SACE is making sustainable biodiesel

Stephen Smith | February 8, 2010 | Clean Transportation, Energy Policy

SACE has started a subsidiary to make biodiesel. With higher fuel costs, growing issues of national security and an increasing awareness of the impact of global warming pollution, the use of renewable energy and alternatives to dirty fossil fuel sources have become a greater interest for the average citizen.

Our Philosophy
SACE and Clean Energy Biofuels are committed to the sustainable production of alternatives to fossil fuels. We are a member of the Sustainable Biodiesel Alliance and support their statement below:

Individuals, companies and municipalities across the country are taking steps to first recognize, and then minimize their negative impact on the environment and their communities. By choosing to harness the power of alternative energy and fuels and being more aware of the impact their purchasing decisions have on the world around them; many are making progress. In today’s world however, “not all biodiesel is created equal”. Some biodiesel sold in the United States is created from international feedstocks that travel thousands of miles before being made into biodiesel, while other biodiesel is made from local feedstocks including waste products and second use oils. Making the right choices can help support rural communities, family farmers, and local job security while minimizing negative impact to the environment.

Over past three years, SACE developed a prototype biodiesel production unit within a standard intermodal shipping container. The goal was to be able to produce high quality biodiesel from used cooking oil on a small footprint. We began the operation in Atlanta under the name of ReFuel Biodiesel with a prototype of biodiesel processor. While perfecting the production unit, we supplied biodiesel to the college bus fleet at Emory University in Atlanta, and fueled the tour buses of popular musicians including the John Butler Trio, David Byrne, and Radiohead as well as a small customer base in the Atlanta area. The oil we collect is used exclusively for clean fuel transportation, thus helping to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere. During 2008 and 2009 we took the prototype and had it professionally engineered and manufactured. In the summer of 2009, we launched Clean Energy Biofuels and took the concept to a new level.

CleanEnergy Biofuels celebrated the grand opening of a new biodiesel production facility during a ribbon cutting ceremony held July 2009 at the University of Tennessee’s agricultural campus. Check out our video from the ceremony.


Achieving high quality production standards
CleanEnergy Biofuels recently achieved the full ASTM specification at our new facility in Knoxville, TN. This assures we will provide the highest quality fuel for biodiesel drivers and trucking fleets. ASTM International provides specification standards for biofuel that are meant to ensure quality production and consumer confidence to support to the viable use and sale of biodiesel.

CleanEnergy Biofuels is also in good standing with the National Biodiesel Board, the trade association representing the biodiesel industry.  We support the sustainable growth of the biodiesel industry, which is critical to the longevity of our project and the strength of our nation’s energy policies. We specifically chose waste vegetable oil (WVO) as our primary feedstock because it is the most environmentally beneficial feedstock.

Promoting sustainability and zero waste
SACE is also member of the Green Foodservice Alliance, which works to create and implement sustainable best practices in Georgia’s foodservice industry.  With the Green Foodservice Alliance based in Atlanta, CleanEnergy Biofuels is working within a collective of restaurants to support their efforts to protect the environment through energy efficiency goals, water conservation methods, recycling, and waste reduction measures. SACE is thrilled to be involved with the Green Foodservice Alliance and to support their efforts through waste grease collection.

Specifically, we are working together on the Zero Waste Zone (ZWZ) initiative, which was created in Downtown Atlanta in February 2009 and is the first zone of its kind in the Southeast and one of the first in the nation. The ZWZ goal is to divert the maximum amount of recyclable items and organic matter from landfills back into the production cycle. ZWZ participants recycle their spent cooking grease from fryers with a local biofuel production facility, and CleanEnergy Biofuels is assisting participants with meeting ZWZ requirements by providing grease collection services.

We are setting up a Biodiesel Co-op in Knoxville and are eager to work with local restaurants, businesses, and volunteers to increase feedstock collection opportunities and to generate local interest our project in Knoxville and Atlanta. Our hope is that the project will spark interest from the public in biofuels and encourage entrepreneurs to get involved. Click here to learn more about our partnerships and how to get involved.  We hope to connect with others interested in partnering with us to start operations and/or use our unique biodiesel processor in your community.

Stephen Smith
Dr. Stephen A. Smith has over 35 years of experience affecting positive change for the environment. Since 1993, Dr. Smith has led the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE) as…
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