Wiregrass County Getting Creative For Fuel Production

By: Ryan Rodig Email
By: Ryan Rodig Email

Lorraine Dancey never thought the leftover vegetable oil created at her bakery, D&D Donuts in Abbeville, could be useful somewhere.

"No I did not," Dancey said Friday. "I never thought about it."

Henry County is teaming with Abbeville and Headland in using a $200,000 dollar grant to convert waste vegetable oil to biodiesel fuel.

The fuel would be used by city and county vehicles.

Henry County uses around 30,000 gallons of diesel fuel each month, so officials say the technique will cost less and help in other ways.

"It's going to help the sewage system in the cities," Executive Director of the Henry County Economic Authority Stephanie Blankenship says. "And help with garbage collection because often times people do not know what to do with vegetable oil that's left over."

The grant money will place collection tanks in restaurants that participate, buy a truck to pick it up, and aid in construction at the American Bio-Fuels plant in Abbeville.

There's also a plan for any extra fuel produced.

"We hope to offer that back to our local farmers that will again help our economy and help them cut their fuel costs as well," Blankenship added.

Lorraine Dancey says she is on board with the idea of recycling the vegetable oil at her bakery. One day the vegetable oil could be converted and used to fuel emergency vehicles in the county.

"And if you can save a life by doing that with the leftover grease, it is a very good thing," Dancey says.

American Bio-Fuels in Abbeville is planning to add five more tanks to their plant.

Blankenship says she hopes the county and cities will receive converted biodiesel fuel within 12 months.

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