US Military Saves $2.7 mil in 38 months making Biodiesel (and still going strong!)

 If you’ve ever wondered if you can save money using Biodiesel, then you’ll LOVE this story!

In early 2015, the US Military had a challenge on their hands at the Bagram Military Air Base in Afghanistan; which just happens to be the LARGEST US Military base in the country. The issue’s they faced were needing a way to dispose of used cooking oil produced on the base in an environmentally responsible way, be able to power their solid waste incinerators on site, and accomplish both tasks while being good stewards of taxpayer dollars funding the air base. The challenge was given to the Logistics Civil Augmentation Program IV which worked with a US Military Contract Partner, Fluor International. The Bagram Air Bagse generates an average of 186 gallons of used cooking oil per day, so there was a lot of oil that needed to be responsibly disposed of.

Fluor International went to work looking for possible solutions and after researching their options, decided that reacting the waste cooking oil into Biodiesel would be the best way to dispose of the used cooking oil responsibly and then use that Biodiesel as a supplemental fuel to help power the on site solid waste incinerators, which would save on fuel costs too! After researching possible Biodiesel production systems, Fluor opted to purchase a BioPro 380 EX Automated Biodiesel Processor and a SpringPro T76 Dry Wash Column setup.

The decision was based on the fact that the system was completely turnkey, used very little space, and would be easy to operate and teach others how to operate as well. So, they made the purchase, got everything in place at the facility in Bagram and got ready to start making Biodiesel.

They set up staging areas in the shop for incoming oil, finished, ready to dry wash Biodiesel, and final finished fuel to make the flow of the process go as quickly as possible which made the production process go fast. Their first 100 gallon batch was made on May 3rd and from there they took off like a rocket making Biodiesel…and boy did they make fuel!

Within 19 months they had run 1300 batches in their BioPro 380 which totaled up to 134,242 gallons of finished Biodiesel. By month 17 they had made so much fuel from waste cooking oil to displace the diesel fuel at the base that they had saved the US Government (and US Taxpayers) $1 million dollars; coming from fuel savings on the waste incinerators and disposal costs of the waste cooking oil.  But, they didn’t stop there, they just kept right on going. The project became a huge success on the base and was a great feather in their cap on how to solve problems while saving US Taxpayer Dollars.

In July of 2015, Fluor Senior Mechanic, Kenneth Kiefer wrote Springboard Biodiesel and shared the following, “The biodiesel processor is still the highlight in our operation which draws the most attention. We are currently beginning the 174th batch, and when asked about the springboard equipment, I do point out the use it endures 24/7 around the clock with downtime only related to cleaning a few hours a week……”

In Sep of 2015, Christopher Waechter, sent this report back to Springboard, “All is going extremely well with the Biodiesel conversion here at Bagram. We’ve actually started shipping UCO from 2 small bases back to Bagram…We’re averaging about 2.75 batches (275 gallons) every 24 hours”.  It was during this month that they hit their $1 million in fuel savings too!

Since then they’ve continued to run the machine pretty much 24/7, maintaining it as needed and keeping everything going and making lots & lots of Biodiesel all the while saving the US Government lots of money.

On July 2, 2018, Chris Waechter reported this great bit of news back to Springboard as well, “All is well, we continue to use and abuse your system. It’s still the first stop on all Senior Leadership visits and a huge success story for Bagram Airfield.We are currently sitting at 275,789 gallons of Biodiesel produced. We’ve actually tweaked the process to preheat the UCO [used cooking oil] and reduce our processing time. We recently took 40,000 gallons of UCO from Southern Afghanistan …….. Our Cost savings are calculated to include fuel and drums (not used to ship offsite). Our costs of course, methanol, KOH,, equipment and labor. We are also filtering the recovered glycerin and mixing at 1:3 with used motor oil and injecting into the solid waste incinerators as additional fuel augmentation.  Our total estimated cost avoidance is sitting at $2.7 Million over 38 Months or $71,000 per month on average.

Did you catch that? They’ve now saved over $2.7 Million Dollars! In just over 3 years of use! All while still keeping the machine going like crazy!

They’ve also found a use for their glycerin too; burning it in a 1:3 ratio with motor oil in their solid waste incinerators! How’s that for cool?!!!

Their program has even been written about by Biodiesel Magazine as well!

Talk about a home run success! If you’re thinking of getting into Biodiesel and you want to do it with some of the greatest equipment around, you owe it to yourself to take a look at our awesome BioPro Automated Biodiesel Processors and Dry Wash Systems!

We offer the processors in two capacities. Our BioPro 190 Automated Biodiesel Processor; which can make up to 50 gallons every 48 hours and our BioPro 380 Automated Biodiesel Processor which can make up to 100 gallons every 48 hours. Add to it our SpringPro T76 Biodiesel Dry Wash Column and you can forego water washing your fuel and speed up your production time as well!

Speed up the processing time on a BioPro

The story in Afghanistan continues too, Fluor isn’t stopping and continues to make great fuel batch after batch! If you’re ready to get in on the fun and start making your own fuel while saving a little coin, give us a call! We’d be happy to share details on how you can get started!

Happy Brewing!

About Utah Biodiesel Supply

Utah Biodiesel Supply is an industry leader in offering innovative ways to empower our customers to produce Biodiesel. From free online instructional videos on how to get started making this great renewable fuel to promotional items to help our customers proclaim their energy independence, Utah Biodiesel Supply has it covered. With the widest selection available of Biodiesel equipment, supplies, and promotional items, you're sure to learn something new about Biodiesel every time you visit.

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