Fluor International was tasked by the US Military (May, 2015) with converting used cooking oil from Bagram Airbase into biodiesel fuel. Fluor bought one automated system from Springboard Biodiesel, The BioPro™ 380EX and SpringPro™ T76, and the results are in. See chart below for production and savings numbers: Fluor processed 1,300 batches and made 134,242 gallons of biodiesel in 19 months, hitting the $1 Million dollar savings landmark in month 17. This was all done in equipment that cost the US military $28,000. Tax payers can also rejoice in knowing that in its first 19 months, this one small system has kept 1362.77 metric tons of carbon and soot out of the atmosphere.
Fluor Senior Mechanic, Kenneth Kiefer, wrote to us on July 28, 2015: "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. I have also mentioned my appreciation to your customer service support; trust me, not all companies are one in the same in comparison when it comes to requesting parts or technical information. I am of the opinion that a good relationship with the manufacturer and end user is important for the life of the equipment. Plus, it's good reflection on the manufacturer and user when there is very little downtime on the equipment."
On September 2, 2015, Country Environmental Director, Christopher Waechter, sent us this report: "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."
Above is an analysis of biodiesel made from used cooking oil.
But did you know that biodiesel can be made from a long list of seed crop oils including poppy-seed and safflower?
An NPR report in Septmeber of 2015 indicated that opium production in Afghanistan had doubled since 2001. With those facts in mind, more idealistic readers might like to peruse the following white paper that outlines the economic advantages of paying poppy farmers to plant safflower and turn the crop into biodiesel. Farmers would, potentially, make more money. Fuel costs would be reduced and less heroin would find its way into Europe and the United States.