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Biodiesel Production

The City of Pacifica is partnering with Pacifica's Livability Project to address local energy concerns and to discover areas where localization of power generation can be achieved. One micro-generation project currently in development is the Calera Creek Waste Oil Recycling/Biodiesel Processing Plant. The biodiesel plant will share facilities with the Calera Creek Waste Water Recycling Plant (WWRP).

This is an innovative, collaborative endeavor that seeks to remove problematic waste cooking oil from the waste water stream, combine it with local commercially available waste oil and process it into clean-burning biodiesel. This renewable fuel will then be used in stand-by diesel generators to offset peak electricity used to run the WWRP, thereby saving the city (and the environment) considerable monthly energy costs. Pacifica has designed bio-remediation processes that will scrub emissions from these generators.

A blend of biodiesel/petroleum diesel known as B20 will also be used in Pacifica's fleet of diesel vehicles, be made available to other regional municipal fleets and lastly be made available to both individual and commercial local users.

Through its selection process, the City of Pacifica chose to work with Whole Energy Fuels Corporation (WEF) to implement and operate the biodiesel facility. WEF’s experience producing ASTM-grade biodiesel from multiple feedstocks, including used cooking oil, and their track record supplying biodiesel to numerous fleets and retail outlets were key reasons for their selection. For more information about Whole Energy, visit their web site: www.whole-energy.com.

The waste oil recycling/biodiesel production plant will share functions and facilities with Pacifica’s existing WWRP to achieve operating efficiencies. Pacifica’s sequence batch reactor (SBR)-style WWRP has waste heat, a partially completed out-building, chemical storage needs in common, bio-solids and waste water management, an existing onsite diesel pump station and a large, onsite photo voltaic array, together providing infrastructure that ideally supports sustainable, cost-effective biodiesel production.

Secondarily, the plant’s stationary standby diesel generators will be licensed to demonstrate the environmental and economic impacts of a unique peak shaving/micro-generation project. In partnership with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the city will demonstrate its ability to fully bio-remediate biodiesel emissions through the SBR itself. In a dedicated effort to take responsibility for producing renewable energy for the region, the newly re-categorized standby generators will then be used for peak shaving in tandem with the onsite photo voltaic installation funded jointly by the City of Pacifica and Pacific Gas & Electric Company. The biodiesel production facility/micro-generation plant will have demonstrable regional impacts on reduction of diesel emissions.

Here are additional links to find out more about biodiesel: