing of grease or oil into the landfill can cause major problems if they enter into the waste water system and end up in the oceans.

Anderwood Ventures will relieve those local restaurants of having to take those used greases to the landfill. It will be processing the waste material to put back into the community.

“The feed stocks are there, the demand is there,” Anderson said.

The project will also help Washington County’s unemployment rates. Anderwood Ventures plans to employ upward of 200 employees, which includes plant operators, truck drivers, a sales team and administrative employees, Woodbury said. Anderwood Ventures is projecting the refinery to be up and running in the first quarter of 2016.

Once the biodiesel refinery is built, the project’s main concentration will be on fleet accounts so that they can sustain cleaner air quality, Woodbury said. A fuel pump station will also be provided so the public can buy fuel directly from the source. As of now, the closest biodiesel fuel pump to Washington County is in Moab, according to Drive Biodiesel.

By recycling this hazardous material, Anderson said, biodiesel fuel can significantly reduce pollution and help cut costs in the community.

“This is a better way and it’s great for everybody,” Anderson said, “the local business owner, the restaurant owner and even the person that eats at the restaurant because that waste is going into biodiesel, which is good for the environment, and healthwise, it’s a lot better.”

Arguments against biodiesel 

Opposition to biodiesel fuel production focuses primarily on biodiesel developed from crops. The arguments include:

  • Production of biodiesel from crops will increase demand for corn, which causes the price of crops to increase
  • Increased crop prices make it more expensive for farmers to feed their livestock, thereby increasing the price of meat and dairy products
  • Biodiesel fuel production requires extreme amounts of water
  • The increased demand for biodiesel crops leads to deforestation and destruction of wetlands and grasslands, to make space for the planting of those crops

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22 Comments

  • Bender June 23, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    “…nutrient-rich water that can be added back into Washington County’s water system”
    .
    Nutrient-rich water?
    .
    Before anyone invests with these guys or gives them credit, I recommend extra due diligence and making sure your paperwork is properly in place. A Utopian dream does not always translate into a sound business. I’m pretty sure the economics are still strongly in favor of dino-diesel. Used cooking oil is now under lock and key outside of most restaurants. These guys will be competing with others who already collect it.
    .
    I think that someday, perhaps not for a while, we’ll see plant based fuels coming into price parity with fossil fuels. A carbon tax would certainly help the process along.

    • Brian June 24, 2015 at 12:57 pm

      No thanks on the carbon tax (20% of which will end up going to al gores private-jet fuel and mansion budgets). Get rid of the direct subsidies (like solyndra and 100 other “green” companies that never stood a chance, but were connected cronies and that was enough) and stick with consumer-driven subsidies like solar. Solar isn’t perfect, but its viable today and its keeping our grid going in a lot of hot climates (by offsetting peak AC demand with peak solar production).

      • mesaman June 24, 2015 at 8:18 pm

        Nice shot! You centered the bullseye on this.

      • Bender June 25, 2015 at 1:22 am

        “Solar isn’t perfect, but its viable today and its keeping our grid going in a lot of hot climates”
        .
        Citation BRIAN?
        .
        Solar has a great future but at the moment is just a side note. Twitchy daytime and non-existent nighttime power delivery. Most home installations have panel orientation which is not well matched to peak home power consumption. Grid connected solar might arouse the inner nerd or survivalist in you but it is far from a viable solution for large scale, reliable, power delivery as it stands now. In countries with large scale grid connected solar penetration -Germany for example- periods of peak solar generation often cause spot electricity rates to go negative. This means the utilities are _paying_ outside utilities to take excess power. Before solar can be a significant power delivery source there will have to be huge, expensive investments in changes to the grid… new facilities like pump storage hydro – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pumped-storage_hydroelectricity
        .
        And yes, a Carbon Tax makes sense. At one time, before the recent GOP descent in full-bore lunacy, it was a Republican Party tenet. I suspect it will come eventually anyway.

        • BIG GUY June 25, 2015 at 7:05 am

          BENDER, as I’m sure you recognize, pump storage hydro, like hydro power, is excellent but limited to locations with adequate water, mountainous terrain…and reasonable environmentalists who won’t oppose the facilities. The latter may likely be the limiting factor.

          As you state, solar is and will be “just a side show” until we have a breakthrough in large scale battery technology.

    • Anderwood June 24, 2015 at 4:16 pm

      Your right, the article didn’t explain things fully and that’s ok. News is just designed to tell people about things that are happening in the world around them! The rest is up to you to learn on your own and we encourage you to do some research! Let me help you get started. For the most part Utopian dreams are a unrealistic. You can’t take what we see in the movies and fiction stories as reality. That being said, the technology we are bringing to St. George is able to process used cooking greases as our feedstock to produce biodiesel that we can sell at an average of $0.15 cheaper than petroleum diesel and still keep a margin of as much as $1.50/gallon. Man we love capitalism and the free market! As for the water. Most of our feedstock will be trap grease. Trap grease is composed of 80% water. When we process this feedstock and remove the water we end up with pure H2O. From there the water can be used for anything including adding minerals and other items back into the water to create nutrient rich drinking water. And the used cooking greases? We will not be in competition with the companies who already collect it. Instead, we will be contracting with them to bring that material to us instead of depositing it at the landfill.

  • fun bag June 23, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    bio fuels = scam

    • Brian June 24, 2015 at 12:51 pm

      Government subsidized bio-fuels are a scam (especially ethanol from corn). But there are a lot of really neat bio-fuel projects that are making a lot of progress without government funding, many of which are profitable now using good old fashioned capitalism. And every gallon produced is a gallon that we don’t get from our enemies or from fracking (which has lots of problems, debt being the biggest).

      • fun bag June 24, 2015 at 1:42 pm

        could never expect “bio fuels” to even replace 5% of petroleum currently used. Until I see it done I say it’s all a scam. About everything I’ve seen now is displacing food production, possibly even these algae based things they’re trying to cook up…

        • Brian June 24, 2015 at 2:55 pm

          Interesting choice of numbers. In 2012 we were at 4.989% (you just can’t make this up). We consumed 18,840,000 barrels of oil per day (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_oil_consumption) and produced 940,000 barrels per day of bio-fuel (http://www.eia.gov/cfapps/ipdbproject/iedindex3.cfm?tid=79&pid=79&aid=1&cid=regions&syid=2012&eyid=2012&unit=TBPD). No doubt our bio-fuel production has only increased since then. Bio-fuel from algae is a perfect fit for hot climates like ours (lots of sun), and has the added benefit of shutting up the greenies because it can consume all of the CO2 coming out of power plants and turn it into fuel (win-win), which buys us more time on fossil fuels to make the transition.

          • Anderwood June 24, 2015 at 3:37 pm

            Hey Brian, we would love to talk to you. Contact us when you get a chance!
            or office number is 435.215.2555

          • fun bag June 24, 2015 at 4:47 pm

            i’m guessing most of it is gov’t subsidized corn ethanol at this time…

    • Anderwood June 24, 2015 at 3:17 pm

      We totally agree, well sorta.

      We are working hard to help as much as we can in Southern Utah and this is one way that we can have a massive impact by using waste cooking greases for biodiesel production instead of dumping it all in our landfill. Our innovative business model allows us to never require government subsidies to be profitable. On top of that we will be working to lower the costs that local restaurants currently pay to have their waste greases disposed of. That means they get to keep more money in their business to use for new jobs and to help them have better financial security!

      Now that’s capitalism at it’s finest!

  • sagemoon June 24, 2015 at 8:42 am

    This is an awesome idea! I wish you success, Anderwood.

    • Anderwood June 24, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      Thank you Sagemoon! We are just as excited as you are! Okay, maybe even more.

  • fun bag June 24, 2015 at 1:54 pm

    And after reading the article in full I see these kooky statements made that make no sense. Claiming a zero emission plant? Getting water out of used oil? really? dumping “nutrient rich” water into our water system? This guy sounds like an absolute kook, ugh…

    • Anderwood June 24, 2015 at 3:30 pm

      Your right, the article didn’t explain things fully and that’s ok. News is just designed to tell people about things that are happening in the world around them! The rest is up to you to learn on your own and we encourage you to do some research!

      Let me help you with a few of your questions.
      A zero emission plant means that we capture and reuse every possible gas and other material that is normally a byproduct of biodiesel production. There are no burn towers like you would see at oil refineries. No off-gassing. No hazardous waste. In fact there is no waste of any kind! We use everything.
      As for the water. Most of our feedstock will be trap grease. Trap grease is composed of 80% water. When we process this feedstock and remove the water we end up with pure H2O. From there the water can be used for anything including adding minerals and other items back into the water to create nutrient rich drinking water.

      • fun bag June 24, 2015 at 4:11 pm

        Well, here’s to hoping you guys pull it off. cheers 😀

        • Anderwood June 24, 2015 at 6:00 pm

          Thanks man! Check us on Facebook and follow us to see how it all unfolds! https://www.facebook.com/Anderwood.Ventures

          • fun bag June 24, 2015 at 6:43 pm

            lol’d, i didn’t know you guys were begging crowd funding money. Looks to me like you don’t even know what you’re doing 😀

          • fun bag June 24, 2015 at 6:48 pm

            why not get some real investors?

          • mesaman June 24, 2015 at 8:21 pm

            Don’t encourage the bag man, he’s the gadfly on the rump of the whole website.

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