REEDVILLE, Va.A partnership between RDX Technologies and Omega Protein has helped cut energy costs and decrease fossil fuel consumption by up to 80 percent at Omega Protein’s Reedville, Virginia, facility.
The groundbreaking new fuel source, provided by RDX Technologies, is an EPA-approved, carbon-neutral Renewable Diesel Oil (RDO) made from everyday food and cooking oils collected from wastewater. Since 2012, Omega Protein has replaced more than 3 million gallons of residual oil with RDO fuel, decreasing the Reedville facility’s sulfur emissions by 80 percent and lowering its greenhouse gas emissions by 85 percent.
The two companies are also working to further streamline the program by developing a growing infrastructure to supply the renewable fuel from local, in-state waste sources. Waste oils for RDO primarily consist of soy, canola and similar vegetable oils, but can include additional sources such as animal fats and alcohols. These oils are currently collected from wastewater discards all around the country, but RDX Technologies is constructing a handful of new fuel plants in Virginia to eventually source and ship Omega Protein's renewable oil entirely in-state. This will bring new jobs to Virginia, decrease area landfill and curtail transportation costs and pollution.
The growing partnership also means more savings for Virginia communities. Each year in the United States, about 6 billion gallons of these recyclable oils are dumped into sewage systems and end up solidified in landfills. Besides being wasteful, this is an expensive process for many businesses, which have to pay disposal fees, and for local municipalities, which are then tasked with costly water treatment. RDX Technologies collects these wastewater oils before they are processed, which saves unneeded energy and expenses for Virginia businesses and communities.
"This is the future of renewables," said Dennis Danzik, CEO of RDX Technologies. "Every restaurant, university, hospital, high rise buildings…they are all oil wells to us."
For Omega Protein, the benefits of RDO have been economically and environmentally rewarding. Because RDO is derived from waste, it sells for less than the residual oil previously used by Omega Protein's Reedville plant, while providing substantial environmental advantages. RDO has a 98 percent lower sulfur content, produces 58 to 80 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions, and generates up to 60 percent lower carbon emissions than the previously used non-renewable residual oil. It also burns cleaner, releasing no benzene – a known airborne carcinogen found in fossil fuels. Throughout this transition, Omega has advanced the company's environmental goals while improving their bottom-line: a remarkable win-win scenario.
Omega Protein also recently combined its human nutrition companies under the name Nutegrity.