Cooking Oil Saves Panama City Thousands of Dollars

By: Betsy Goldin
By: Betsy Goldin

In 2009, Panama City officials began converting some of the city vehicles to run off of a mix of diesel fuel and Bio-Diesel Fuel.
Now, city officials said they have saved taxpayers more than $20,000 by burning used cooking oil.
"The community needs to be thanked for that,” said Richard Caprario, the Panama City fleet manager. “The past three years they've dropped off over 8,000 gallons of used cooking oil."
Resident’s drop-off their used cooking oil at seven designated Texaco stations around town.
Workers pick-up the oil every two weeks, then convert it into Bio-Diesel Fuel.
The conversion involves mixing the cooking oil with potassium hydroxide and methanol.
That creates the Bio-Diesel, as well as a glycerin byproduct.
"Right now, we're up to 7,400 gallons of pure B-100 Bio-Diesel Fuel from 7,400 gallons of cooking oil,” said Caprario. “That equates into, running a B-20 blend, 20% Bio-Diesel and 80% regular diesel. B-20 is in all our trucks.”
Even though the city is running their trucks on an 80-20 mix of diesel to Bio-Diesel, Caprario said the trucks could run entirely on the Bio-Diesel.
"It's greener than regular diesel fuel. It doesn't put out as much carbon monoxide into the atmosphere. It's very green, you can smell the exhaust and it smells like French fries cooking," he said.
And that is not all city workers are cooking-up.
They are using the glycerin from the cooking oil to make liquid soap.
The "City Soap" has saved the city close to $4,000.
The Bio-Diesel Fuel, more than $17,000.


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